As many have noted, the rapid growth of esports have been accompanied by a variety of "growing pains." Here are the most awkward of them.
10. HoN Player Intros
Believe it or not, there was a time when Heroes of Newerth was a legitimate rival to League of Legends... for all of three minutes in the late 2000s.
Still though, at least it gave us this amazingly poorly produced team intro segment set in a darkened middle school gymnasium
Keep an eye out for future Alliance support Simon "Handsken" Haag. If you have night vision goggles that is.
9. TL Player Intros G1 League
Intro videos have come a long way in esports, and nowhere is that more obvious than in this painful introduction for Team Liquid. Seriously, I don’t know if every shot is intentionally tilted or if they hired a high school class to film it.
At the very least, it features a young, deeply uncomfortable Sam "BuLba" Sosale.
8. Randy Anderson
Some of the best cringe moments come from when someone is trying just a little too hard to be funny. Take this 2015 ad for IGN Pro League featuring “Randy Anderson, the man with a Planderson.”
Between the annoying high-pitched voice and tired infomercial aesthetic, this is about as funny as your dad repeating the same knock-knock joke for the 500th time.
7. Fireside and Chill
Esports personalities, Hearthstone and blind dates, what could possibly go wrong? Quite a bit as it turned out.
Fireside and Chill was a dating show on Twitch where esports personalities ranging from journalist Travis Gafford to Alex “Xpecial” Chu attempted to charm their dates while playing Hearthstone. The key word there is “attempted.” Warning, if you’re anything like me, this one will hit way too close to home.
6. iBoy interview
As our weekly Fails series has shown time and time again, League of Legends players are not very good at giving interviews. However, Worlds 2017 might have given us the most awkward League player interview of all time as Sjokz attempted to converse with EDG’s Hu "iBoy" Xianzhao.
To start with, the young chinese player took hold of the microphone as though it were some sort of strange alien object. Though iBoy said the excitement of Worlds didn’t affect him, his darting eyes and long silences implied otherwise.
iBoy? More like “Oh boy…” Amirite?
5. I’m French
Cosplay contests are often awkward for a variety of reasons, however the one at Gamescom 2012 was particularly shudder-inducing thanks to a failure to ask the winner if they needed a translator before putting him on stage.
While his Renekton costume was flawless, his grasp of the English language was not, and the poor man was stuck on stage repeating, “I’m French” to the interviewer’s questions.
4. Team Liquid Champagne
Yun "TaeJa" Young Seo might have won the DreamHack Winter 2013 SC2 tournament, but we were all losers as we watched him and DH CEO Robert Ohlén struggling to open a giant champagne bottle for thirty seconds as Day9 narrated their increasingly desperate attempts before they gave up entirely.
However, the real cringe comes from the fact that this exact same thing happened to Taeja a year later at DreamHack Summer 2014. At least that time they got it open eventually.
As a matter of fact, failed champagne openings have plagued Team Liquid for years with the team’s TI7 winning-roster also struggling to open the corked bottles for an unreasonably long time.
3. Are you ready?
Team Immunity vs. Virtus.pro at Counterpit Season 2 might be one of the most infamous matches in CS history, not because of the match itself, but because of the event’s host, who will forever be known as the “CounterPit Hype Guy.”
Trust me, you aren’t ready for his bellowing delivery of, “Are you RRRRRRREADY?” nor the half-hearted smattering of applause that follows it.
2. Seagull handshake
Maybe it’s because of the toll of constant grinding on their hands or maybe just poor socialization in their youths, but for whatever the reason it’s impossible to deny that esports players seem to be really, really bad at shaking hands.
While there are literally dozens of examples, the most egregious has to be Overwatch player Brandon “Seagull” Larned’s last ditch attempt to salvage a failed handshake with Overwatch Open interviewer Malik Forté resulted in awkward flailing so bad, the clip made it onto The Tonight Show.
1. We Are Fnatic
“We are Fnatic” features the Swedish org’s champion CS:GO team doing their best impression of the Blue Man Group, staring enigmatically at the camera and pointing at each other’s jerseys as their highlights play on a projector behind them.
The team’s then coach Jonatan "Devilwalk" Lundberg is particularly into it, looking quite the dapper esports Mephistopheles as his raises his first every time one of his boys frags someone.
However, the weirdest part of this might be the fact that it’s impossible to be sure whether Fnatic’s players, with their cold Scandinavian eyes, are actually in on the joke, or someone actually thought this this whole schtick was bad ass.
Sasha Erfanian is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.