This cartoon is based on the sudden disbandment of the HGC (Heroes of the Storm Global Championship), and major concerns regarding esports being recognized as an official sport.
On the 14th, the HGC was shut down. During the aftermath, a storm of arguments and comments followed. In the span of mere hours, teams and commentators lost their jobs. With the grief, came frustration. The fans and players of Heroes of the Storm were outraged. Despite the fact that Blizzard should currently be treading carefully, they seem to have made yet another decision that has brought disappointment to their communities.
A frequent question that people ask is, “Why is it so important for esports to be accepted as an official/formal sport?” It is because esports being recognized as a formal sport is symbolic. This is the most effective path for esports to further its global expansion. Therefore, to this day, many people continue to fight for esports to be accepted as an official/formal sport. This year, esports was given a test run in the Asian Games. As a result, the esports event will continue in the next Asian Games. Though there are several fair arguments as to why esports should not be added to the Olympics, it is clear that esports is doing something never before seen - something truly genuine.
Nevertheless, Blizzard decided to throw ash on a perfectly prepared dinner table. One of the most trusted game companies when it came to supporting esports, Blizzard, turned their backs on something they were passionate about. Essentially, they admitted, at least with Heroes of the Storm, that esports is not a formal sport. In an industry where everything can be disbanded in a matter of a day, who in their right mind would want to dream of becoming a pro? Let alone invest in the industry. Has there ever been a time when an entire sports league was disassembled without compromise by a company’s dogmatic decision? Sure, this might be an exaggeration, but this was bound to be a hard hit for esports. The countless players and fans involved in esports have worked day and night to close the boundaries set on ‘formal sports’ and to earn the trust of the world.
With the executive decision to end an entire league, it has come to light how fragile esports is. There have been countless farewells from teams and players throughout social media; no good news has been heard yet. It is hopelessly naive to expect a happy “Surprise!” at a moment of crisis like this. All I wish is for the teams and players to gain happiness again and in the future...I hope that we will not see another similar occurrence take place within esports.
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