Sunday eSports: A life unfulfiled – IdrA’s retirement, and where to go from here

Gred IdrA Fields

By on May 26, 2013 at 2:53 pm

The writing was always on the wall: the minute you start abusing your own fans, whatever respect, whatever favours you had courted up to that point, begins to disappear very quickly.

That was the situation Greg “IdrA” Fields found himself in recently after describing fans on the TeamLiquid forums as “a bunch of *****”, and that he was “paid” to treat fans as such. Before the sun had set, Evil Geniuses booted the American Zerg, an iconic player on their roster for the last three years, out the door.

EG CEO Alex Garfield put it very simply. “There’s a very big difference between a player being disrespectful to an opponent in a ladder match, and a player being disrespectful to the entire community of people who, via their own enthusiasm and passion for the entertainment product he creates, actually make his profession possible,” Garfield posted on TeamLiquid.

Even in his Brood War days, Fields was a moody, disconsolate character

But Fields’ termination was merely the final act for a long-running series of mental complications, which ranged from videos of Fields abusing opponents to him throwing away games unnecessarily. EG even hired a sports psychologist to address the issues, although Fields revealed he only met with the therapist once, she didn’t really have any interest in eSports and that no progress was made.

Fields was a troubled individual. Even in his Brood War days, he was a moody, disconsolate character, traits that were highlighted even more after his switch to StarCraft 2. He didn’t like the game as much as its predecessor, and didn’t respect it nor the people who played.

EG, the behemoth that it is, could not help their once-bright star through the issues. Perhaps what Fields needed was an actual psychologist, one better trained to help him with his anger. Instead of focusing on the performance, maybe the money was better spent treating what troubled Fields as a human.

But I digress. Discussing the mental anguish and the many trials and tribulations of one of the StarCraft community’s most popular, and polarising, characters is not the point of this week’s column

What I find more interesting is where Fields goes from here. He’s already announced his intention to take a backseat from competitive gaming, although he’s continued to stream in the interim. His severance from EG will certainly help: the pro-gaming team have generously decided to pay his rent for an entire year.

I still remember cheering on EG’s Canadian Counter-Strike team almost a decade ago. The film that covered some of that team’s journey was called About Average, an apt description for the team’s international standing. And yet EG is now wealthy enough to be able to afford an extravagance others could only dream of. How times have changed.

Fields reportedly turned down a scholarship in theoretical physics when he moved to South Korea to join the eSTRO pro-gaming team. That career path is undoubtedly gone now, although several years of study may alter the equation somewhat.

It’s a problem faced by pro-gamers all over the world. Dreams of playing in The International, the League of Legends Championship Series, the Global StarCraft 2 League and more prestigious, global tournaments entrance gamers from a very young age.

Despite the guffaws from some, it is legitimately possible to earn a living from pro-gaming. The bigger problem is that there’s no support network for former players, and the drop off from a lucrative contract with a major team to the dole queue is difficult.

What do you do when gaming has been the sole focus of your life? The skills aren’t translatable in a way that opens doors; sure, there are plenty of lessons to be learned about dealing with pressure, decision-making, working in a team environment, coping with difficult situations and so on. But they don’t equate to a degree, a diploma, or something that can sit proudly on a resume.

The mental stresses faced by Fields are not insignificant, and they should be discussed at length to help others face their own demons. But they pale in comparison to the abyss that gamers years from now will be diving head-first into.

Header image courtesy MLG.

17 comments (Leave your own)

At least, imo, he makes a good caster, so if he turns his attention to that and can get a regular gig with one of the bigger tournaments around, he could do well under that.

 

Probably a good thing someone like him isn’t in eSports, the bloke comes of as an arrogant little dick.

 

This just in: many elite level gamers are douchebags. That’s what happens when someone dominates a lot of other people in a “sport” that doesnt a whole lot of face to face, probably pretty easy to build up an ego problem if you never have to run the risk of being punched in the face.

 

nekosan:
This just in: many elite level gamers are douchebags. That’s what happens when someone dominates a lot of other people in a “sport” that doesnt a whole lot of face to face, probably pretty easy to build up an ego problem if you never have to run the risk of being punched in the face.

*eyeroll*

Yes because fear of being punched is the only reason not to be a dick.

On topic Esports without Idra seems wrong, I mean he was the king of Starcraft 2 rage, an average player really but a master of excuses when it came to losing

 

nekosan,

Even people who perceive themselves as elite are arrogant.

Back when every man, woman and child was playing WoW, most of the top guilds on any given server were fully of extremely arrogant people who would often waste 20-30 hours a week on a game they took far too seriously. At least idra was paid for it.

Anyway, I’m sick of the seriousness behind gaming these days, which is why Wildstar, Remember Me, and Star Citizen look like they might offer me a more relaxing experience.

 

Yeah I agree Idra could go into casting. I would watch him do that.

