Gaming is now a worldwide competition, with around 60 active international leagues and tournaments. Professional gamers can take home a 7-digit paycheck for winning in an international tournament, with a 12-month contract that pays a 5-digit monthly salary. It thus follows how competitive the world of gaming or eSports can be.
eSports as a profession
Just like about professional poker players visiting the top casino websites, many people still have the misconception that eSports is just about playing games and not about making money for real. While this is essentially what the sport is all about, in today’s landscape, it is much more than that. Since it is now a billion-dollar industry, many gamers and businesses want in on the action. The more money is involved, the more it looks like any professional, competitive sport. Business owners have gotten their finger into the eSports pie, owning professional eSports teams. They draft professional gamers, recruiting high-level players from across the country. Managing these teams is actually quite similar to managing a professional basketball team, a football team, or a baseball team.
eSports Training 3.0
In the beginning, players just played and played and played to hours on end. Even if they played with others as a team, there was no face-to-face interaction. Then it evolved into staying at a dorm with the team, having a coach, and training together. And now, training has seen major upgrades. Players under such a team train day in and day out for tournaments all year round. Training consists of, mainly playing and practicing for 12 hours a day, but physical fitness is also addressed by having these players have a full body workout at the gym. These gamers also review game plays and do game play analyses.
Managing professional gamers
Team managers address physical fitness, time management, food and nutrition, emotional well-being, even media relations and handling media, and brand building. Professional teams also have therapists and coaches to handle the psychological and emotional pressure of competing. Professional gamers retire in the ripe old age of mid-20s because the stress of professional competitions can be overwhelming. Proper training, support, and coaching hope to extend this to a few more years so we could see professional gamers playing until their 40s.
According to the CEO of Complexity, Jason Lake, a fraction of a second can spell the difference between a win or a loss. They do everything that can help players get that fraction of a second. Big businesses have brought gamers and eSports to the next level.
The ultimate prize
Players travel all around the country and the world, competing in various tournaments. Stadiums are filled with spectators watching live eSports competitions. And these stadiums are filled with fans. This does not count the ones watching games on livestream.You see businesses cashing in on the trend by sponsoring teams or tournaments, or placing ads during such tournaments. Prizes for major tournaments can be go as low as USD 1 million or much as USD 25 million per tournament.