New documentary takes you inside the burgeoning Esports world in Vancouver

Jul 8 2019, 6:16 am

Competing in Vancouver’s Esports scene is more than just fun and games, according to a new documentary being released next week.

Smash Forward: Growing The Vancouver Esports Scene is removing the veil to show you how the Esports scene is growing in the city, and will be showcasing the hard work, mental preparation and struggles that go into competing in the Pacific Northwest.

Director and Producer of Smash Forward Melissa Dex Guzman told Daily Hive Vancouver that she remembers the scene before the term ‘Esports’ was even coined, “Playdium was at Metrotown and it was still an institution kind of underground for quite a while, but a lot of these things start in people’s houses.”

Smash Forward/All images courtesy Moon Ghost Productions

Smash Forward/All images courtesy Moon Ghost Productions

Dex Guzman said the documentary takes you inside a pro-gamer’s house where competitors train all day.

“This is still the same scene that happened in the late 90’s, early 2000’s, but it’s just more prominent so, you know, like it’s kind have been adopted by the collegiate and university scene, you know we’ve got UBC Esports, SFU Esports and, you know, they’re kind’ve growing more of a hub for all of these smaller groups of people to just come together, show off their skills, and even network and make friends.”

Across the Lower Mainland, many tournaments take place in arenas located in Richmond and Vancouver.

“Esports can also encompass mobile gaming, it can encompass PC gaming, so in Smash Forward in particular it’s a lot of in-person events, so rather than kind’ve being in a land or like two separated teams of computers, they’re actually sitting side by side with each other which is really awesome because what it helps with for that it helps with good sportsmanship,” said Dex Guzman.

She said before players enter tournaments, a lot of them have their own rituals that can include just listening to music or taking a walk before they go in.

Smash Forward/All images courtesy Moon Ghost Productions

Dex Guzman said the great thing about gaming is that it’s open to everyone, “it’s more of a mental exercise because, you know, you’re computing these inputs and then you’re outputting them with your hands, the controllers, you know, I have even seen some disabled competitors in the States, you know, they’re not able to use their hands so sometimes they actually use their feet or their face, like it’s really interesting that you know it enables people to kind of enjoy this competitive gaming scene without having to necessarily need these very high physical requirements.”

One reason Dex Guzman said she wanted to create Smash Forward is to “to honour the grassroots, the hard work, the spirit of sportsmanship before it gets too big here because people are going to know about Esports very soon.”

Explaining the news about the Aquilini Investment Group purchasing a professional Esports team last September, “we’ve got the Vancouver Titans to represent Vancouver here and they even have our Canucks colours,” calling it the “NHL of Esports.”

Smash Forward/All images courtesy Moon Ghost Productions

Smash Forward/All images courtesy Moon Ghost Productions

Smash Forward/All images courtesy Moon Ghost Productions

“I think it’s also important to realize that this comes from these kids gaming with their families, it comes from gaming after school and hanging out, like that’s the spirit of connection,” Dex Guzman said, and that it’s “important to navigate where it all started.”

Smash Forward: Growing The Vancouver Esports Scene comes out Monday, July 15th, 2019 at noon on Story Hive’s YouTube channel and Telus Optik Video-On-Demand.