So, MLG largely gets out of the content production business, then refuses to allow media to be present at their first event of the year. Let’s examine the calculus of that, shall we?
You do coverage at one of the several large respected esports news outlets? Cool story bro. Not only do we not want you at the Arena, but you need to buy a pass just like everyone else.
I’m glad people are starting to pick up on the condescension of “We/I get it” that comes constantly from the MLG camp. The initial post on this reddit thread pretty much nails it. That coverage of the scene hasn’t reached the level of mainstream news outlets is not the point. MLG is demonstrating a lack of understanding, or a lack of empathy, with the level of (largely unpaid and to this point unprofitable) effort going into the coverage that the scene now sees as routine again.
The notion that there’s somehow no space(!) for press at the Arenas is flat out bullshit. Nope, that’s not a plausible excuse. There’s no way that the walls would simply burst if allowed 5 more people. If that’s all ya got, we’ve no choice but to speculate as to the actual reason.
A sports league’s relationship with the press covering it is one of uncomfortable symbiosis. You, as a league, certainly do not and should not answer to every whim and passing indulgence of the press, but at the very least, open access to events, with accommodations at the event to comfortably carry out the job of providing coverage, is just a given. In return, said press puts out content about your business; in the case of MLG’s Starcraft circuits, while the season is in swing, this happens on nearly a daily basis.
But it can’t be all sunshine and roses; that’s not a part of the pact. Sometimes the press will be critical of the league and decisions made by it. It’s because they have not just a responsibility to the leagues that allow them unfettered access, but also to the people that rely on them for insights and perspectives that can only be gained through such unfettered access.
The esports press was not all smiles about the league’s PPV plan. Is this in some way retribution for not getting on board with the idea right away, for esports? Maybe in small part, yes. This is a league that we’ve already seen start to play favorites, and given how things seem to be going, I don’t expect it to improve.
The worse option is the more plausible one. MLG needs cash NOW, and they can’t call J.G. Wentworth. Ten press passes, whether given in physical or stream form, is quite frankly two hundred bucks that they need on the ledger.
Yea, MLG gets it. They ignore it and carry on anyway not because they’re choosing between several different ways forward, but rather because they’re up against fiscal imperatives. This year, they’re going to make money, and they’re going to do it to the maximum extent possible; if that means charging press for access, emptying their account of general community goodwill, and imploring us to open our wallets at every turn in order to “save esports,” then that’s what’s going to happen.
Welp, we get it too, MLG. We get it too.