 

In Idra’s defence he may have heaped BM on his opponents, but he always played SC very clean, he never seemed to cheese or abuse obnoxious timings attempting to get build order wins.

In that regard he was probably the most respectful player in esports, he fought honestly and with all his cards on the table. The fact that no one else played it like that was probably his downfall, I imagine part of him felt let down by his opponents.more than anything.

I feel like sc1 favoured multiple army groups attacking over a wide front, sc2 acoss all races seemed to favour single army balls hitting at very specific times, coupled with harrassers. Idra was always about the multitasking, and SC2 didn’t suit his play very much.

Not excusing rudeness, but I get his anger at cheap play, particularly from protoss opponents (I main toss),

 

ploxum:
In Idra’s defence he may have heaped BM on his opponents, but he always played SC very clean, he never seemed to cheese or abuse obnoxious timings attempting to get build order wins.

In that regard he was probably the most respectful player in esports, he fought honestly and with all his cards on the table. The fact that no one else played it like that was probably his downfall, I imagine part of him felt let down by his opponents.more than anything.

I feel like sc1 favoured multiple army groups attacking over a wide front, sc2 acoss all races seemed to favour single army balls hitting at very specific times, coupled with harrassers. Idra was always about the multitasking, and SC2 didn’t suit his play very much.

Not excusing rudeness, but I get his anger at cheap play, particularly from protoss opponents (I main toss),

I would agree his actual in game tactics have been very sportsman like when I’ve watched him play. Never really payed attention because he’d rage at someone the next minute. :) Thanks for pointing it out.

 

I’m not clear on how this after-sport abandonment is any different to any other sport. doesnt the same thing happen to 95% of people from any professional sport? It’s not like they all get hired as reporters/casters

 

Who? Never heard of him.

Didn’t know autistic was a profession.

 

jme,

Yeh, for most of us it seems to be merely a hobby ;0

PS Consider gaming from an external perspective, the most weird and obsessive seeming would be those doing the most limited and repetitive activities. Lookin’ at you FPSers, point aiming reticle at person, left click, point aiming reticle at person, left click…

 

lol Ploxum, I wish there was all there was to it, actually I wouldn’t. It would then be extremely boring. If it weren’t for the timing and movement and strategy at the same time (admittedly not that many FPS players use these skills) then I wouldn’t even bother playing them.

As for IdrA he’ll get over it ;)

 

ploxum:
jme,

Yeh, for most of us it seems to be merely a hobby ;0

PS Consider gaming from an external perspective, the most weird and obsessive seeming would be those doing the most limited and repetitive activities. Lookin’ at you FPSers, point aiming reticle at person, left click, point aiming reticle at person, left click…

get up. kick ball. sit down. wait. get up. kick ball. sit down.

get ball. throw ball. get ball. throw ball.

you try explaining a game like dota to someone who doesn’t know anything about it, compared to soccer and you’ll start to see the complexity difference. I struggle explaining dota2 to friends without taking ages.

 

C’mon guys, I was making a facetious jibe about Jme’s ‘professional gamer = autistic’ generalisation, the point was all gaming can be interpreted like that. I play more fps than any other genre, put way more hours in Unreal titles than SC if you must know.

@Oblivion I hope he comes back and does it more for kicks than cash.

 

I’m judging by the what I see of the individual’s mannerisms in the videos. Not really generalising to all pro-gamers.

 

Idra had a huge impact on the starcraft 2 community, regardless of whether u hate him or not.

 

spooler: *eyeroll*

Yes because fear of being punched is the only reason not to be a dick.

On topic Esports without Idra seems wrong, I mean he was the king of Starcraft 2 rage, an average player really but a master of excuses when it came to losing

Any publicity’s good publicity.

Watching the same SC2 games over and over again is boring (does anyone still watch them 3 years down the line? HotS is out but I know all of my friends have stopped viewing but I have no idea what the general pattern is). However, if Idra’s there for some rage then I can always get interested (especially when he quits just after his opponent kills his own CC).

 
Leave a comment

You can use the following bbCode
[i], [b], [img], [quote], [url href="http://www.google.com/"]Google[/url]

Leave a Reply

PC Gaming Calendar 2014

Follow Games.on.net

YouTube

Steam Group

Upcoming Games

Community Soapbox

Recent Features
Civilization: Beyond Earth

Hands on with Civilization: Beyond Earth – dark, grim and surprisingly atmospheric

Or: "How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Siege Worms"

World of Warcraft

Warlords of Draenor beta key giveaway: 125 keys for you to claim

Do you have what it takes to enter? (Yes. Yes you do.)

Wasteland 2

Wasteland 2 made me fall in love with turn-based RPGs

This Kickstarter-powered old-school RPG delivers in unexpected ways.

Streaming Radio
Radio Streams are restricted to iiNet group customers.

GreenManGaming MREC

Facebook Like Box