Esports Apartheid
Mack Smith
24

Going into Dreamhack Leipzig, the two favourites were Violet and Hydra. Totally apartheid, that.

The New Zealand National Basketball League has a restriction that no team can have more than two “imported” players, to stop local talent being entirely pushed out of the league by American college players who didn’t make the NBA, and Australians flying across the Tasman for the off-season.

Isolationism in sports is nothing new, and not even anything unusual. America produces a massive over-supply of basketball players that can’t be picked up by the NBA, and foreign leagues have to find the right balance of bringing in talent to lift their scene, without removing all the opportunities for local players to compete at a higher level and the incentives for local fans to cheer on their hometown heroes.

Comparing this to apartheid is pretty rank.

On one side, you’re taking a bunch of SC2 enthusiasts trying to find the right balance between promoting Korean talent, and fostering the talent outside Korea, and saying they’re acting like one of the most infamous racist regimes of the late 20th century.

On the other, you’re taking people who were told by the white minority government where they could eat, where they could walk, where they could sit, because the colour of their skin branded them as lesser human beings, and saying their degradation is like a regional demarcation dispute in eSports.

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