Forums  /  Introductions  /  I want to grow speedrunning as an esport.
  RetroEsportsRetroEsports

I would like to grow speedrunning further as an esport. I am new to speedrunning, but I have worked with other competition formats. I am interested in jumping in and supporting however I can. I would like to do things like increase prize pools and help organize people who speedrun fir tournaments. I am in Albany, NY. I also am interested in working on documentation and learning the best practices.

I go way back with games. I witnessed the crash in the 1980s. I am approaching this professionally, as I seek what to do to have a lasting positive impact and I would like it to relate to what I do for a living.

 
  kmrdkmrd

Speedrunning isn't an esport
Trying for high scores isn't an esport
I feel like I see this thread every day.

KnightKnight and xDrHellxxDrHellx like this. 
  RetroEsportsRetroEsports

There is an interest in having competitive game playing becoming viable as actual competition. People see competition with speedrunning and think it may be viable. Other race events are sports. Other single players compete against an environment are sports. Speedrunning is seen as possibly fitting that and it us a reason why I am interested.

On that note, I have a loose definition as to what eSports is.

NSMB2ILsNSMB2ILs likes this. 
  kmrdkmrd

I mean you can call it what you want, but speedrunning itself is a hobby.

An esport revolves around a particular game, not a particular hobby. So yeah speedrun races of say, celeste i guess could be seen as an esport, but I think by definition there has to be actual player vs player game play, not player vs game.

But hey what do I know, push for that speedrunning esport, it might be as popular and as relevant as smash someday.

but i doubt it

 
  RetroEsportsRetroEsports

Things like pinball does not feature a single game, nor does golf feature a single course. There are a number of athlons that involve mixing a number of games together. Poker is also a family of games and not just one game. You have chessboxing which is a thing and is played competitively. Anything that can be done to see who is best can become a competition, like eating food is.

All races that do not have player interference are indirect also. This it what people are seeing in speedruns.

 
  TimmiluvsTimmiluvs

You’re looking at speedrunning in a vacuum as if it’s only about the competition. It’s not, there’s a heavy community aspect to it that involves a lot of people working together to cooperatively lower a game’s time. If you turn the hobby into an eSport - one that is only about competition - then you shatter the community aspect because you incentivize people to hide discoveries until they can fully profit from it.

This hobby is rooted in competition but it’s so much more than just that. That’s why it doesn’t make for good eSports - eSports are about teams going for a prize. There’s no prizes (usually) in speedrunning aside for whatever satisfaction you receive from a new PB.

BanterBanter, R3tr0_r00st3rR3tr0_r00st3r and 7 others like this. 
  RetroEsportsRetroEsports

Not all sports are about groups of players competing together. There are a number of sports and games, like motorsports, which has a single racer but a team supporting them.

A reason why I am interested in the competitive level, is I want to see how people can change games, and play different games at a top level or near the top. I am also interested in putting different games next to each other. It is also to identify what make top players tick or think differently so we can learn from it.

What I am doing would be in addition to what else is going on. This is about testing and improving human performance. That is what I am interested in and being able to generate sufficient income so players can commit to this space full time and see what is going on. There is also the area of indie developers and giving them a broader audience and being able to encourage them to design games particularly suited for speed running and competition even if it means less storytelling elements. This is my interest in this. It is also engaging audiences and increasing people who watch. It is growing things in new ways. It is also putting the old next to the new, so classics and modern are played together.

 
  TimmiluvsTimmiluvs

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Not all sports are about groups of players competing together. There are a number of sports and games, like motorsports, which has a single racer but a team supporting them.

This is irrelevant to the point I was making. Whether you look at individual runners or put a "team" behind them, you're incentivizing them to hide their findings until they can fully profit from it as evident by the fact that you clearly stated you want to find a way for runners to generate livable income off of this. That level of incentive will lead to people hoarding strats until they garner that full income.

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I am also interested in putting different games next to each other

This doesn't make sense and won't lead to any meaningful discoveries. Most games, even those in the same series, have fundamental differences that require a different set of skills to complete at top level. Even games that are made on the same engine like Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask have differences in tech that make the runs completely different (hovering and ISG are done differently in MM for example. They're the same concept, but the way in which you perform them is different).

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A reason why I am interested in the competitive level, is I want to see how people can change games, and play different games at a top level or near the top

If this is what you're interested in, then you should be avoiding the competitive grinding scene for the most part and engage more with the TASers and glitch hunters, not the runners. A lot of runners just grind the fastest route, that's what leads to better times. Granted, along the way they may find small optimizations that lead to better results, but most of the stuff that results in changes to the game/run is done completely outside of the "WR grind". The TASers or glitch hunters who experiment in weird ways are going to find game/run changing things much more effectively than someone just grinding a category.

