Source Analysis Paper 1: The Growing Domain of E-­sports

The World of electronic sports, or more commonly referred to as e-sports has become more and more mainstream over the past decade with an almost exponential margin. As nerd culture is slowly being absorbed into mainstream culture (Superhero movies, anime, video-games, etc.) the majority of the components of this sub culture are growing. I tell you this to let you know why I am writing the paper, as a gamer, a game design major, and a self proclaimed nerd, I have watched this topic with a degree of interest.

One of the biggest arguments that you could say this paper is pushing is the potential and literal monetary gain from exports and its culture. Making references to the League and Dota 2 championship games, (using a picture from an e-sports arena) and stating the prize pools and how many people watched the events, they seem to be trying to convince the audience of the new “sports” success. Presenting it in a very seemingly factual way, the article tries to leave excessive opinion or color out of it, allowing the user to make their own deductions and connotations (even though they do lead you towards certain ones).

In terms of credibility, the source is pretty solid. For the most part the source seems accurate, making factual statements and even linking to other sites occasionally. He is not just glamor coating the article, as he talks about the previous attempts from ESPN at running an MLG top 5 segment, calling it “ahead of its time” do to the lack of success.

Authority is probably the most lacking of this articles qualifications, as this author is just a writer, and doesn't have any strong connections to e-sports or ESPN, besides perhaps other articles he has written. But it does seem that he writes quite a few video game culture related articles, so he appears well versed into the culture.

Overall, it seemed to have a very objective tone, establishing the successes of exports and showing the potential while still admitted it is a young market and is still growing. It’s overall coverage was very factual, seems to cover his bases financially. He talks about recent acquisitions to relate to current developments in the field, such as the acquisition of Twitch by Amazon for for one billion dollars.

As a writer on a mainstream website (Fortune, owned by Time) he seems to have enough “currency” to cash in this article, as it is an objective view in the development of a potential growth in mainstream society. Based on his other articles having pertinence to gaming culture, I would say he has enough general currency for gamers to at least here out his opinion, and respect it as long as his claims are credible. He seems to be one of the best people to publish an article like this, with one foot the in the gaming world and another in the pseudo professional world of online journalism, allowing a wide variety of people to potentially read his article.

In terms of rhetorical properties, he has no notable fallacies in his argument, and tends to stick to the logical appeals and ethical appeals. His logos seem to be the brunt of his argument as he opens with the first few lines with a prediction of growth, “the global audience of e-sports enthusiasts will grow from 89 million last year to 145 million in 2017.” He has numerous logos dotted throughout his paper such as “North America is one of the fastest growing regions in the world for e-sports with 14 million enthusiasts and another 18 million occasional viewers in

Besides potentially the image being a pathos attempt, as it could illicit an emotional reaction to the seeing that large of a crowd for something like e-sports. He could be trying to let the user have a personal reference to the success if they have been to an event with a similar crowd. In terms of Toulmin logic he essentially has three arguments about e-sports; E-sports awareness and popularity will grow significantly in the following decade, e-sports will continue to become a part of mainstream culture, and e-sports can in fact be extremely profitable, for companies and streaming mediums such as Twitch or ESPN. Using his reasoning of money, projections and referencing studies, he makes a decently compelling argument.

In conclusion, I believe this article’s purpose was to educate the reader about the growth of exports, literally and potential. Using extensive logos, having strong creditability and currency, and splashing in a little bit of pathos, the author has made a strong argument talking about the successes of e-sports. He presents a argument that he himself is also wondering about, and only time will tell just how much e-sports will actually grow.

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