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 9:58 am

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

Steve Jobs*

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 9:55 am

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player


I created this account specifically to reply to this single article.
That aside, really Ben Golliver? Especially the two dissimilar comparisons made towards the end about Ryu/Oakely and Excite Bike/Gundy.
Getting your adrenaline pumping can come from any very exciting moment with lots of pressure. You obviously have no experience or even basic understanding of what esports is about. Should I begin comparing how exciting making a winning three pointer shot at the last second of the clock to a time a friend is beaten to the same shot on a basketball video game? Obviously no, as the first is more epic in nature. But beating the world's best players on a very competitive, and focused game like Starcraft is something extremely comparable to that last second shot. I think you focus too hard on the genre than the essence of what games are about.
'Instead, he's taking his talents to a galaxy far, far away.' again, really?
Good idea, mix up all different unrelated things such as Star Wars to paint the wrong image in the reader's mind. You've reached discussing Sci-fi. Now what about the GAME itself. To identify your bias, if you can't already read the following.

[Btw, not my beliefs. Just making a point, Basketball is actually my favorite sport]

John Smith, professional Starcraft player, decides to become pro Basketball player.

Instead of continuing Smith's career as a professional gamer, he has decided to toss his luck towards a galaxy far far away.
In this galaxy, the men sweat and rub up on eachother trying to throw their balls in to eachother's baskets for money and mutual entertainment.

herp derp durr

Yes, that's the sound of your jock alert being activated. It is a good thing Smith waited until Steve Jobbs retired to announce these plans. For everyone's sake.

The starcraft community has obviously been too soft, as basketball is a game that has no other underyling concepts besides what was previously stated. If running back and forth on a wooden court really gets your blood pumping as much as making hundreds of strategized actions and thoughts per minute, that's a horrible look. We don't want to live in a world where this can be true, do we?

I guarantee that no late 1990's Brood War player said that "That two pointer was pretty much the time that I came out victorious after losing all my bases against a three base Zerg with 5 drones left."


Obviously there is more to Basketball, as there is to Starcraft. As you did not write a bunch of plays out of a playbook, I will not write what makes Starcraft an interesting and unique esport. Do your research before you write a critical article and learn from this, good luck in your future writings.

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 9:54 am

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

Others have already pointed out your unecessary disrespect for esports, so no need to beat a dead horse.

Let me just add that as a fairly competitive athlete, including a good boxing career I never felt so nervous and phsically shaken as when I sat down for a tournament starcraft game. You have to prepare, play, and think so quickly and effectively that the stress is almost too much. In sports you tend to get more calm and focused the tenser the moment becomes, but in Starcraft I feel nervous and on edge until the very end, when I'm often ready to explode out of my seat. I can't quite explain why that is, but no one should critique Haywood because he's not your average meathead jock. 

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 9:53 am

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

Hayward said he was entering the Open Bracket of the IPL tournament.  This is pretty much the same idea as entering a World Series of Poker satellite tournament which gives the first place winner a chance to play in the main event.  He'll likely play in the open tournament, have a good time, and maybe if he's lucky he win a game or two while he's there.  But he's not becoming a full time professional player.

Surely you did your research on this and understand this is what he's doing, right?  Or do you also begrudge pro sports players who play in amatuer golf events in the off-season?

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 9:40 am

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

Way to offend a HUGE sect of sports viewers.  SC2 is a competitive E-sport.  It's very challenging and has a HUGE skill cap.  There are more people who could play professional basketball then professional SC2.  Most people just can't think that fast.  Good luck trying to deal with the 'new times'.  You sound like an old man fearing the change in the world.  E-sports are real.  E-sports are huge.  They are here, they are here to stay.  They are also very entertaining to watch.  Hope you come around.

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 9:35 am

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

How's it feel, bro? To have someone actually give a shit about what you wrote about in your Natty Light fueled haze last night? I looked at your other posts, it sounds like you're covering the real hard hitting, important news here. Kobe Brayant's twitter is offline? Check out this guys new back tatoo? Oh, nevermind, you're right. People need to know about that stuff. I mean, all of the three comments on that one post seem to confirm your side of the story.

I'm sitting here wondering what you thought was going to happen when you wrote this piece. Or did you not give it much thought life the rest of your life decisions? I mean that's why you're writing sports news on a blog instead of actual journalism, right? I'm guessing you expected the handful of dishelved older men that read your drivel to silently agree that nerds are gross and video games are for that kid with glasses you made fun of in high school. And then all four of you would have some sort of mental brofist of solidarity and complete your little circlejerk. How's that working out for you? Did they not have your back on this one? Where is YOUR fan base? I'd say your editor might have cared, but I'm guessing he's too busy for you, what with having to manage the actual journalists.

Starting to feel lonely, isn't it? Your guys never turned up. Meanwhile, the internet's here and Gordon Hayward didn't even have to bat an eyelash.

