Is DMG on life support?
Speculation is running wild. . .
When a professional player is suspended, moves to another team, or chooses to retire their lifestyle as a competitor – their contributions, namely one that has earned significant merit and praise is often acknowledged by all who supported them. Ever since fighting game genre has made its epic return, it's sparked a new era that ultimately has created a newfound appreciation with longtime veterans in the community, while most newcomers, whose origins, while quite unlike a familiar arcade setting for the old-school generation, proved that they too could become champions.
Sponsorships has now become an influential factor that drives many to compete, and with a few valid reasons. For starters: expenses. It can be financially taxing for an individual that has opted to have a lifestyle that is wholly supported (or perhaps even serves as supplemental) income for indulging a passion that in some instances, can lead to big dividends – that is of course, if you're affiliated with a corporation with big pockets. What many don't seem to realize is that there's more going on when it comes to having your gaming moniker associated with an intellectual property. Shirts and peripherals are perks to help drive the brand, and you represent a product that generally expects you'll properly represent what they're looking to establish: exposure. For the grassroots community, this is a territory that some have began to understand. They've embraced it to the point that they now recognize that what they say and do are always being observed. Judged. Envied.
Some players don't care about whether or not they'll get sponsored, perhaps due to what they think they know is involved or perceptions are based off hearsay – much like the question that has been looming over the past few weeks: the current state of Dominion Gaming Method, founded by Jose "Laughing Hyena" Rodriguez, due to recent "announcements" that triggered some confusion (and concern) about the organizations's future now that several additional players: Eric "Juicebox" Albino Abel, Ryan "Lionheart" McDaniel, and former DMG public relations liason, Jason "Jason24cf" Laboy, Kor, iPeru, and Online Tony have all left the group.
Is DMG in trouble?
Are new players being picked up in their place?
Their departure seems rather sudden, especially when the 2013 season hasn't even shifted into second gear. DMG ended 2012 with an official presence at Youmacon 2012 and VXG 2012, followed by numerous local, major and regional events hosted throughout the year nationwide featuring its respective players who all demonstrated solid performances in such games including Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition, Tekken Tag Tournament, Mortal Kombat, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom and Street Fighter X Tekken.
What factors could make them leave when the organization was clearly on the rise?
These details are still very unclear, although there is a Facebook account, known as FGCTroll that has been aimed specifically at Jose, suggesting there's more going on than people realize. Either that, or this is a case of a player being defamed and having a small minority of supporters in his corner.
We can only speculate exactly what the root causes are, but their alleged absence – and for the moment, all the FGC can go on is unsubstantiated rumors. There are still several other prominent East Coast-based leagues operating: Empire Arcadia (EMP), FightNation EX (FNEX), Delta Red Squad (DRS) and Always Godlike (AG). It would be unfortunate if DMG were to fold, and when or if the truth finally reveals itself – perhaps the facts will serve as a learning experience for all.
The community in my opinion has always worked best when it can recognize the need to address problems head on, rather than let them linger to the point situations are beyond repair. Life in the scene doesn't need to be fileld with drama, and it certainly isn't a good look for those looking in – investors, newcomers, the media. 2013 should be the year for change and evolution – hopefully with all the struggles our community has endured, we can collectively emerge so that we can look back on our era as something to cherish and be proud of.