It's cool to see an article like this in something that gets such a large distribution. ESPN have really invested in the esports area with Street Fighter V and other huge esports games. I remember when I visited the USA recently, sitting in a bar in Keystone Colorado, and being blown away that Street Fighter V EVO championships were being live broadcast across the country and on a TV in front of me. Pinball being a part of that will be massive for the sport.
As for the pinball stance photos - yeah I can't help but feel they look a little goofy too. I've always thought that about pinball stances though because it's just a funny stance to begin with - let alone trying to capture it in a way that means something.
I've been doing some player profile things for my site and trying to capture the stance, focus and general 'feeling' of a player behind the machine. Here's one of the grabs and I think my photographer has done a great job in trying to capture the emotion (or lack thereof) behind it. You can check out others on my site here (we've done 3 so far): http://gamethesystem.co/people/