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in down is the new up, glhf

It always follows the same pattern.

They see a wave rolling in. It hasn’t crested yet, but the swell is obvious. People are talking, people are excited, people are genuinely into this new, novel thing. They don’t quite understand it, they’re not moved by it personally, they don’t identify with its followers, and quite frankly it perplexes them; but damn it, it’s a wave, and if they don’t ride it, someone else will, and that can’t happen. They saw it first.

Besides, they have experience, useful experience from some other tangentally related wave they rode in years past. They have plaques, and awards, and certifications and shit. They have photos with C-list celebrities. They have fully funded 401(k)s.

This new wave will make it to shore regardless of any one person’s involvement — the critical mass has already been reached — but they will be the one who will be remembered, when the books are written, as the real shepherd and architect behind all the successes to come.

In the end, someone has to bring order to the chaos. Esports will be tamed. This new thing needs its FIFA, and they will play the part of Blatter. It will be them — pictured standing, cross-armed, heavily backlit, facing slightly to the right — on the cover of Forbes. They’ll buy that issue at the airport; man, that’ll wipe the smirk right off the face of that punk that works the register at the CNN shop, huh?

So, where to start?

Perhaps they spend some solid time just trying to get to know the scene, figuring out who the key players are, religiously read some core publications, follow some twitter accounts, and really just immerse themselves in Twitch streams until the memes spammed in chat begin to make sense?

Perhaps they try networking with notable folks in the industry, really map out where the existing power structures lie, and figure out what keeps people who are already important to the scene awake at night?

Perhaps they seek out the people that have been around since the very beginning, and have seen it all and then some, know where it’s been, where it’s going, and what it all needs, and just relentlessly pick their brains?

Perhaps they actually work for or with any of the existing large institutions that are already well established and taking things forward all the time, paying their dues, ingratiating themselves with those that are doing things, and have been for years?

Nah, fuck that. That takes effort, and humility; neither of which is needed where they’re going.

What they need is a website, some empty forums, a flag with the words ‘because esports’ they can wrap themselves in, and some pre-written crap about how they expected the haters; that it’s instead incumbent on the scene to work with them, because they’re the ones with the pure intentions. Nothing further will happen without their prior consent, though, because they’ve brought badges. And trademarks. And handshake things.

They don’t need to acrue the political capital necessary to achieve their goals here. That’s for chumps. They get to show up and start calling shots. They provide the blueprint, we build the house, they live in it.

It always follows the same pattern.

It always follows the same pattern.

It always follows the same pattern.

It always follows the same pattern.

There’s only one question that ever needs to be asked of those that appear from nowhere and want to run the show, just by virtue of providing some sort of missing structural institution: what’s the mechanism by which we get rid of you but not the institution?

There’s never an answer to that.