Thursday, February 20, 2014

Rhetorical Analysis

In the world of video games, there are people playing the game and there quite frequently people watching them play. This used to be just taking turns playing a single player game, but as of recently games such as League of Legends have developed such a large audience , that the best of the best end up playing in front of hundreds of thousands of players each week.

League of Legends has become so popular RIOT is funding a professional league known as the League Championship Series (LCS) similar to Major league Baseball where professional players compete head to head each week in the regular season and then move on to playoffs for the championships.
The LCS is considered by many the future of Esports, or videogames played competitively,  as it provides a stable amount of content to be watched by fans as well as putting the competing players on a payroll so they can fully commit to competing each week.

Like the Major leagues, there are also minor leagues where teams breed talent for the major leagues. Coke Zero has very recently created their minor league equivalent known right now as the Coke Challenger series where teams compete to be promoted into the next season of the LCS.

What It's All About:
Harry Wigget, the old manager for Team Fnatic, recently wrote an article about the Coke Challenger Series and its importance to the amateur scene of League of Legends. The article, found here makes a solid effort at using rhetorical appeals, but is very lackluster when it comes to the visuals.

Regarding The Text:

When it comes to the text of the article, Wigget begins with a good amount of pathos to get the reader to feel compassion for those involved in Esports and try to empathize how difficult it can be when he writes, "pro players were either an LCS player, or were sitting at home and watching what they nearly had, the dream" (1). The way Wigget words the sentence at the end makes the reader feel a connection to those players because everybody has dreams and many people can relate to being close to something, but not being able to get it. I believe that this is very effective because the method used is from a very niche community that can be understood by just about everybody. On the contrary, with the idea that this is posted to a website dedicated to esports as well as being linked in the league of legends forum, just about everybody reading the article knows about League Of Legends so I don't believe it was necessary but it worked well regardless. 

Wigget's approach to gain credibility from his readers seems almost nonexistent. According to Gamepedia, Wigget was a part of Fnatic before League of Legends started and Fnatic were the Season 1 World Champs and his team also won both the spring and summer split of the LCS on top of getting all the way to the semifinals in the Season 3 world championships (1). All of this information could be used to influence the reader and Wigget could very easily give himself more than enough credibility to have his ideas be taken seriously. Wigget, though, decided against including any of this information as he probably didn't find it relative to his topic, but I believe adding any of the information would inherently strengthen his appeal to credibility because people respect success and Wigget has more than enough.

Wigget's use of logic in the article is very impressive. Wigget briefly talks about the history of the game and then takes an objective viewpoint on the amateur scene when he writes about the small weekly tournaments in season 1 and 2, how they went away in season 3, and why they could and should come back in season 4. (1). He is writing this article to get people to support the amateur scene and is using the past to show the community that what he is suggesting has seen success in the past and could very likely see success in the future too.

Figure 1 of the article is one of the Wigget watching over players with the caption, "Harry in action watching over his developing talent"(1). I feel like this image was not placed in order to get an emotional response from the reader but to instead, separate the intro from the body of text and make it more appealing to readers knowing there will be visuals alongside the text. This picture does help establish the credibility of the author, considering the picture is of himself working with the professional gaming team Fnatic, it visually shows the reader that the author is actually involved with Esports.

Figure 1. First picture of the article

Figure 2 is one of the season 3 world championship, hosted at the Staples Center with the caption
"Where every LOL player wants to compete - the LCS World Finals "(1). If you consider the caption of this picture as part of the visual, then it slightly diminishes the credibility of the author because calling it the LCS world Finals is inaccurate. The Koreans play in a league called the OGN while the Chinese play in a league known as the LPL; to call it the LCS world finals is technically incorrect but doesn't really affect how the reader interprets the image.

What is important in this image though, is the feeling you get when looking at it; when I first saw it, I thought to myself wow, this is how far League of Legends has come. The picture does a good job to show the scale of how big Esports can become. It also makes sense because Wigget is talking about tournaments and how the amateur scene can grow immediately before the picture. Therefore, it is a good idea to include a picture of the biggest event League of Legends has ever had.

Figure 2. The second picture used in the article

The third and final picture of the article is the one seen here with the caption, "Roald Van Buren and FACEIT supporting the LOL amateur scene" (1). This picture with its caption feels awkward to me. The picture is of a man smiling with success and the caption describes it as him helping the amateur scene. The picture makes sense as to why it was added considering Wigget talked at length about how FACEIT is also helping to develop the amateur scene, but the picture is only of a man and could have been more related to esports than it is now.
Figure 3. The third and final picture of the article

How do the two work together?
The pictures and the text have a very odd relationship in this article. The main focus of the article is definitely the text. I think that the article gained very little by inserting the pictures in with the article. Yes, it is nice to look at pictures while reading articles on websites, but the figure 1 and 3 seem like Wigget just threw them into the middle of the text in order to break up the ideas. If the visuals were not in the article at all, I believe the message would be just as strong albeit a little harder to read all the way through.

Overall, I think Harry Wigget did a good job at using rhetoric to convey his message about the amateur scene of League of Legends. He employs pathos very early as well as logos but does skip on trying to establish credibility. The synergy between the visuals and the text was weak and could be related better, but overall the pictures are more or less just eye candy to look at while reading the article. 

Works Cited
Gamepedia. Fnatic. Curse, Inc. 13 Feb. 2014. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.
H√ľnitzsch Dominik. Happy Birthday hxd. Fnatic. 5 Feb. 2012. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.
Wigget, Harry. Coke Zero League- a Saving Grace for Amateur Players. EsportsHeaven. 7 Feb.                 2014. Web. 16 Feb. 2014.

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