Blog Entry

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

Posted on: September 7, 2011 7:01 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2011 7:18 pm
Posted by Ben Gollivergordon-hayward-dork

Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward isn't playing professional basketball overseas during the lockout. Instead, he's taking his talents to a galaxy far, far away. reports that Hayward will be playing video games professionally.
The 21-year-old Utah Jazz player has joined a professional video game league with IGN Entertainment. Hayward will compete with other eSports video athletes in a StarCraft II competition from Oct. 6-9 at Caesars Atlantic City in the IGN Pro League. Hayward is excited to be among 256 players shooting for a share of a $100,000 prize pool in IPL 3: Origins.

"I've been playing video games for as long as I can remember," Hayward said in a news release. "I'm a competitive guy, and I love the competitive nature of video games.

"Pro-gamers are really sports stars themselves," he added. "The mental strategy that goes into planning your next move and what your opponent is going to do are skills you need to be successful playing basketball — and playing StarCraft II. If you want to be good, you have to put a lot of time and effort into it, just like with other sports. I've got the best of both worlds."
Reeeee-orrrrr. Reeeeee-orrrrrr. Yes, that's the sound of your nerd alert being activated. It is a good thing Hayward waited until after Jerry Sloan retired to announce these plans. For everyone's sake.

But, wait, there's more. Hayward was asked in a promotional video interview to compare the stress of playing professional video games to the stress of the NBA. His response.
"I think you've got to look at the circumstances of each. If you're winning a Starcraft game for the championship at IPL for the six-figure pool prize, that's probably pretty stressful ... At the same time, if you're going to shoot a three-pointer to win the game with someone guarding you, that's pretty tough too. I'd say they are both tough in their own right."
The video and others can be viewed on Kristen Sharbaugh's account.

Well, not to go all Charles Barkley on you, but we have officially reached the point where we know for a 100 percent fact that the NBA is too soft. When a 21-year-old, 207 pound forward doesn't immediately recoil in horror when asked to compare the stress and rigors of the NBA to a freaking science fiction video game we know that the NBA game has been cleaned up too much.  If a Zerg attack really gets his blood pumping as much as a game-winning shot, that's a terrible look. We don't want to live in a world where this can be true, do we?

I guarantee that no NBA player in the 1990s ever said, "That karate chop from Ryu was pretty much the same as the haymaker Charles Oakley hit me with last night." Or, "Oh man, jumping off that hill in Excite Bike was so exhilarating it reminded me of the time Jeff Van Gundy prevented further chaos by clinging to Alonzo Mourning's leg." Never happened.

Hopefully Hayward's interview gets entered into evidence in the ongoing collective bargaining agreement negotiations so we can turn back the clock and undo this embarrasing chapter in the history of the league.
Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 2:19 pm
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Since: Mar 7, 2009
Posted on: September 8, 2011 2:12 pm

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

charles barkley is way smarter than you, ben, your a dumb ass.

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 2:07 pm
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Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 2:06 pm

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

Apparently the author of this article hasn't heard of the recent rise of eSports. Just to let him, and any others like him know, eSports have been HUGE in Korea for over 10 years now, and with the recent release of Starcraft II has seen a massive upshot of popularity around the globe. There are hundreds of major tournaments per year boasting prize pools as large as $1,000,000 to the winning team. (DotA 2 tournament at Gamescon if you don't believe me). 

The majority of eSports require lightning fast actions, split-second decision making, and incredible teamwork. Starcraft 2 players in particular (since that is what I follow the most), practice 40+ hours per week easily and play THOUSANDS of practice games in order to improve their mechanics and strategies. Sean Plott (aka Day[9]) a popular Starcraft 2 commentator has this to say: "Starcraft requires the dexterity of a pianist, the mind of a chess grandmaster, and the discipline of an Olympic trainee." 

Take a minute and do me a favor. Rid yourself of the mental image of a player sitting at a computer desk and listen only to how I described eSports in the paragraph above. Given all that has been said you'll see too that it's deserving to be called a "real sport" even by writers at CBS Sports.

eSports is very quickly growing into a future televised sport that you'll be covering on this website one day I'm sure. The attitude expressed in this article is exactly the kind of thing keeping eSports from hitting the mainstream, but just like every other major innovation derived from technology, pretty soon people will give it a chance instead of writing it off as "a nerd thing". That's when you, Mr. Golliver, will be eating your words.

Since: Dec 4, 2006
Posted on: September 8, 2011 2:03 pm

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

And the SC2 fans come out in the masses as they should. This article that was meant to show wit tore the skin off a journalist who is a complete moron. Competitve gaming is on the rise and will only get bigger by generations to come, why would you make fun of that??? I bet a third of professional sports players play some sort of video game competitively, I used to play Halo with Gilbert Arenas. What he's doing is great, building a bridge between two different people groups, and you want to make fun of that, classless.

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 2:02 pm

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

I train muay thai and jiu jitsu and I also play Starcraft. I've played basketball and it is absolutely nothing compared to either of those sports. It Seems like you are just trying to get attention because you write like a fifteen year old kid. If you'd like, we could set up a boxing match and see how badly you can get your ass kicked by a "nerd" since clearly you're not only way cooler than nerds, you are also way tougher. 

Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: September 8, 2011 1:59 pm

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

Reeeee-orrrrr. Reeeeee-orrrrrr. Yes, that's the sound of your nerd alert being activated. 
Seriously?  You sound like the stereotypical high school meathead jock, not an actual journalist.  Grow up.

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 1:57 pm

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

Dear Mr Ben Golliver,
I created an account on CBS just to tell you now that your writing is extremely ignorant.

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 1:50 pm

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

You sir have a closed frame of thought.

Stereotyping / prejudice only happens with those who need mental heuristics.
In other words, for people who are of lackluster intelligence.

I don't play basketball but I respect it.
You don't see any of us ripping on basketball now do you?

Ignorance is your biggest downfall.
You probably think that gaming is still for people who are basement dwellers and lazy.
The fact of the matter is that e-sports has grown to be an industry LARGER than the film industry.
It also attracts the hardest age group to please.
18 to 35 year olds.
There are hundreds of thousands of dollars won by teams and players every month.

By the way, if you didn't know
Street Fighter is also a competitive e-sport
So is that game that got parents pissed off; Mortal Kombat.

People get excited for concerts, for receiving a paycheck, or even to meet an old friend.
People get excited at watching basketball, baseball, football [both types]; so why not Starcraft or Street Fighter?

You are the type of person that does little in ways of contributing to a society that tolerates outgroups; disgusting.

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 1:40 pm

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

Mr Ben Golliver,

You have succeeded tonight in turning my mood from a relaxed enjoyable one to an annoyed and irriitated one. I think this should be the goal of all writers... provoke the readers' emotions. It's just that they should strive for the opposite effect of the one you achieved tonight. 

I wish you many an irritated and annoyed evening.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or