So as a preface, I’ve seen a few posts go up on screddit and teamliquid concerning how plebeians act around and treat glorious e-sports celebrities, especially at events such as MLG/IPL. I’ve also personally dealt with a ton of fans via e-mail, Skype, stream chat and in person. I haven’t seen many high-profile people address an issue like this, so I thought I’d give my thoughts on the whole topic.
There are three basic arenas where a person can (attempt to) communicate with a high profile person. There’s face-to-face, such as at live events or designated “meet-and-greets”, there are public forums online, such as screddit and teamliquid, and there are private lines of communication, such as e-mail and Skype. I’ll cover these three forms of contact and go over some dos and don’ts of each.
One of the largest draws of attending live events is that you can actually meet a player you really like in person. It’s a chance for you to see him or her perform in person and to actually talk with them and have them sign something for you or pose for a picture.
DO approach a personality and ask him if he can sign something at an appropriate time. I’ve only really met a couple high profile people that try to avoid fans. For the most part, I think most people don’t mind (or even enjoy) signing things for fans.
DON’T try to get an autograph from someone who looks like they are in a hurry, or just lost an important match. A lot of times pros have to move between places very quickly, whether a match is starting soon or they need to meet with someone. Nothing is more difficult than having people (almost literally) run you down or try to catch up to you to get something signed when you’re in a hurry or have some place to be. It makes the fan feel hurt because his idol turns him down for an autograph and it makes the high profile person feel shitty because he knows he’s disappointing a fan. Also, most pro gamers are very upset when they lose matches. Generally they don’t want to deal with anyone, so being approached by a group of people asking for autographs right after losing a match can be upsetting.
DO ask for pictures. Most celebs don’t mind taking pictures with fans. It’s perfectly fine to ask for one after getting something signed. Most people expect and don’t mind it.
DON’T ask for embarrassing actions (kissing/hugging) or poses. Although some people might not mind, this might make others extremely uncomfortable. Even if they agree to it, you run the risk of them avoiding others in the future because they don’t want to risk running into people who request things that they’re not comfortable with.
DO offer gifts of pictures, artwork and other trinkets. Most players don’t mind receiving things like these, but don’t be hurt if he doesn’t hang it up on his wall and treasure it forever. There’s a chance that he’s gotten a decent number of items in the past, but I’m sure he appreciates them none the less.
DON’T offer consumables to people. As much as it may be delicious and as nice and innocent as you may be, it’s just too dangerous to accept something from a stranger for consumption. It’s impossible to know who’s trust-worthy and who could have more malicious intentions in mind. The same thing goes for asking someone to go out for a drink or something after the event. Again, as much as they’d love to, it’s impossible to know who to trust.
DO watch and cheer for progamers that you support and adore!
DON’T boo others just because they beat your idol. And don’t make stupid comments while you’re watching people play, especially after losses.
There’s not really too much to write here. People can post on public forums while being shielded by anonymity, so asking people to be polite in their actions seems like a waste of time. Everything that I could write here basically boils down to common sense. Don’t act like a flaming asshole anytime you see someone famous posting on a forum, otherwise it encourages people to never post on said forums. There’s a reason why most people stay away from places like TL or SCReddit and it’s because dealing with mobs of people acting like assholes is very hard for most people.
There’s a golden rule that applies to most of life, but it’s especially 100% true in this situation. Whenever it comes to dealing with a high profile person, ask yourself this simple question – “If a large number of his fans did what I’m about to do, how would he react?” If you’re ever in doubt and you refer to that question, it will keep you clear 99.99% of the time, I think. I can speak with a lot of knowledge on this subject because I receive a large number of e-mails from fans and I make it a point to respond to every e-mail I get. That being said…
REQUESTING INTERVIEWS: If you’re going to e-mail someone requesting an interview, whether it’s for your budding website, a school project, or some local news paper. you should probably be prepared to offer them some form of compensation for it. This sounds kind of like a dick thing to ask for, but you have to consider that these people are receiving several interview requests per month, and to take the time out of your day to do them means you should be getting paid for it, otherwise it’s simply charity work. The only exception to this is if you feel like you can offer enough exposure for them to justify the time it takes to do the interview. ie: if someone wants to interview me for a school project, I’m probably going to want some kind of compensation for it. If CNN wants to interview me for an article, I’d gladly jump to do it for free. A good rule of thumb for compensation is ½ the price of whatever that person charges for an hour lesson.
TECH SUPPORT: No. It’s amazing how many e-mails I get from people asking how to set-up xsplit or fix an audio cables problem. As much as I love helping people, if you can find the answer on Google or some other forum it’s probably not a good idea to e-mail someone asking for the answer to your question.
“LET’S CHAT”: As flattering as it is to have random people e-mail you or add you on Skype requesting to just talk sometime, it’s impossible to fulfill all of these requests. If you’re adding someone and your message is something along the lines of “hey, u seem really cool and im pretty cool we shuld chat or hang out sometime lol thx”, you should probably think twice before clicking that “add contact” button.
ASKING FOR GAME ADVICE: If you want lessons, buy lessons. Don’t ask pro players for game advice via e-mail because the answers are often complicated and take a lot of time to fully explain. So you end up with two things, either 1) getting a half-assed answer, or 2) receiving no response at all. Don’t send off e-mails to Ret or Sheth saying “what do u do in zvp when the p puts early pressure on u?” If you really want lessons, buy them! Otherwise, there are tons of forums and other people you could consult for the answers to your questions.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I’ll try to edit my above post to answer them. Otherwise, glhf at your events and happy obsing!