Hayward in the Players’ Tribune:
This isn’t a fad. It’s the future.
Professional gamers themselves are developing a massive following. These guys train just as rigorously as any professional athlete to master their craft. And while they probably couldn’t be distinguished in a crowd of people, when they log in under their usernames — whether it be Doublelift, Faker or Snip3down (who actually grew up down the street from me; really good tennis player) — there are hundreds of thousands of people who want to watch them do their thing.
I’m not writing this to defend gaming. It doesn’t need defending. I just want non-gamers to recognize this incredible thing that’s happening right now. Video game culture has now gone mainstream — and we’re only scratching the surface. Because whether you acknowledge or not, you’re probably a gamer. Have you ever felt a certain rush when a perfect candy arrives and takes out multiple rows? You’re a gamer. Have you killed some time by flinging a bird into a rudimentary structure? Gamer. Have you moved even numbers around to make them add up to 2048? That’s gaming, bro.
I suggest you read the whole thing; it’s a fantastic peek into where gaming is right now and why it’s such a big thing. If you have ever wondered why I spend my weekends watching fighting game tournaments, or take time off around Evo weekend every year, this article will help you understand.