Storylines and storytelling have the ability of creating extraordinary experiences, especially in entertainment. Knowing the context and the person behind the scenes can give more meaning to watching someone perform or win. The same thing applies to esports, and this is the line which has the potential of separating casual spectators from hardcore fans.
Inspiring this topic have been the recent interviews of Thomas ‘Pac’ Cole, a British Trackmania player for MnM Gaming, which were featured on gTV and Top Gear Gaming Show. These interviews give us a personal look at the former world champion, allowing us to get a glimpse of his competitive mindset and his history with gaming.
Why is this important? Because we get to learn Pac’s story, and these are the kind of stories that build fanbases and strengthen our community. Humanizing esports players helps the audience relate with their history and dedication, and inspires them to pursue the same path. It also adds to the experience of following his matches because we see the player in a new light.
If you have been spectating any Trackmania matches, it’s very likely that you’ve been rooting for your favourite streamer or content-creator. And the same principle applies: you’re supporting him because you know his story. However, the difference between watching Pac’s interviews and consuming twitch content produced by a pro player relies on the purpose behind the content. It might take a lot of time learning more about a player’s life during his streams, especially if he/she might not be that open to the idea of sharing too much of their personal space, compared to watching a 10-minute well produced video dedicated exclusively to telling a story. Even though streaming is a very accessible tool, which is also capable of humanizing pro players, this mustn’t be the sole fanbase creator in Trackmania.
There are many arguments as to why a Trackmania esports player shouldn’t have to produce content to become successful. A high level player should be focusing on training and playing competitions, ideally with as least distractions as possible, while the job of consolidating a fanbase should be the responsibility of the organizers or the organization that player’s representing. Not that considering streaming is a bad career choice, but it should come as a personal choice and not as a milestone to cross in order to become a professional.
My hope is that Pac’s recent interviews will inspire people in our community to think more about storytelling and building fanbases, as these are in my eyes two great tools that can take our esports scene to a higher level.
esac.gg (Electronic Sports Arena Challengers) is a competitive platform that is building a complete esports infrastructure for Trackmania. Our goal is to develop Trackmania’s open ecosystem, so that our engaged audience gets a level of quality above their expectations and our player-base a chance to prove themselves on a larger stage.
Copyright 2021 © All rights reserved.