Hot Takes: Esports Edition

It’s april fool’s so nothing I say is going to be taken seriously so why not go over some thoughts I have about various Esports because it’s not like anyone cares especially today.

Cinderhulk Jarvan is actually like the stupidest build in the world. The entire point of picking Jarvan is using his strong early game ganks to create and subsequently snowball a lead into enough map control to capture Baron and push towards a victory. Nothing kills your effort to snowball a game like building 0 damage and trying to smack your wet noodle of a champion around. For the love of all that is good, play into Jarvan’s strengths and build Warrior.

I really liked the GOATS meta of competitive Overwatch. I know some people don’t like seeing the same 6 heroes over and over again, but GOATS required a lot of critical thinking from the people that played it in order to properly manage your ult economy and be aware of exactly what your opponents were capable of. It rewarded the smartest of players rather than those who were just skilled mechanically. As an added plus it curved the excessive use of Mercy in competitive and that’s just lovely.

Sidenote, Mercy’s resurrection mechanic is just bad competitive design. It allows teams to make enormous mistakes and have a hero come by and erase the fact that you screwed everything up. I think it’s not too bad now that it has such a long cooldown and Mercy ult doesn’t give another free rez but I’d still prefer it just gone from any competitive version of the game. Thematically it’s pretty dope though.

On the other hand I’m generally OK with resurrection mechanics in League of Legends, except Zilean. Zilean ult needs like twice the cooldown it has, at least from level 16 onwards.

Hungrybox might just be one of the greatest smash players to ever pick up a controller, but Puff is still the most horrendously boring to watch character in the game. I’d rather watch 100 wobbles than a single puff versus a campy fox match. I respect Hungrybox’s skill a lot, but good lord make it stop.

Fortnite could’ve been the biggest esport ever but Epic squandered it with game changes that knee-capped the competitive players in order to keep very casual players from feeling like they sucked too much.

This isn’t really that much of a hot take at this point, but league of legends champions hit their power spikes way way too early. I remember the good ole days where there were actual late game champions that didn’t become strong until they got 4 items or so and you needed to actually work with your team to enable them. Now everyone is crazy strong after 2 items and some champs just become useless later so no one even bothers to pick them. I get Riot’s desire to keep game times a little shorter, but this desire has made a lot of their champions useless and left to collect dust on a figurative shelf

A North American team will never win the League of Legends world championship. Ever. Also since I’m using Faker in the picture I should have a hot take about him. Faker is the weak link of the current SKT T1 line-up, and while part of that is due to how the team plays he’s still not doing his best and it’s showing.

Later!

Provo’s Most Eligible Ep. 3: Charmless and Inconsistent

Provo’s newest viral hit moves into it’s third episode and… it’s not good.

One rebranding later, and Utah valley’s most awkward show is ready to get back to business. On the surface this should have been the most exciting episode yet, one contestant abandoned the show without notice, the show’s first kiss, and even zombies! In reality though I think this is easily the worst episode yet released.

The huge charm of reality shows is the reality part. We all know that most of what’s on these shows aren’t real, but in the moment of it all, it feels real. Provo’s Most Eligible doesn’t feel real in any way, shape, or form. Every moment feels wholely manufactured, and a huge part of this is the way they’ve edited this episode. The initial group date initially tries to convince us that the contestants are legitimately scared of the antics of their zombie-themed escape room, it’s over the top but on its own it’s fine. It’s believable that some people could be easily startled, but when you show them freaking flossing in the very next shot it makes it impossible to suspend one’s disbelief. All I was able to focus on was how fake everything felt. Soap operas are more believable than this BS.

I get why the show is doing this though. People initially responded to all the cringy/relatable things contestants did and they focused on showing as much of that as possible. By focusing so much of their time trying to find all the cringy moments though we’ve been left with little to no time to actually connect with contestants or learn about them. Seriously every time I write about this show I have to go look up what these peoples names are. It’s embarassing to still have to do that after 3 episodes.

Combine this bad editing/direction ruining immersion with the horrifically blatant and shameless shilling for sponsors. Seriously, in the escape room date it begins with them walking in and then the camera pans up to show the name of the place and it holds that shot way too long. Then we actually get a speech from an employee of the escape room basically telling us why their escape room is so great. It’s just an ad, it had nothing to do with the show. This is repeated for the solo date when they go slack-lining and then out to dinner to Zaos Asian Cafe, all three of these activities have extended shots on signage or logos of the apparent sponsors. You want to know a better and more organic way to include a sponsor plug, have your host welcome the contestants to the place of business, have the contestants give meaningful reviews of their time there. I hope none of these people making the show are interested in marketing or advertising, because they suck at it.

