eSports / psglgd
Why Exactly Did "Young Boys" Fans Protest Esports?
Last Sunday's match between BSC Young Boys and FC Basel, which ended with a glorious 7-1 victory for the Bernese hosts, confused a number of people and media from the esports world. Reason: the home crowd's performance with banners like "Scheiss Esports" (literally Esports are shit from German) and a big "Pause" button. At around 15 minutes into the game, the ultras started throwing tennis balls and PlayStation joypads onto the pitch, which made the referee pause the game until the public calmed down. Of course, this wasn't any laudable behavior from the Ostkurve Bern fans (literally The East Stand). The action did hurt the club's image and the club could face severe fines, but let's look at the other side of the matter. Unlike many have said and written, the ultras did have a reason to protest and didn't just throw the expensive joypads because they could afford them or disliked esports in general. If you take into account other banners held by the crowd on the other side of the stadium by the Basel fans, you will get another clue and understand that the action was coordinated by the fans of both sides. Licensing? There’s the rub! According to a few rumors, in 2019 the Swiss Football Association may oblige every Swiss Super League club to license and maintain its own FIFA gaming team, attached to each club. The ultimate purpose of this move, as it is thought, would be to organize and hold an own regular FIFA gaming league under the aegis of the Swiss Football Association and target an audience that's enthusiastic about esports. After the match, however, the BSC Young Boys board released a public message criticizing the ultras' destructive behavior, but claiming that the management has "an open ear" to listen to the fans' concerns and explaining its stance about esports. Here is how the message looked on the BSC Young Boys official Twitter account, with the esports-related part highlighted by me: Rough translation of the highlighted part: "With regards to esports, the YB club management maintains an observant and cautious stand. We have registered that this field opens up new markets. At the same time, we unconditionally stand on a position that football is and will remain the cornerstone of our activity. As far as we are informed, the [Swiss] League has no intention to make esports licensing a requirement." That means that the club management denies its investment into esports in the near future and promises to listen to the club supporters when it comes to such initiatives. Prior to that, one of the BSC Young Boys fan clubs released a statement where the fans expressed their opinion that esports lack "important values", such as "reliability, punctuality and above all friendship" (which I believe is a very questionable statement). These days football clubs tend to increase their investment into esports, with the most prominent examples probably being such teams as PSG.LGD under the aegis of Paris Saint-Germain F.C. in Dota 2 (second place at The International 2018) and FC Schalke 04 Esports in League of Legends, which recently took the second spot in EU Regional Finals 2018. As for the Swiss football teams, in May 2017 FC Basel signed a top-flight FIFA player Luca ‘LUBO’ Boller, who was later joined Florian ‘CodyDerFinisher’ Müller and Tim ‘The StrxngeR’ Katnawatos in August 2017. Do you have a favorite football team? If yes, would you like it to enter esports? Leave your opinion in the comments below!
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