With the increasing presence of PAX panels simulcast on Twitch, uStream and a host of other live streaming options, the intimacy of panels focusing only on the audience in the room is becoming relatively rare at the shows. With that said, there’s something both ironic and fascinating in 3 of the bigger eSports commentators from Live on Three choosing PAX East 2014 for a panel with frank talk about their triumphs, frustrations and hopes for the future of eSports.
Lasting twice the scheduled length (and still entertaining a lively crowd until the end), the panel formally focused on the last 5 years of competitive gaming but quickly grew beyond that. The panelists quickly spawned off on disparate conversational threads on topics ranging from the persistence of the small but passionate community for Quake 3, the lost art of 1 on 1 deathmatch showdowns for a competitive event and the merits (or lack thereof) in MOBA games. Provided by and for ardent fans of competitive electronic entertainment, it was the rare trip through nostalgia that also kept it relevant for the future of eSports.
In the spirit of the talk and respecting the hint from Marcus “DJ Wheat” Graham that the lack of play-by-play recap allowed a greater freedom for the panel, I’ll simply leave readers with a nudge to seek out less advertised or formally produced panels: you never know when an intimate and ephemeral PAX moment can be made.