If you’re an eSports fan, you’ve definitely had contact with other Asian eSports fans. With so many Asian teams and players dominating eSports from Dota 2 to Starcraft, the eSports scene in Asia is huge. But who are you likely to see in the crowds and the comment threads of any major Asian eSports showdown?
The Anti-Game Flamer
One of the most obnoxious commenters in any eSports discussion, the anti-game flamer drops in just to tell you that the game you’re talking about sucks. His favorite game is vastly superior, and he’s willing to spend hours and hours arguing about it with you in lengthy comment threads if you engage him. You may be tempted to ask him: “If you hate League of Legends so much, why are you wasting time talking about it?” But don’t bother. The anti-game flamer doesn’t do logic, and any attempt to talk with him is a waste of your time.
You can usually identify The Nationalist right off the bat, because he’s got his nation’s flag as his avatar or icon, and he won’t shut up about his country. If his country’s teams are good, he’ll be waxing lyrical about their superiority; if they are bad he’ll be moaning about how embarrassing it is. He may condemn teams based in his own country that have accepted foreign players, but if they perform well, sooner or later he’ll accept them and claim the team’s victories as victories for his nation. The Nationalist can also sometimes be caught engaging in racist rants about how terrible other countries are, and how much he wants their teams to lose.
The Rager is a bit like the Anti-Game Flamer, but less targeted: he just hates everything. Nothing is ever right. Maybe the game results didn’t go the way he wanted. Maybe he doesn’t like the caster’s voice. Maybe the tournament was scheduled at an inconvenient time. The reason doesn’t really matter; this guy will always find something wrong and then rage about it.
The Native insists on speaking some other language, regardless of what language everyone else is discussing things in. If it’s an English-language discussion, The Native will post in Chinese. If it’s a Chinese-language discussion, The Native will post in English. Why does he do this? No one knows. But don’t worry; you can safely ignore him. If he said something interesting, somebody else in the thread will translate it, but nine times out of ten he doesn’t say anything interesting anyway.
The Poser will act like he’s an expert, offering his insightful analysis on everything from the gameplay to the team’s morale as a tournament unfolds. Unfortunately, most of what he says is completely wrong. The Poser is often someone very new to the game or the scene who wants to feel like they’re contributing, which is noble in a way. But there are very few people actually qualified to analyze pro eSports matches, and The Poser isn’t one of them. Feel free to ignore everything he says.
This guy isn’t watching eSports to cheer for anyone, he’s watching to cheer against one particular player or team. His greatest joy is watching them lose, and who the winners are is totally irrelevant. The Hater will sometimes disappear from a tournament’s comment threads as soon as the object of his hatred gets eliminated. But sometimes he’ll stick around to comment things like “Thank god [team] didn’t make it this far!” as future matches unfold.
The Rabid Fan
The Rabid Fan is the opposite of The Hater; he’s only here to support one particular team. He doesn’t care about the other teams from his country or the other good teams around the world, he just cares about his team. Don’t ignore his comments; The Rabid Fan is actually a good source of knowledge about his team because he’s read every player interview ever published a dozen times and he watches their VODs and streams religiously. But take everything he says with a grain of salt. The Rabid Fan sees his team through rose-colored glasses, and even when things are looking grim he’s expecting the best.
The Lover is a fan who follows one particular player and one player only. This person doesn’t care about teams at all; they’ll follow their player of choice to whatever team will have them, and show up to live matches with a sign that’s covered in hearts. There’s definitely sometimes some romantic (or bromantic) interest at the heart of The Lover’s fandom, but like The Rabid Fan, The Lover is a good source of information about his player of choice because The Lover is obsessive. You can often find The Lover spamming chat or comment threads with hearts, “cute” pictures of their favorite player, and messages about why their player is the best.
This guy has been around in the scene forever. He was probably in the game’s first round of closed beta testing, and he can recite team lineups from seasons ago, back when the players were all people you’d never heard of. This is basically who The Poser pretends to be. At first, telling them apart can be tricky, especially because The Veteran can be equally smug and obnoxious. The difference, however, is that at the end of the day, The Veteran is usually right.
The Reasonable Human
The Reasonable Human is actually the most common type of Asian eSports fan, but you won’t see too much of him because he doesn’t tend to comment. He does like some teams more than others, and he does know a bit about the game and the scene. But at the same time, he recognizes that he’s not an expert, and he rarely wants to wade into the nightmare of negativity that is an eSports comments section. When he does, he makes some logical, reasonable comment that will probably be drowned out by illogical yelling and drama.
OK, now it’s time for total honesty, guys: which one are you?