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This is about testing and improving human performance

There's very little "human performance" in this hobby outside of managing nerves or building muscle memory. Watching a top runner or learning what makes them tick won't necessarily improve your performance in any way because people are ticked off by different things. The best runners of their games are the ones who have built up muscle memory to perform precise tricks, while also understanding any complexities within the game and it's route (this can, admittedly, be taught, but not by watching someone), and a key aspect of any good runner is just better management of nerves when you're on a good run. Neither of these can really be learned from someone else - another runner can't teach you muscle memory, you need to practice. Nor can they teach you to control your nerves, you need to learn what calms you down on your own. This isn't powerlifting where you can learn to lift more weight by watching the form of professionals.

Granted, some of what I've said here is my opinion on certain matters, but the main point of all of this is that I'm honestly not sure you understand this hobby at all. There are various communities within speedrunning that are trying to grow it and do more incentivized competitions, however they've done that with a much deeper understanding of the right way to do it (and they've also received flack for trying to make this hobby more eSports like).

KnightKnight, TenkaTenka and 3 others like this. 
  UniwersalUniwersal

This was a rather interesting thread to read.

 
  RetroEsportsRetroEsports

Related to what I wrote, I am interested in seeing how quickly people can adapt to new situations. In one sense, I am interested game changing as a competition. The partly comes out of what would be needed to have a competition for modern indie and classic style arcade games. That is my focus in this, the ability if players to switch between games and how different demands of games impact the ability to perform.

It relates to this quote... Jack if all trades, master of nine, but oft better than a master of one.

I would like to find out how true that is. It is more about finding glitches in people, rather than in games.

 
  ShikenNuggetsShikenNuggets

Do you... like... have an actual plan to do... whatever this is you're talking about? You've got a lot of goals here which sound great on paper and all (except that they fundamentally misunderstand speedrunning and don't seem to acknowledge what already exists in the space), but... yeah what's your plan here? You're talking a big game but I don't think you've really thought any of this through.

 
  RetroEsportsRetroEsports

The context I have thought through on things, and worked, is a separate area from what Speedrunning is currently, and its community. It is a case of developing eSports around games that are played single player and compete against others via best time or best score. It is an attempt to focus on tournaments, rather than world records. It is what would be needed to have arcade style games from the past function as eSports, rather than their current state. I am attempting to understand what is done in the Speedrun space to better understand how things worked in this space. What I have in mind may be one, or multiple off, from what is currently in the speedrun space. I see similar with Pinball, and have discussed with the IFPA and PAPA their take on video pinball. It is one off from what they do. They are next to it but distant. Their communities are not too fond of it, but they see value in it.

This is where I am coming from. I am interested in having fastest time to target states of games also be connected to best score in a certain time, and more. This is not what you are used to. I want to be able to work with this, as I also do game design, and have it connect but also experiment differently. I am up front with this, so I hope this is more clear. I am seeing the eSports space growing large, and I am looking to support. My interests aren't to be done by myself alone, but hoping I can connect with others on this.

I notice in some of the conversations, I am seeing a number of concerns, and realizing that the context I come from as an outsider, is that it isn't the same. My hope is things can develop without what I do undermining anything here, but also strengthen it.

 
  ShikenNuggetsShikenNuggets

Yeah I still have no idea what you're on about but good luck with all this.

MelonSliceMelonSlice likes this. 
  QuivicoQuivico

I mean, certain tournaments already exist for certain games, just check out the Global Speedrunning Association and their streams. Beyond that, I don't know what'd be different.

 
  NihilistComedyHourNihilistComedyHour

"The context I have thought through on things, and worked, is a separate area from what Speedrunning is currently, and its community. It is a case of developing eSports around games that are played single player and compete against others via best time or best score. It is an attempt to focus on tournaments, rather than world records."

Seems like what you would do is a.) pick a game b.) organize a tournament c.) put up a prize via using entry-fees (unlikely to succeed) or through advertising in order to attract participants d.) stream said event e.) profit.

 
  RetroEsportsRetroEsports

I will work on it. Speedrunning is just one thing I am looking at. I am also interested in planning a large-scale Esports and competitive games festival in the eastern part of NY State. I want to develop competitive game playing in this area, with Esports being one part of it.

 
  adravisadravis

I think speed run has everything what he need to be E-Sport.
Training is required, performance and skill is needed and the community his pretty big AND its fun to watch.

 
  RetroEsportsRetroEsports

I am in the process of getting a consulting company off the ground to deal with Esports. I want to focus on areas where people are competent at more than one game, and also games where people don't need to play online at the same time. I saw Speedrunning as a category that can be developed. Just like the way going for world records at high scores, which is the dominant form of challenges for retro videogames, it appears speedrunning is in a similar situation. As it mainly is now, neither one is in a place where too much is being done for Esports. I think that can change. What I would work on would be aside to the other communities, but I would welcome for people to jump over. I would like to see people be able to compete both for fastest time and high score, or a mix of both.

Too early to say on anything. More work needs to be done.