What BBC would have done about IdrA
The most prolific headline-maker in StarCraft history has been removed from the richest and most famous team of the world and all I got to read about it was a couple of paragraphs of facts and an extended quote from the official statement. The real world is still in a galaxy far, far away from us.
The facts are as follows (in order of how events blew up):
- Greg “IdrA” Fields controversially quit a WCS America match where many players would still have played on. This was not the first time this happened.
- IdrA disrespected SC2 fans in a discussion on TeamLiquid, calling them “a bunch of fucks” and saying that he “gets paid to treat [them] like it”. The comment was made before the WCS match and escalated after.
- Team EG reacted by releasing a statement that IdrA was let go as a consequence of the comment.
[Originally I wrote that the comment on TL was made in response to the discussion about the defeat, but it was not. Ironically, I did not research the facts well enough. My apologies.]
This just about sums up the full extent of the coverage that the esports sites that I visit have given us. I got exactly as much from Twitter. Only I got it a few hours earlier.
My point? If news websites can’t provide anything beyond three simple facts from the bullet points above, then there is no reason for them to exist. I mean, shit, they aren’t saying anything new by repeating facts, after all?! News gets broken on Twitter.
It’s not about breaking news. Whenever a major incident happens, such as IdrA being released from EG, people want to read about the story and talk about the story as much as possible. They will consume every bit of content on the story as long as it is interesting, because it’s what everyone’s talking about.
What’s needed in that moment are context, perspective, intelligent analysis and commentary.
There are many people who don’t know everything about IdrA and would be very interested to find out why the story is such a big deal and why he polarizes the SC2 fan base so much. There are many questions that come up.
Every time a story like this breaks, the appetite anything that relates to it is enormous. Three basic facts don’t suffice. There’s so much more than could be added:
- Why is IdrA a big deal? What are his achievements, his highs and his lows? It would be good to list them in a small box or table in the article.
- The premature exit from the WCS match wasn’t the first of IdrA’s career. There were many and not everyone knows - what were they? How about a selection of YouTube clips from those games?
- The comment IdrA made on TeamLiquid wasn’t his first that warranted attention. What were the other famous comments on TL / reddit / Twitter? How many times has IdrA been banned / warned on TL before? (If you’re curious, the answer is: about 30 bans / warns in 6 years.)
- IdrA was almost synonymous with Team EG. How do his team mates feel about his exit? Why not ask a couple of them or quote their tweets or podcast statements?
- What’s next for IdrA? Is he a risky pickup for another team or a hot commodity? Why not interview a team manager about that angle?
- Why does IdrA quit games in the first place? Why not interview a couple of pro gamers and ask them? Why not ask a sports psychologist if you’re more ambitious?
When events take place, it’s the larger context around the core facts that makes them come to life in written coverage. It’s what Twitter cannot provide that gives esports websites a reason to live.