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 20, 2011
Posted on: September 20, 2011 8:30 am

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

You being quite narrow-minded and rather offensive in this article.

Since: Sep 14, 2011
Posted on: September 14, 2011 7:56 pm

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

This was such a narrow minded article.   Offensive.  Any competitive sport can fall victim to terrible writing like this.  Remember when soccer was treated like this in the US.  How about snowboarding, skateboarding, bmx etc.  Sorry to see CBS is behind the curve and missing out on the real story of how this is the next new mainstream competitive sport.

I would love to see a counterpoint article with real facts on the growth of eSports.

All I can say is wow.....what terrible writing to generalize like this.  Imagine what Gordan has already probubly gone thru making this decision and dealing with people like this writer.  All because he changed the compeditive sport he plays. 

Will anyone other than this writer at CBS own up and write an article based on fact and not try to slander Gordan.  Come on a leader here. 

Since: Sep 14, 2011
Posted on: September 14, 2011 4:17 pm

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

I see no reason that a video game can be as exciting as a physical one.

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 14, 2011 3:42 pm

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

Supporting eSports or your favorite Starcraft player is the same thing as supporting the NBA or your favorite NBA player. But I guess I do nothing for society because I enjoy watching Chess, Go, and Starcraft? I'm sorry. I'll watch a sport so that I'm helping society... wait, what? If you want to spend 10 hours a day playing basketball, playing Starcraft, painting, programming, etc, good for you. Most people don't really commit and dedicate time improving at something.

I guess people think spending it doing something they like (basketball etc) is more honorable in some way? Maybe it's just the money? No, Starcraft players don't make near what NBA players, but if you think they shouldn't (as far as skill, hard work, dedication) your ignorant. I don't care what your passion is, if you live your life to become the best something you can be, I commend you.

I love sports but one day I gave chess a good look (it's like hard or something?) and eventually competitive games, classical musicians, and poker. I was blown away by my ignorance. I can appreciate someone with an open mind, otherwise you come off as an ignorant jackass.

Pro gamers are a waste of life but NBA players are heroes. Really? Ask a lot of pro athletes and you'd be surprised, this isn't the first time there has been a crossover of the two communities. SOME PEOPLE LIKE TO DO REALLY HARD THINGS AT A REALLY HIGH LEVEL TO BECOME THE BEST THEY CAN BE AT IT, AND SOMETIMES IT'S NOT A SPORT, AHH!!!!! Oh no!!!!! I don't see what an athlete brings to the table that a pro gamer, musician, poker player doesn't, please explain it to me. By the way, eSports has donated a lot of money to charities and such, despite not getting a lot of money.

My dream is that people can have passions without prejudices.

Since: Sep 14, 2011
Posted on: September 14, 2011 9:11 am

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

You're pretty dense, Golliver, even for a journalist, and as a fellow Hopkins graduate, I'm fairly ashamed.

Most people love sports in some form, especially esport players. We all grew up with dreams of being professional athletes, because we all love spirited competition. As a sportswriter, I'm sure you did too. For whatever reason, when you realize you lack the talent or motivation to be a professional athlete, you find different outlets for your competitive spirit. For you, it's writing about sports you love. For esports players, it's games where they can be just as competitive, and their mind/reflexes are the only required tools, not great genetics.

And then, of course, there are those who are gifted enough to do both. Those people for whom the competitive spirit burns 24/7, so when they're not playing their sport of choice, they're playing games that give them the same satisfaction. Hayward is one of these. To fault him for it is ridiculous. He doesn't sacrifice preparation for his craft in order to play games. He's been playing them all his life, and I'd say taking a subpar team to a national championship would be considered rather successful.

I myself played 3 sports in high school, played Blue Jays baseball for our alma mater, and then a little minor league ball, before I came to the realization that I lacked the tools to get better and succeed at the highest level. I switched paths, and am now attending grad school for my JD MBA.

During this entire time, I never stopped playing video games. They are exactly as Hayward describes them: a highly competitive and highly fun use of time, and for those who put in the effort, even a career. For you to fault Gordon or other esport players for doing what they love and taking it seriously is not only misinformed, but depressing.

Professor McGarry would be disappointed.

Since: Sep 12, 2011
Posted on: September 12, 2011 7:29 pm

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

I like how a journalist is mocking a professional basketball player about playing a video game.

Who's really the nerd? Seriously? Back to your typewriter!

Since: Sep 11, 2011
Posted on: September 11, 2011 10:20 pm

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

You know who else loves video games? Tim Duncan. Let's be real, both Duncan and Hayward could kick your ass.

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 11, 2011 1:48 am

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

Dear Mr. Golliver,

Please write an article complaining about another NBA star who plays video games, but this time, find someone who likes to play Homeworld, so people will know that that game, the true greatest RTS, exists.  That way, Relic can actually take a much-deserved break from Warhammer and start making dreams happen again.

Wishing you had the slightest likelyhood of reading my post,


Since: Feb 13, 2010
Posted on: September 10, 2011 11:20 pm

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

HAHA!  Gaming is going to fix the economy and win the US international respect?  That's just too funny, I'll keep 'hating'.

Since: Feb 13, 2010
Posted on: September 10, 2011 11:20 pm

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

HAHA!  Gaming is going to fix the economy and win the US international respect?  That's just too funny, I'll keep 'hating'.

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