Competitive Gaming Is Now A Sport, So Here Comes It’s First Big Collusion Scandal!

Competitive gaming is now considered a sport by the U.S. government, which is cool! Suddenly I’m good at a sport! Well, sort of. Sitting on the couch playing RPGs alone counts, right?

Unfortunately, it seems as though the competitive gaming scene may not be quite ready for the “legitimate sport” spotlight, as the fighting game community has been beset by accusations of collusion and pot-splitting

Recently controversy was sparked during the Marvel vs. Capcom 3 finals at something called the Video X Games. One of the finalists, a guy going by ChrisG, did the unthinkable — he strayed from his standard line-up of fighters, instead picking a quirky line-up, including “bad” characters like Phoenix Wright and Frank West. Okay, nothing necessarily wrong with that! But then ChrisG’s opponent also cast aside his usual fighters, picking a trio of similarly disliked/underused characters.

This caused a lot of people in pro-fighting game circles to get VERY ANGRY.

MadCatz, who sponsors a lot of these fighting tournaments, has denounced both players, and called the finals a joke. Capcom has also taken them to task. Fighting-game websites Shoryuken and EventHubs have said they’ll boycott any future tournaments that don’t lay down very specific anti-collusion rules. Oh, and ChrisG has been banned from a number of future tournaments.

I know what a lot of you are probably thinking — what’s the big deal? Isn’t experimenting with different characters and, you know, having fun, kind of the point of games like Marvel vs. Capcom 3? Isn’t picking a similarly wacky line-up when your opponent chooses characters he typically doesn’t use actually good sportsmanship? Well, unfortunately, this latest incident is only the tip of the iceberg. Players colluding to not try particularly hard in finals so they can split the pot afterward is apparently pretty rampant in the world of fighting game tournaments. Which maybe wouldn’t be so bad if everyone was still just playing for fun with a couple hundred dollars on the line, but competitive gaming is now a sport with five-figure pots on the line, so that s–t doesn’t fly any more.

Man, this is all getting too serious for me. I’ll be on the couch playing Earthbound if anybody needs me.

Oh, by the way, here’s the shamefully terrible match (which still looks pretty competitive to me), which set off this whole scandal…

via Kotaku