You know what's even fucking funnier about this? Is Gordon Hayward plays in the top .001% of basketball players. He's a contracted team member in the NBA being paid seven figures for his skills. Dude plays forward for the Utah Jazz. But he's actually terrible at Starcraft 2. I've seen him play. He's not good, and he's going to lose, badly. (and don't think for a minute we're not going to cheer for him anyways, because this is a goddamn community and we look out for our members). Yet for all the vaunted sports psychology, dexterity, precision, stamina, strategy, tactics, and practice that get thrown around during discussions on ESPN, this professional sports star doesn't what it takes to dominate this "freaking" video game. He's about average. God help us if you tried to play, you'd probably end up caught in the mouse cord, wondering why this isn't anything like Call of Duty, and why you're not winning like you did against your frat brothers in college.

This post is pathetic. We're done here. Go back to slamming those natty ice's and reassuring yourself that what you do is imporrant. Oh what's that? That's unfair? Those things don't apply to you? I'm stereotyping you? I'm making wild assumptions about you with little to no research but presenting them as expert opinion and/or fact to a sympathetic community? Yeah, doesn't feel very good now does it?

Now go tuck your pop collared polo back into your khakis. You look a goddamn mess.

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 9:31 am

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

I shouldn't expect an informed opinion from an old man sports writer.  You do know that the videogame industry brings in about $60 billion a year, right?  Crushing the movie industry and many others.  Did you look up ANY facts before posting this drivel?  I think you were a bit too eager to take anything as evidence that there's a problem with the NBA, even an uplifting story about a man having the athletic talent to compete in 2 professional sports.


"pro basketball player gets a rush from starcraft 2 = 100% fact that the NBA is too soft"


This doesnt follow.  You need to look into some introduction to logic and reasoning courses so you can spot your idiotic fallacies before you type them out for others to read.

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 8:51 am

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

Wow!  A sports writer who doesn't know a damn thing about competition!?  Time to hire new blood, CBSSports.  Hey, Ben, quit making CBS look stupid.  This is 2011(clearly you thought it was 1979).  Playing fighting games and competitive games takes more than being a linebacker.  Instead of just doing what you're told, you have to think.  Mind vs. Mind.  Watch your life go by as money pours into competitive gaming while older time-passers fizzle.
If you're going to write about sports, you may want to learn a little about competition and the world around you. I have never played a game of Starcraft in my life but the pro Basketball player, who is actually a competitor, enlightens you on competition and your first instinct is to denounce him? That makes you look like the kid in high school that is STILL trying too hard to become cool.
Big Props to Gordon.  He can formulate strategy as well as follow commands and play on a team.  You need to stfu, Ben.  Gordon is out of your league in the intelligence field.  No wonder you're slinging mud.  He exposes what a chump you are and down deep, he makes you feel inferior.
It doesn't matter if you want to live in THIS world.  Looking stupid while trying to politically motivate opinions with that type of phrasing isn't going to help you adapt to the real world as it exists, now.  Time to adapt, chump.

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 8:27 am

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

Reeeee-orrrrr. Reeeeee-orrrrrr. Yes, that's the sound of your nerd alert being activated.
Mr. Golliver,

Hell yes, we're nerds!

We built the iPhone. We built the cell tower. We're making green fuel technology for your car. We're maintaining the website you're writing on. (By the way, we built the Internet.) We sent a man to the Moon. We're going to send a woman to Mars.

We are the entrepreneurs. We are the technology geeks. We're scientists, doctors, engineerings, students, kids, spouses, moms, dads, and veterans. We're smart and funny, imaginative and insightful. We're international.

We can also detect bullshit a mile away.

Starcraft is a beautiful game, Ben. To be the best at Starcraft, it takes the training regime of an Olympic athelete, the mind of a chess grandmaster, and the sharp insight of a Will Hunting. It's a battle of wills, with players engaged in intense mental combat, with plays coming down to fractions of a second -- windows of milliseconds to make just the right key press or mouse click. There is drama, there is passion, there is excitement! It's no wonder the "nerd" community has gravitated around Starcraft.

You know, you should consider giving it a shot yourself. Ask a few random friends if they play Starcraft. You might be surprised what you'll find.

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 8:00 am

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

This is a complete piece of garbage piece.  Without even going into eSports at all.  Why is it that during a lockout you are looking to make fun of your players...  You are trying to cover a league that is disfunctional and has fans that have no passion or interest in the sport.  You have referee controversy that call in to question the very legitmacy of sport that you cover.

If you didn't forget Hayward was the 9th overall pick not some scrub.  If you look at other interviews he has done with the eSports community he stated that a few other players on the Jazz play video games and it sounded like Andrei Kirilenko plays them a lot.  If you had done any research you would also see that Gilbert Arenas has sponsored a Halo team at another eSports competition (Major League Gaming).

Your muscle head mentality to only consider that sports with contact (Basketball is borderline in this category) are actual sports is comical.

I recommend now that you go back to your NBA writer cave and search for,, and the many other websites that cover, sponsor, and organize eSports for the hundreds of thousands of fans that passionately follow Starcraft and other eSport competitions that you dismiss.  Maybe you will become educated and be able to write a piece about how this could help improve Gordon Haywards mental toughness or could teach the NBA about how to bring fans back to the sport.

**As a note this article will likely have 10x the traffic of your normal slop so feel lucky that the eSports community has touched your miniscule space on the internet. Next article you may want to embed a video or some other advanced technique.  Get with the times man.

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