E-sports are turning silly teenagers into disciplined professionals
J Thoendell stashed this in Video Games
The key thing they agree on is that the jump between playing for fun and becoming a pro depends on someone spotting your talent and recruiting you to an established team — in other words, being scouted out just like a big-arm quarterback playing pitch in the park. As nascent as e-sports like Dota 2 may be, there are already big, professionally organized teams that pay salaries to representatives in multiple games (EG has a fighting game division and rosters of players competing in StarCraft II, Call of Duty, and League of Legends alongside Dota 2).
Without the financial support of a team or committed sponsors, it’s basically impossible to put in the time necessary to refine your skills to the highest level. Juggling pro matches with school or work responsibilities is particularly awkward in the US, where most competitive games are played in the morning. It’s an all-in or all-out affair, and the way the players talk about it reveals the sustained intensity that’s required. ppd speaks of "disengaging" in the afternoon after at least six hours of team practice every day. That’s later followed by playing solo or live-streaming matches on Twitch late into the night. UNiVeRsE adds that there’s also no such thing as a holiday from the game: players take some time off after The International, but otherwise it’s a full-year cycle of perfecting individual play and team strategy.
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