Zechs is right in that there’s quite a few big puffer fish in what is a little esports pond. Ego has reigned over substance since the beginning; it’s the only way to explain why the most prominent of the scene’s commentators are the most prominent.
I think Sundance’s parallel in the sports world, one that EU readers may be less familiar with, is Mark Cuban, the outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks. He doesn’t act like most honchos in sports, and he’s both loved and reviled for it. He’s been fined over $1.5 million by the NBA for a laundry list of antics; yet typically manages to land on his feet and in a better position than he was before after every (arguably minor) incident. Yea, sounds a lot like Sundance.
While his style is not looked upon well by the other NBA owners, it’s hard to argue that Cuban’s antics haven’t brought significantly more attention to his team and the NBA by extension. It’s a PR style that errs on the side of taking significant calculated risks frequently in the hope that the odds will tip in your favor by doing so, as opposed to abstracting yourself from the brand you’re managing as much as possible and avoiding risk by acting deliberately, and wrapping your actions in as much generic MBA-corporate-speak nonsense as possible.
I suppose the question for me becomes: is Sundance’s very unfilitered style of being the public face of MLG a hindrance to the growth of MLG (and gaming in general)? At least at the current point in time, I’m not certain it’s all that bad.
Look, I’ll take a few hasty comments and a backtrack every once in a while to faceless corporate suits who dance around questions and are impossible to read. In a scene where it’s far too common to see worthless chumps take themselves way too seriously, frankly I’m ok with someone who’s far from worthless shoot from the hip.
Undignified? Sure. But I don’t think there’s much dignity to be claimed within esports quite yet, so I figure we might as well have fun in the interim.
I’ll also take someone who was able to articulate clearly how he came to be so heavily involved in gaming and his personal history within it than someone who just seems to be stumbling his way through various esports-related ‘properties’ and ‘products.’ Submitted for your consideration, start at 1:30 in the video below for what was the kicker for me:
Maybe the question was misunderstood…but it’s a common one for introductory interviews: show us your nerd cred, please? I’d much rather have people with a credible gaming background in the drivers seats right now, over people that are clearly just setting up for an exit in a few years, and is focused on maximizing workflow efficiency in the meantime.
I think what I’m trying to say is that while Sundance may not be the perfect man for the job, I think that given the current state of gaming in my country, he’s the right guy for the job right now.