E Sports – Pull the other one

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I haven’t got a problem with kids playing computer games (it’s a bit weird if you’re an adult). I used to love them, when it was raining outside. And it’s great that, thanks to the phenomenon that is the internet, you can play with people all over the world; sexual predator or not. But I think some people have got a bit carried away with this whole E Sports thing…

And let me explain exactly what I mean by that. As a MotoGP fan, I’m seeing more and more MotoGP ‘E Sports’ online content, which is a bit annoying. But I can live with it. It’s no big deal. And besides, it’s the price you pay for having any form of social media account. But a lot of the content I’m seeing seems to be well produced (expensively produced) stuff. That tells me someone’s taking this seriously. Too seriously? I’ll let you decide what you think ‘too seriously’ is.

Factory riders

As a motorcycle journalist (well that’s what I tell people, anyway) I’ll quite often get press releases sent to my email inbox from manufacturers to tell me how their boys got on during the weekend’s MotoGP round. And I’m glad of them. They can be very interesting. But recently, the same manufacturers are sending me emails about how their factory ‘E Riders’ are getting on. ‘E Riders’ for Christ sake. And these are genuine press releases from the actual press offices, of actual MotoGP teams. And there’s nothing tongue in cheek about them, they’re deadly serious.

You could argue that any sport is supposed to be fun. Some might say that anyone that takes sport, real or pretend, too seriously is missing the point. And that the billions that get ploughed into motorsport every year is nothing short of ludicrous. Maybe they’ve got a point. But at least actual bike racing is real.

I’m an advocate of any type of competition and any type of sport. And whilst playing video games can be a competition, it’s hardly a sport, is it? I know there are probably people in the world that are interested in watching people play computer games, but I’m not one of them, and I don’t think the average MotoGP fan is, either.

Gormless gang

I can’t help thinking that the time and effort (not to mention money) that these factory teams are putting into E Sports would be better spent on actual sports. Put something into real bike racing, at grass roots level. Or do they know something that we don’t? Will make-believe bike racing be all we can look forward to in the future, when Greta and the gormless gang are in charge?

Maybe I’m just being an old fuddy-duddy, living in the past. Perhaps I need to ‘get with the times’. Live in the digital age. But if that means watching kids play computer games all weekend; I’m out.


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