The pinnacle of these terrible decisions by the creators has to be the fact that they had a contestant suddenly stop coming to the events and no joke there isn’t any closure on that. They have Colin talk about how disappointed and worried he is for 2 minutes and then they just never come back to it. Any reality show worth its salt would dump 15-20 minutes on that, it’s an inherently dramatic moment. Is she in danger? Does she hate Colin now? Was there a family emergency? Did one of the girls threaten her? What happened to Meghan?

We should have Colin talk about how concerned he is, then cut to a couple of contestants that want to throw shade at her, a couple more that are worried about her and at least one who is totally indifferent. From there actually make use of the host as he is constantly trying to get in contact with her, Colin placing a single phone call isn’t nearly enough. People need to investigate this and we as the audience need to see them investigate! SHOW DON’T TELL! After some investigation, they decide as a group to reluctantly continue, then after the closing credits, we cut back to Colin or Remington and they tell us what happened to Meghan after the fact.

For those unaware apparently she got engaged between episodes, which is like the most Provo thing ever, but the fact that I had to have a friend tell me that is beyond stupid. Shame on you show, I shouldn’t have to go do research just to find out why a girl just up and left your show.

Let’s actually talk about the episode and what happened though, I could ramble about the terrible production decisions forever, but people want hot takes about the contestants. After the “Definitely not a rose ceremony” that barely even made an effort to change anything (If I was Warner Bros I’d still copyright strike that ish) were left with Wholesome Kate, Old Maid McKenna, Kissless Elena, Diversity Hire Annalee, and Saliva-Swapping Annali. I’m pretty sure those names give a clear indication who I like and who I couldn’t care less about. If I had to guess I would say that Annali and McKenna are the two front-runners to win Colin’s heart. I’m still rooting for Kate though, even though she’s too kind-hearted for reality TV. Annalee reeks of “influencer” culture which part of me simply despises, and I’m still unconvinced that Elena isn’t entirely carried by her accent.

I’m being pretty mean right now, but hot takes are gonna get a little mean and the show gives me so little to actually like anymore I’m stuck just being a hater. What can you do? I committed myself to write about this show so I have to keep watching, but I acknowledge that I’m doing it pretty reluctantly now. I’ll do my best to keep an open mind and if the show gets its crap together I’ll get back on the hype train. Later

Hot Takes: 2019

I did this sometime last year and I want to try and make it a yearly effort to just throw a bunch of hot takes out there. I want to do this one because it’s fun. Two, because I often make myself out to be an authority on whatever I’m talking about (and sometimes that is the intent) but mostly I’m just speaking from my perspective and my opinion really isn’t any more valuable than anyone else and what better way to demonstrate that then to just throw a bunch of potentially bad opinions out there. Three, Hot takes often spark some sort of conversation and I thoroughly enjoy those types of conversations. So let’s get spicy!

Hot Take #1: The Greatest Showman still sucks. I’ll admit that I’ve come around on the music (mostly) but my goodness the rest of it is just so boring.

Hot Take #2: If you cook your steak well done or refuse to even try sushi because anything not thoroughly cooked is scary, you are a coward who doesn’t understand how to enjoy the food. I didn’t think this was that hot of a take but I’ve talked to more and more people in the past year who refuse to eat steak if it isn’t well done and I’m just saddened by that.

Hot Take #3: Being single is objectively worse than being in a relationship and single people constantly spread “fake news” about it being the other way around. I don’t blame you if do say that, I used to spread this erroneous narrative myself, but remember you’re lying to others, and to yourself when you speak these lies. Don’t give me this, “but my independance!” nonsense. Millions upon millions of people want their independence as well as a relationship, find another one of those people and start dating them. Maybe I’m biased on this one though…

Hot Take #4: In-N-Out and Little Ceaser’s are basically the same thing. Cheap food that’s good for its price point but entirely outclassed by anything even slightly more expensive. (I know I bash a lot on In-N-Out, but it’s way too funny to me how upset In-N-Out fanatics gets when you dare question its supremacy over the fast food game.)

Hot Take #5: Cable news in its entirety isn’t worth watching, at least in the US. This probably isn’t even that hot of a take, but all of the cable news networks are pretty much garbage. CNN and MSNBC dramatically overhype things, Fox basically just says nice things about Trump regardless of what he’s actually doing and… is there actually anyone else? At least anyone else that people actually watch? Don’t think so and frankly I don’t care.

Hot Take #6: Black Panther was the most over-rated movie of 2018. DISCLAIMER! I’m not trying to discredit Black Panther’s cultural significance, in fact, I think it’s fair to say it was the most significant movie of the year, but when you look at the nuts and bolts of it all, its a barely above average Marvel movie. Infinity War is a better movie, so is Thor: Ragnarok, Doctor Strange, Winter Soldier, Iron Man 1, Avengers 1, Civil War, and both Guardians of the Galaxy movies. That’s 9 of the 20 released so far. It’s smack dab in the middle. FIGHT ME.

Ok, that’s probably enough hot takes for now, and I have a feeling the Black Panther one is sure to get some people riled right up. Later!