The world of eSports is quickly establishing itself as one of the world’s premiere and most popular professional sports. The likes of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League Of Legends, and growing popularity in the likes of Overwatch and Street Fighter V have helped propel the world’s best pro gamers into celebrity status, with audiences in the millions and revenue in the billions.
The only problem with eSports, however, is few if any pro gamers have media training. Many eSports players have quickly worked their way up the ranks without having ever been under the limelight. This has led to a plethora of cringe-worthy awkward moments, all caught on camera. It makes for great viewing, so let’s take a look at our favourites.
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Counterlogic Gaming gets the shutdown
There’s nothing worse than going in for the high-five or handshake, knowing the person sees it only to be left hanging. Peak awkwardness. Counterlogic Gaming, a California-based team covered across LoL, CS:GO, Overwatch, Super Smash Bros., and others, had their PTR embarrassingly turned down on a widely-watched broadcast. Get ready for the cringe, and the hilarity.
It’s tough to watch this Overwatch team
Team entrances are now a big thing in eSports, with event organisers and team management hoping to create more of a spectacle around matches. This has led to some US-like extravagance, whereby players are introduced one-by-one in a presentation similar to what we see at basketball games. The only problem is rarely do the players work themselves up enough to get the crowd going, and the end result makes for some of the most cringeworthy viewing imaginable.
Case in point: the player introductions for an Overwatch Asia-Pacific tournament. Just get a load of this.
Overwatch pro is too keen for a handshake
Brandon “Seagull” Larned is an American Overwatch player currently playing for NRG eSports. Safe to say he’s one of the more enjoyable and skilled Overwatch players to come out of North America. He’s a popular Twitch streamer, and has a loyal following of Overwatch fans looking to improve their own skills. If you’re into Blizzard’s latest gem, Seagull is well worth checking out: his gameplay makes for some highly enjoyable viewing.
Unfortunately, his skills in front of the camera don’t match his Overwatch skills behind the camera. He’s a quirky, nice kind of guy … almost too nice and “normal” looking to be much of a marketable asset. No one cares much for that because he’s just awesome at Overwatch, but something tells me this awkward handshake moment might keep him away from cameras for a while.
IdrA’s reaction time is put to the test
Greg “IdrA” Fields started his pro gaming career as a professional StarCraft II and Brood War player, before retiring to focus on school. He eventually returned to the scene with former team Evil Geniuses to play Heroes Of The Storm.
Unfortunately for him, his time away from the scene didn’t bury one moment he would rather forget: this super cringey non-high five with a broadcaster. The other man in the video was telling a story and attempted a rhetorical high-five, but IdrA took it literally and wanted to return the love but was about 3 seconds late. That reaction time can’t be good in pro gaming.
Heroes Of The Worst Intro Ever
The Grand Finals for Heroes Of Newerth definitely deserve a better presentation than this. Aside from the fact the entire broadcast is in what appears to a sex dungeon without electricity, the player introductions are done in complete darkness with no fanfare and absolutely no excitement from the players being introduced. The music is loud, the lighting is fierce and edgy, but the players? They just want to get on with it!
The most complicated handshake ever
Something tells me a simple handshake shouldn’t be this difficult. Freddy “KRiMZ” Johansson, a Swedish professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player who is considered to be one of the most consistent on the scene, doesn’t appear to have as fast response reflexes in real life as he does in games. Yet another moment of pure awkwardness as the interviewer offers to shake hands, but KRiMZ doesn’t know how to respond. Hilarity ensues.
The champagne ceremony that wasn’t to be
Yun “TaeJa” Young Seo was a professional Terran player in StarCraft II from South Korea. While he’s since retired, the internet never forgets. While his best moments of a pro are well-documented, it may have been this awkward victory ceremony that propelled him into mainstream notoriety. A victory drink should never be this difficult.