Cyberpunk 2077 Lore – The Sports Of Cyberpunk!

What is going on Neon Nation and welcome back
to The Neon Arcade for some more Cyberpunk 2077 and Cyberpunk lore. Today we are diving into the Sports of Cyberpunk
2020, how drastically they’ve shifted since the 90s and the corporate interests and backing
behind the augmented future of sport. This is based off RTalsorian’s Cyberpunk
2020 Home of The Brave Sourcebook which 2077 is based on, so if you are interested in the
source material there will be a link in the description. Sports have changed somewhat since the 90s
where the professional sports industry was arguably the most powerful in the world. Generating over 100 billion per annum in media
revenues it’s safe to say that Sports teams and their players were involved in a very
lucrative industry. 20th century athletes drove themselves to
insane lengths, driven to the brink by peers, family and media in an effort to be good enough
to demand salaries and contracts that could add up to as much as 50 million dollars per
year. With perfection being the name of the game,
athletes were tortured psychologically, injected with primitive steroids and hormones to reach
their peaks. This left many athletes crippled, disillusioned
and psychotic post retirement. The overall system in the 90s was of disposability
and highly destructive to mainly the athletes, who were mere show pieces groomed for spectator
enjoyment. As the Collapse wreaked havoc upon the economic,
social and political structure of the United States, the change in taste in satiating entertainment
did as well. More violence naturally became an obsession
to match the turmoil and disillusionment of much of the American Population. By around 2002, the concept of augmented sports
was refined to its modern look. Many massive stadiums which held tens of thousands
of spectators, were left to rust, rot and crumble whilst others served as jails, or
command posts. These were the last remaining reminders of
the golden age of professional sports, which largely died in the 90s. The information age demanded a global and
brutal change in the ruleset for already established sports. The corporations begun to take over the sponsorship
of games, which first appeared in the only sport with true global appeal in Soccer. The Arasaka Sakuras, Militech Rangers and
the Orbital Air flyers began generating momentum with the public, and by 2006 the first augmented
players were added to their rosters. By 2008, so much of the game was cybernetic
that the ball had to be redesigned to handle 500 psi impacts. In 2012, the design was changed yet again
to a smaller design to withstand the pressure but also to allow for more finesse. In 2020 Football is regaining popularity,
after being the King of American sports pre-Collapse, mostly due to it being the most violent sanctioned
sport of 2020. The only rule here is heavy augmentation and
only full-conversion cyborgs and linear-frames are too far and not-sanctioned. Full-body plating is often adorned by spikes
and fatalities are a must to reach sky high ratings. Because there is so much cyberware used, they
are often on quick-change mounts to combat cyberpsychosis that would be present if it was perpetually
on. Whilst from the outside, the game of Football
looks like it would be a free for all bloodbath, it is naturally more of a game of finesse
and style. The field size is cut in half and makes avoidance
of collisions and tackles even harder to navigate for a player, but other elements of old school
football remain the same. Things like rushing, pashing, blocking, blitzing
are still integral in victory. The ball, although made of a ballistic nylon
to accommodate higher impacts, still looks more or less the same. Football is undoubtably the most violent sanctioned
sport, but overall pales in comparison to the unsanctioned gang and nomad sports of
2020. Gang warfare is so widespread that gangs have
come to the conclusion that with police and corporations watching their every move, settling
gang disputes can be more economical. Only the most heinous offenses should degenerate
groups into all out war, but for simple disagreements and misdoings gangs have created a number
of sports to replace what would be a bloodbath. Gangs sports are disorganized affairs and
tend to not have any sense of cohesive teams, or referees. If there do happen to be referees, they’re
usually armed with rifles and are only attending to dissuade a greater dispute. There are no time limits on games, and only
end when the other team of typically 4-5 players cannot continue. Multiple gangs or nomad families can compete,
and the objective is to temporarily incapacitate the team, so outright killing or maiming is
forbidden. The sports collectively played by these gangs
are colloquially known as “sticking” and comes from the similarity of each sports equipment
which all use different permutations of what is essentially a stick. There are so many different variants of the
stick, that the term “sticking” is just the easiest way to refer to all the different
versions. The gangs of Southern California usually resolve
disputes with a permutation known as “stickball” which is somewhat akin to hockey with three
forwards, two backs of defense and a goalie. The arena is typically in a warehouse, and
there are as many goals as there are teams, typically between two and four. The object of stickball is to score a goal
formed by a corner the depth of 3 meters. The stick itself is aa cross between a lacrosse
racquet and a cudgel, and to score a legitimate goal the ball must hit two of the three goal
triangles in a single ricochet. The main goal of the game is to obviously
score more goals, but also to put the other team out of commission using physicality. Players are heavily armored, and thus typically
they are only stunned for a second when it comes to body checks and in-game violence. Some vanilla golden age sports do exist such
as Golf, which is popular amongst the corporates and executives, as well as Baseball which
is still a primarily unaugmented sport. Combat handball is also extremely popular
amongst the corporate crowd and is another trial by fire styled activity that the corporates
flock to, to prove their worth. In 2020 athletes are massive investments for
the corporate interests who back them, especially pertaining to athletes in the realm of combat
and death sports. With players of augmented soccer and Football
demanding higher salaries in relation to risk, endorsements become integral into recouping
their cash. This makes a short career due to death less
of a liability to big business who get their athletes to peddle everything from shoes,
to shirts. With around 75% of augmented football athletes
not surviving a full five active seasons, big sums of money have to be made in a short
time frame for an initial investment to be worth it. Advances in medical technology have reduced
deaths per game of these augmented sports to an average of 2, although maiming still
exists which leads to a brutal recovery process. There are even rumors that many current athletes
are actually brain-dead, living on chipped routines that keep them moving and playing
under AI-control. Although combat sports are incredibly popular,
true death sports are mainly enjoyed in underground entertainment venues, out of the overseeing
eye of the public. The only thing close to a nationwide big-money
death sport are the North American finals of the World Kumite Tournament that passes
through every two years. Despite attempts to keep combat drugs and
cyberware to a minimum, killings in the ring happen often. Some areas of the world however, sponsor prison
inmate gladiator contests, full contact obstacle courses and other war games. These sports are illegal in America, but as
always the forces of supply and demand will dictate its prevalence over time.


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