Gamekit on Games #1
Hard Way of eSports – why sometimes it's better to suck at gaming
I’m almost sure that at least once in your gaming life you have been wondering how would it be to become a professional gamer. Looking at those most famous teams of players with extraordinary skillset (hyper fast, like inhuman reactions, ingenious decision making) – let’s take for example team Origen from League of Legends
- and the whole show made around… Question arise – is it the every gamer’s dream? The final frontier, inspiring career, fame. The best way to fulfill the passion for playing video games, right?
Let me show my view that being ordinary player is better overall for your passion than making the hard way to become professional. I would like you spend a while and consider your dreams of eSport. Why “to suck or not to suck” (at playing games of course! You nasty…!;)) is not even a question with obvious answer.
Often the ideas about pro gaming contain the aura of being one of the most respected players, while having a great time playing favourite title all day long. It’s like playing games nonstop - cool huh? Not exactly. To become decent, and I repeat, just decent player at pro level you have to sacrifice most of your time for practicing. And I don’t mean taking the spare time, oh no, you train in work hours, so other job or activities often don’t stand a chance here. Some of players manage to be at world’s top level and do other stuff, like Derek “Raydere” Trang, the 21-year old who balances (somehow, I have no clue how’s possible) a law degree with being captain of The Chiefs (Oceanic Pro League LoL member). Most of the times – you want to be a pro, you spend 10 and more hours 6 days a week at practicing, strategizing, discussing problems with other team members. That could easily kill all the fun from playing games.
Speaking of fun, it appears that playing your favourite game for money combines pleasure with financial benefits. I disagree with that. Sooner or later playing over and over one game for the most of your time makes the experience a tough duty. Sebastian "Forsen" Fors (most viewed Hearthstone streamer and competitive player) admitted during latest October interview with PC Gamer, that the reality is kind of depressing.
“I haven’t been happy playing Hearthstone in a long time. The game doesn’t really amuse me anymore at all. It’s too much RNG.”
The game becomes the work, fun disappears.
The other aspect of eSports is its uncontrollable environment. The way the scene develops depends mostly on developers’ ideas. One tiny patch can change the whole metagame and competitive side of game may become unplayable (scene collapses, sponsors disappear). It not only has to be one decision – like in the example of game Tribes: Ascend, where devs with series of unfortunate decisions practically destroyed the micro-transactional inside market and with neglected hacking at tournaments brought eSport part of game to ruin. Let’s not forget about common problem in multiplayer gaming – match fixing. DOTA 2 and Counter-Strike had their infamous period also, with top teams proven to fixing the matches results. There was a time, when Damian “Diamon” Zarksi (from Polish Alsen team, CS) insisted that roughly half of all professional Counter-Strike teams participated in match fixing to at least some extent. That is a really bad PR. Such actions can cause problems with public sympathy and sponsors attraction.
OK, lets say that you made it to the top. You’ve become a top players, what’s next? Not every leaves in glory, unfortunately. Recent retirement of Marcus “Dyrus” Hill, one of the first League of Legends professionals, was a sad farewell. Emotional interview after his appearance in Worlds Championship tells everything. Take a look:
Sometimes being good is not good enough. Dyrus stayed at the top for a long time (still is one of the best LoL players out there), but his time has come. Last year performances looked like he was a shadow of himself from the best times. Was it all worth it? Only Dyrus can tell. He’s well respected, but has to figure out his future now.
Casual ≠ lame
What’s the moral of this story? Play more games! :D But seriously, don’t regret yourself being lame at midlane or not able to control AK47 recoil in CS. You don’t have to be a hardcore champion. This doesn’t come with benefits only. Try to be an apprentice of enjoyable gaming. Remember that playing must be fun for you, take it easy.