Tekken 7 Player Turns Down Tournament's T-Mobile Phone Prize, Because He Uses AT&T

Tekken 7 player Bronson Tran lived up to his nickname "the Mouth of NorCal" this past Wednesday night local time when he received and rejected the MVP prize at E3's Twitch Esports Arena invitational. Fans nominated the MVP via Twitter hashtag, and the winner was supposed to get a T-Mobile phone. Except, as Bronson explained while standing on T-Mobile's stage, he uses AT&T and he'd rather not switch his data plan. Instead, Bronson plans to give his prize to a randomly selected Twitter fan.

Bronson did not win the actual tournament, nor did he expect to win. In his player interview he joked about how T-Mobile should offer "participation trophies" for losers, as he expected to be one. Then, he ended up receiving the next best thing: The MVP award, which was more of a popularity contest. He kept the MVP trophy. The phone is still up for grabs.

For all four of T-Mobile's tournaments at E3 this week — Street Fighter 5 on Tuesday, Tekken 7 on Wednesday, then Injustice 2 and Overwatch on Thursday — viewers have been encouraged to vote for an "MVP" on Twitter. Each MVP has gotten the same prize, but Bronson is the only player who turned down the offer. The decision to turn down the phone plays into Bronson's well-established persona as a sarcastic trash-talking jokester, but it also plays into the hesitation many fighting game players feel about the idea of "selling out". Bronson can afford to reject the phone, because — as he joked during the event — he has a day job, unlike some of the other "pro" fighting game players participating in the invitational.

Other Esports Arena MVP winners were into free phone perk, perhaps because they couldn't all afford to reject it. Last night, Christian "Forever King" Quiles won the MVP award in the Injustice 2 invitational, but unlike Bronson, he planned to actually use the spoils of his win. Earlier in the day, he told his fans to tweet on his behalf, explaining, "Everyone please vote for me, my phone sucks and I would love for Tmobile to hook me up with a new one!" After he won, he tweeted, "this award really made my night. Plus I badly needed a new phone lmao."


    I've never liked how professional athletes - traditionally physical athletes but now more recently cyber-athletes are kind of forced to plug their sponsors and advertise their products. I mean yeah I understand why they are asked to - the sponsors aren't a charity and they expect to see a return on their sponsorship investment by being able to sell more products.

    I actually firmly stand by the belief though if I was in such a situation, and I didn't agree with the product, I'd refuse to plug it. Let's say I was a cricketer and I was selected for the Australian cricket team while they were being sponsored by vodafone. No way in hell I'd appear in an ad plugging vodafail. If that meant I was dropped from the team then so be it, that's how strongly I would feel about it.

    So, good on this guy for sticking to his ideals.

      It's one thing for someone to spruik for a sponsor who is paying them directly: it's another to do the same for a company paying someone else.

      I'm of two minds about this particular case though: on the one hand it is rude to publicly reject a prize like this, and on the other it is kind of weird to give out a prize that will presumably require the winner to pay the company a monthly fee at some point in the future.

      If you want to understand the sort of selling out that has you in a Vodaphone ad, think about how long the average professional athlete's career is. You sell the KFC while you can and you hope to make enough of a nest egg to either retire or take some of the pressure off while you're trying to make a huge career change five to ten years later. If you don't you're stuffed.

      He wouldn't make any money off the advertisement T-Mobile were paying for, but when you live off endorsements it's very inappropriate to sink someone else's deal. It's also just a bad idea to take a pot shot at an event sponsor when you rely on sponsored events the way he does.

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