eSports as Long Term Careers for Kids?
Your kid announces they’re foregoing higher education for a career in sports. Not the kind that involve throwing a ball or swinging a bat. Instead, a controller, mouse or keyboard will be in hand for monumental battles between monkeys and robots. This is the world of competitive video games, better known as eSports. The question that immediately bubbles up: can they actually make a living playing eSports?
The short answer is yes. For professional gamers, eSports function much the same as traditional sports do for professional athletes. Players join teams. There are designated seasons with high-stakes leagues and tournaments.
Just as you’d expect in traditional sports, the teams have their own managers and coaches. They have heavy-hitting sponsors, as well. Currently, the professional eSports team 100 Thieves is sponsored by companies including Red Bull, Razer Inc. and Totino’s.
The sponsors help provide things like equipment and facilities for the players to exercise. Yes, believe it or not, keeping in good physical condition is part of being a competitive gamer. ESports teams require members stay in good physical condition to offset sitting in one place for extended periods of time. There’s a risk of hand and wrist injuries, along with the mental stress that comes with doing anything at a competitive level.
Team members are paid salaries (anywhere from $1,000 to $15,000 per month) on top of the prize money they earn from winning or placing in competitions.
Most games played at a competitive level require excellent hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills, complex strategizing, and the ability to make vital decisions at a moment’s notice.
Much like traditional sports, no one can do perform eSports at a professional level forever. Eventually, a gamer’s motor skills slow and they’re unable to compete on the same level they once did. This makes retirement necessary.
Another issues faced by eSports is some games, particularly those requiring online connectivity, require continuous support from the companies that created them in order to function as sources of organized competition.
In 2018, the company Blizzard decided to pull money and resources away from Heroes of the Storm, a competitive team-based game it owns. That meant cancelling an upcoming championship event. Players who’d spent months preparing for the event (not to mention others involved, like commentators) had wasted their time, effort, and resources, plus weren’t going to see any prize money.
If your kid wants to get into eSports, they deserve the same amount of support they’d get if they’d announced an intention to take up football or baseball. Just like athletic sports, eSports come with the same pain, pleasure, risk and reward.
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