Professional Gaming: Dream Come True or Your Worst Nightmare?

It’s rumoured that four out of five MOBA players dream about getting into the professional league. However, before you invest a big chunk of your life into ratings and tournaments, take your time to consider possible risks and pitfalls you will encounter on your path. The following are the three main problems that plague today’s eSports arena.

Pressure and Haters

No matter what you are doing, there will always be people who know how to do it better. Not only that, they will give you advice despite not being able to play out of the local bar tournament, and that advice will be in a harsh manner. Many gamers have troubles communicating their thoughts without aggression. Luckily, Valve has decided to address the issue and add “behavior points” you can give to a particularly well-behaved person to promote them (or, on the contrary, punish a rude player).

As for the pressure, it’s hard not to be nervous when ten millions of people, if not more, a re glued to their screens and TV-sets watching you play. This can be kind of unnerving, not to mention internal team conflicts, haters comments and prize pool of roughly $25 million.

Health Issues

After everyone had enough of joking around gamers having problems with their butts for sitting long hours, people finally have recognized eSports health issues for what they are – health issues, and not some kind of antic. As you have probably guessed, the main problems encountered by eSports professionals are the following:

• Eyesight problems
• Wrist issues (typically in the form of the infamous Carpal Tunnel Syndrome)
• Back issues, such as scoliosis

Except for the wrist problems, the other issues are pretty common in our society and associated with sedentary lifestyle and staring into various kinds of screens all day, all night. To tell the truth, issues with hand nerves are becoming rampant among regular users, but the severity is not even close to that experienced by pro eSports players for obvious reasons.

Lee “Flash” Young Ho is giving a “what have you done to me” look.

gamer picture lee young

Failures and Misunderstanding

It seems to be all glitter and gold when you look how the Major or the International competitors hug and celebrate after seizing the first place, met by a thunder-like applaud and a shower of praising comments. However, it’s not that good when you finish in the second place, or fifth, or 20th, or you don’t get to participate in the Major at all. The path to worldwide recognition is long in any sphere, and it requires mature behavior and strong skills of dealing with failure which, let’s be honest, many gamers lack. I believe that what makes you get to the pro scene is not only your gaming skill but your ability to play in a team. You can be a prodigy of CS: GO, but you will go nowhere near a Major unless four other people in your team collaborate.

What Qualities or Assets Do You Need to Have?

If you have gotten through the list with a shrug and even stronger determination to become a pro player, congratulations, you are truly ready to do so because you are more or less ready to experience the pitfalls of the industry. Now, what should you do to make your dream come true? Here are my suggestions for making your way to the pro league.

1) Time
2) Personality
3) Location
4) Talent
5) Luck

Let’s have a quick look at each of these elements. As you have probably guessed, you will have to spend all your time practising to earn your ticket to the professional computer gaming world. And before you say that you are already doing this, let me warn you that you see only one part of the reality. First of all, you’ll have to play A LOT more. Secondly, you will likely thwart your biorhythms, which is kind of bad if you are still in school or college.

As for the personality, you need to be strong and psychologically stable to endure all the in-team quarrels, hateful comments and people stating that you are too immature to aim for the top league, even if the speakers are only several years older. There are still a lot of premature judgements considering new young payers, and the gaming community is harsh towards newcomers, labelling everyone as “different.”

Before you decide to heavily invest in a professional gaming career, make sure you are at the right place at the right time. Will you be able to make a living if you won’t ever become famous? In case your country is in one of the regions where eSports players can easily reach a near-celebrity level, then go for it without any hesitation. Even if you don’t make it to the world arena, you will be able to earn a living by participating in less famous, but still pretty lucrative tournaments. As for the less lucky of you, wait a couple of years, as eSports is a burgeoning industry now – maybe your home country will join the race soon.

As for the last two points, it’s undeniable that sometimes hard work is sadly not enough. However, we all have seen pro gamers with fewer hours played but more achievements and greater success compared to more persistent, but less talented (or lucky) gamers. Anyway, you never know whether you have what it takes to conquer a pro league unless you give it a try. Stay persistent and motivated, and epic success will follow!

Alex: The Wannabe Gamer is the author of this article and he has kindly allowed me to share it with you on this site. Check out his website here for more!


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