THE COMMUNITY PERCEPTION OF BEING A PRO PLAYER
When someone in the industry gives their opinion on subjects such as burnout, it's rarely received well by the community and it seems like it awakens a bitterness within a portion of the community. I find it somewhat understandable, when you have to go to school/work for a low wage and here you have these pro gamers that complain about playing videogames for a living and how hard it is. But are they really just playing video games?
The grass is always greener on the other side
There are two sides to being a pro player: the one the fans see, and the one that the players actually have to live. Being humans we base our reality of our experiences, not the experiences of others. We get caught focusing on our own misfortune that is existent inside our reality, so we assume that since pros play video games for a living that there is no struggle within that activity. But the concept of 'playing video games' is the one of the main faults in this entire argument. Representing what they do as just playing video games is flat out misrepresentative.
We all play video games. The difference is when I play League of Legends, I am just playing video games, but when Team SoloMid plays, those players are training in
their quest for victory. To this day I still remember the stories about Lee "Flame" Ho-jong of CJ Blaze practicing for OGN and how he would sit up for many hours and practise laning against a one trick pony Mundo player, and proceed to flame the poor guy if he didn't play perfectly. That
does not sound like the story of a man who plays video games, that is a competitor who thinks of nothing but victory.
Recently an interview with Slingshot Esports was released featuring Song "Smeb" Kyung-ho of ROX Tigers, who highlighted that he has a cousin who want to become a pro player, but he wishes him not to. He described pro gaming as a "job that comes with a lot of sacrifice.” I believe that we all greatly misunderstand the issues that comes with being an athlete, whether we're talking about esports or not, the reality that hits you once you realize that maybe it's not a dream to be a pro gamer is one that may be a bit of a dream crusher if you have aspirations of pro gaming yourself.
The life of a pro gamer is often represented as a dream job, but when you look at all the factors involved you will come to find that most pro gamers are in it for the competitive spirit and desire to win rather than doing it because it's fun. In fact, it is not too uncommon for pro players to retire and then hardly touch their game ever again unless they become streamers. The life of a pro gamer is not as easy as we all think it is.
Is being a professional gamer a little more stressful than you expected? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us at @GAMURScom.
Photo credit to OGN