In October of last year, a Chance the Rapper-hosted episode of Saturday Night Live featured a sketch about esports (professional League of Legends specifically). The humor centered mostly on well-worn stereotypes about gamers.
Given that the audience of SNL is likely largely comprised of those who aren’t familiar with the world of esports, the fact that SNL thought esports was worth parodying was nonetheless a notable moment. Now, NPR sports writer Tom Goldman has brought the sketch back in a piece about the complications of bringing esports to a wider audience.
Goldman invokes the sketch while discussing the esports world with Chris Greeley, who works as the commissioner for LCS, the North American League of Legends league. For the record, Greely reports having enjoyed the sketch along with the rest of his family.
Greely points out that what rang true to him about the sketch was its portrayal of the esports world as oftentimes confusing, as well as its representation of the demographics into which the majority of esports players fall (“young, white, Asian, and male”).
Those demographics are not prescriptive, of course, and as the esports industry grows, it will likely become more diverse. Greely acknowledges this, arguing that the stereotypes used in the sketch were more accurate to the esports world five years ago than they are today.
The Chance the Rapper sketch may be months-old by now, but it remains to be a testament to the size and popularity of the esports industry.
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