TSM might have lost... but they've already mastered the North America scene.

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HeartlessXiao

Senior Member

10-06-2012

Let's face it, pro gaming in NA is not taken* as seriously as it is in Asia and parts of Europe. In many ways, Alex Ich's words about how NA teams don't practice/ scrim/ take the game as seriously as other teams are true. They don't come to win, they come to put on a show.
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHvYc79xMjE

Let's look at how video games are perceived in America. They're a game. They're entertaining. They're not a job or a profession (from the playing standpoint, not the designing standpoint). Pro gamers are not shown respect and praise-- they're merely some lucky ass teenagers that get to make money for several years doing something "unproductive." While strategy games from Chess to Go to SC2 to LoL are both wildly popular and widely respected in Asia and parts of Europe, the same really can't be said for NA. In NA, we like our sports (the "real" ones) and our guns. We don't have the same culture of respecting strategy, thinking, and mental prowess as Asian/ Eastern European cultures.

In this way, teams that merely practice/ scrim 24/7 are not* going to reach the NA market, because video games are not an aspirational source of income. Sure, these teams may have success in tournaments. Sure, they may be praised for their mechanics/ practice/ team work/ what have you. But they won't* win over the audience.

So, how did TSM make it (easily the richest LoL team to date, not counting the prize purses for S2 Championships)? They understand the NA market. In many ways, TSM falls into the culture that Alex Ich describes (though I'd personally argue that they put in much more work than their counterparts CLG and Dig, who only seem interested in preparing cheese). Yes, TSM is first and foremost here to put on a show. Would they like to win? Hell yes. Who wouldn't want $1,000,000? Do they have to win to survive as a team? Of course not. You can see that even after TSM loses, they go and hang out with fans, make people's days, and relax. One of my friends just described today as the best day of her life after getting a hug from Dyrus and spending much of the day walking around with him in her Singed Cosplay.

TSM understands NA. They don't take themselves too seriously. They build a fan base, a "brand," and work hard enough to always be exciting and relevant in tournaments. They don't lock themselves in their room and practice 16 hours a day for 3 months (think iG for The International). They fool around in Solo Queue/ with their girlfriends/ fulfill requests for their streamers. They market themselves well with guides, vlogs, and other material for both the casual gamer and the aspiring competitive gamer.

Overall, TSM realizes that while LoL is their job and their source of income, it is also fun and exciting (not just because they're good at it). In many ways, this is the true aspiration of many Americans-- to make money doing something they love. It isn't always about winning (though TSM has had their fair share of that as well), because, after all, they have the consistent income now that they don't HAVE to win every tournament to sustain their way of living. Honestly, if I had to practice LoL 16 hours a day, it would completely suck all of the fun out of it, even if I eventually won an absurd amount of money from it (again, think iG).

I feel like this is why TSM appeals to so many NA fans. They approach the game with proper attitude while not letting results consume their lives and dictate their happiness.

*It seems to make more sense to apply this to the NA scene as it is today. After all, saying "never" in lieu of what I have changed it to takes this discussion to places that I don't intend it to go.


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Merluza00

Senior Member

10-06-2012

I'm glad for you. Now move on towards WORLD championship


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MarioCar

Senior Member

10-06-2012

Really, so much text all to say "TSM didnt lose horribly"?


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Umbralogix

Senior Member

10-06-2012

Because in NA it's more important to build a fanbase and generate revenue than become disciplined. It's an American concept that's here to stay unfortunately..


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Secretbeef

Senior Member

10-06-2012

this post = Amazing and so true.

would read again


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Phenomenomnomnom

Senior Member

10-06-2012

TSM are a bunch of fa.ggots with zero sportsmanship. **** them and glad they lost. Hope some other team represents NA soon.


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HeartlessXiao

Senior Member

10-06-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarioCar View Post
Really, so much text all to say "TSM didnt lose horribly"?
Clearly you missed the point (or you didn't read at all).

Sure TSM didn't lose horribly (I thought they performed quite admirably myself). My point is moreso that TSM embodies the modern American ideal of making a living doing something you love, rather than doing something you must.


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Cytox

Senior Member

10-06-2012

ok and i mastered the african scene so what


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HeartlessXiao

Senior Member

10-06-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Umbralogix View Post
Because in NA it's more important to build a fanbase and generate revenue than become disciplined. It's an American concept that's here to stay unfortunately..
Why must you call it unfortunate? Sure there's praise to be given for discipline, practice, and hard work. But at the end of the day, shouldn't it matter most that we can go through every day with the knowledge that we are accomplishing something by doing what we love?


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Clyonoshi

Senior Member

10-06-2012

I absolutely agree. +1 Would read again.


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