Diggity: IdrA is Great for the eSports Scene

Last week, I had the opportunity to chat with veteran eSports commentator Diggity about the state of eSports in North America. In this excerpt, Diggity explains why the controversial StarCraft 2 player IdrA is great for the eSports scene.

Do you feel IdrA’s bad boy persona and they way he’s polarized the audience contributes to the scene by bringing in more viewership and making the audience care more about a given matchup?

Definitely. I think IdrA is great for the scene. I also think he’s very intelligent and very aware of what he’s doing. Whether it’s a persona or not is up for debate, but he definitely increases his brand by doing what he’s doing, even though it’s considered to be bad-mannered. Many people hate him, and he’s a great player, so he’s a perfect villain to route against. He has a tight macro style that many people find enjoyable to watch. To a certain degree, if you play well, people will follow you.

One thing I should mention about his professionalism, though, is his tendency to drop from a game when he was in a position in which he should have won. For instance, he once threw a tiebreaker match because it was just for position and he didn’t take it seriously. Compare this to the Koreans, who played each tiebreaker match as though it was the championship.

As far as his practice regimen, IdrA is professional. As far as when he exits a game? Probably not. He can definitely work on sticking it out and fighting it all the way through to the end. But that probably has a lot to do with his practice regime — when he’s practicing, he’s on the ladder a lot, and he needs to exit games as quickly as possible, because he’s trying to get as many games as possible against as many top-level opponents as possible. He’s also fighting for his ladder position. It’s just the ladder mentality. The Koreans don’t need to prove anything by their ladder position — they’re already salaried — whereas if a guy like IdrA falls out of Grandmasters, the whole community would jump on him and that would affect his branding.

Stay tuned for our full interview with Diggity, which will be posted June 28.

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