In the seventh episode of my 'Grilled' in-depth interview series James "2GD" Harding talks esports past, present and future. From his youth as a villain in the UK Quake 3 scene to his final period upsetting better players in Quake 4, before being forced to retire due to RSI, 2GD takes us through the keys to his career as a Quake pro. There is a lot of discussion about the progression of esports to different types of games and the problems posed by the loss of older games. 2GD is a veteran of the scene and gives many lengthy answers as he expounds upon certain themes and articulates his theories for the way the esports world is.
[Note: This interview was conducted in March]
Time line of topics discussed:
00:22 2GD's history as a young villain in the UK Quake 3 scene
03:24 The impact of differing internet connections on the UK Q3 scene
05:40 2GD's entry into Q3 TDM through Clan Arena
08:25 Will TDM ever be a viable esports mode again?
11:06 Can a Quake style game ever get back into tournaments like IEM?
16:15 Games that were #1 falling off, community theories
19:48 Quake's potential as an esports game purely due to spectator appeal
22:52 Quake duelling never getting the same kind of opportunity in terms of a full tour/circuit as modern games
24:38 The end period of 2GD's Q4 career when he was doing well but had to retire due to RSI
30:19 The mystery of Ztrider
34:43 The counter-intuitive approach of practicing against lesser opponents, as used by fatal1ty and toxjq
37:51 2GD's response to the conspiracy theory of toxjq being convinced to throw the first series vs. fatal1ty in the WSVG final
42:39 The problem of newer games being watered down
47:02 2GD's motivations for leaving ESL-TV
49:52 Hard games where one player can dominate consistently vs. casual games where results are more variable.
57:49 The importance of the historical aspect of esports games which were around for a decade
1:02:16 Fans wanting to see new champions crowned vs. the best player deserving to dominate
1:06:26 Too many tournaments in SC2 so casual fans have a difficult time gauging which tournaments are the most important/prestigious. The lack of "Majors".
1:10:58 Tournaments all wanting their winner to be called "The world champion".
1:13:18 Commentators overhyping players
1:19:45 The team of esports players 2GD would put up vs. aliens: -The most physically talented player -The most mentally talented player -The most clutch player -The most likely to cause an upset