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 7:55 am

we also flip tables professionally.

┻━┻ ︵ ¯\(ツ)/¯ ︵ ┻━┻

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 7:50 am


tl;dr version: herp derp.  

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 7:41 am

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

Good thing we have Ben Golliver to tell us how tough the NBA should be.

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 7:33 am

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

¯\_(ツ)_/¯? Someone is a bit of a Slayers_Dragon fan. lol

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 6:50 am

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

This is the most ignorant pice of text I have read in a long time..

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 6:25 am

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

Funny story: Progaming takes as much concentration and work ethic as any physical sport. Probably do some research into the subject matter before writing up an 'expert' opinion on it.

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 6:10 am

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

Who are you Ben Golliver? Some lousy writer that spits out words faster than he can think? You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about, so ...why dont you do the best thing and shut up?
Please , resign from this job obviously you're not made for, go raise some cattles instead. 

Go home, dont write. You don't know how to write, maybe you'll have better luck with cattles. Yes, this is free advice. 

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 5:59 am

Obviously uninformed

To me, this article seemed like something a high school bully would say to the kid he's bullying. The only things it accomplished were insulting Gordon Hayward for his interest in competitive gaming and riling up the StarCraft community. If those were your goals, I'm sorely disappointed. You should at least have the decency to put a little bit of effort into finding out the basics of the game you're trashing, but apparently that's too much work for you.

StarCraft is so much more than a "freaking science fiction video game." It's a battle of dexterity, decision-making, and strategy. It's a puzzle to be solved. It's a test of mental endurance, emotional endurance, and commitment. Being good at this game takes just as much time and effort (possibly even more) as it does for basketball, baseball, and football. The time is just spent honing a different skill set. Had you done even the slightest bit of research, you'd have known this.

Interestingly enough, every derogatory comment you made here about eSports can easily be turned around and said about physical sports. All of them were uninformed and unnecessary.

For the record, I only signed up on this website to express my disspointment with this article. The sheer number of comments on this article (~95 at this time) compared to the rest of your articles (one had 27, the rest had 0-3) should be a good indicator of how uninformed you are about the realm of eSports.  If you do a little bit of research, you'll find out that StarCraft and eSports are growing explosively, with each new Major League Gaming (MLG) tournament gaining record-setting viewership numbers.

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 5:29 am

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

I was debating on giving you the comment traffic your obviously out for. Since this article is still up after 9 pages of negative feedback I might as well add mine.

First of all, what this professional player decides to do with his own time during a lockout shouldn't be looked down upon. If he decides to look elsewhere for a challenge who should stop him? So he wants to try his hand at professional Starcraft II. I dare you to try it. You'll find that some of these player can process, react, and strategize at about 300 APM (Actions per minute). I've played Basketball, Football, Wrestled, Weightlifted, and Track & Field. I know the physical rigors of sports. You better check your statistics on how many "true" athletes also play videogames. I can also say that winning big matches, gives you the same adrenaline rush as playing in homecoming, or going to states for weightlifting and having a whole school behind you. I played Destiny, a player who MAKES a handsome amount of money streaming (playing on the internet) for his fans to watch. I nearly beat him got a wave of adrenaline and choked. I haven't had that since I played "traditional" sports.

Second, I don't know how you got this by your editor. This is close minded, ignorant, and under researched. You obviously didn't look at the popularity of this community before you decided to attack it. The last competition we had there were approximately 100,000 viewers. I'd say that's a big community. Those are only the people who were watching. I think there were a good 10,000 that showed up as well. That doesn't even count the 3,000,000 people who play.

Last, professional gaming is growing very fast. I'd do a little more looking into if I were you. Look up EGHuk, EGIdra, oGsMC. All three of those players I guarantee make more than you do. MC alone has made over 100,000. Just this year. Korean players get woman, money, and social status in their country.

I don't play professionally, but I play for VP gamers. We don't have sponsors, we don't make money, but if you want to go off statistics I'm in the 10,000 people that play Starcraft II out of 3,000,000. I'm pretty good. If I had the chance to play professionally like this player I would. I think what he is doing is awesome. Don't let this writer discourage you. I'll be looking for you in the amateur brackets in the IPL :)

Sir your the kind of guy that picked on kids in high school because they were different I'm guessing. You were the jock and they were nerd so you could get away with it. It's 2011 now bud. Nerds are beginning to out number you so you should probably stop starting shit with us if you want to keep this job you have.

I don't care for cbs sports either way, but I had to make an account just to express my anger over this. I know that I won't read another article from this writer unless its an apology.

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 5:28 am

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

Gordon Hayward enjoys video games. He wants to try playing it semi-professionally while the NBA is on lockout. You mock him for this and call him a nerd and a softy for comparing the rigors of an NBA game to the stress of winning at video game.

Hey, so not everyone can be Karl Malone spending his downtime hunting deer with a shotgun. So sorry if it's not masculine or virile enough for you. Some guys just like the comfort, casualness and camaraderie of playing video games with friends. Not only are you stereotyping Hayward and video game nerds; you're also painting an unflattering picture of NBA players as jocks who wouldn't dare get caught playing a game because it makes them look silly, soft and childish. Good job.

You, sir, know neither the pressure of hitting a game-winning shot with everything on the line as Gordon has when he almost made a half-court shot to beat Duke in the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP game. Nor do you know the pressure of a mouseclick in a microsecond-- literally-- deciding whether you win a $50,000 check and the respect and adulation of gaming peers or lose a game in front of a crowd of up to 20,000 spectators.

If Gordon, a player intimately familiar with the former and attempting, humbly and without the patronizing entitlement of most professional athletes, to try the former, tells me that the two are similar in many ways, I will choose to believe him over you, who know nothing about either.

You simply took a shot at an NBA player playing video games because it was easy and seemed like it would make a good sound-byte. What you have done is insult not just an NBA player, the idea of what an NBA player is or should be (in your myopic view), but a culture and community that is virally devouted to its game and gamers.  

So, please--sit back on your front porch, in your delapidated rocking chair, and lament the nadir of Western Civilization while no one listens or cares.

A loyal NBA and SC2 fan.  

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