As in brain sports, participants in e-sports do not engage in any physical activity, but perform in a different form. In the case of e-sports, the focus is on the ability to successfully play a computer game. What may sound like an easy task to many readers is actually very difficult and there is hard work behind it. As in other high-performance sports, the performance density in eSports is usually very high.
Different skills are required
Pro gamers need to be fit in various skills to win games at the competitive level. On the one hand, many motor skills are required, especially hand-eye coordination, and on the other hand, mental skills. Depending on the game, the pro gamers also act as a team, so team skills become very important. The players train most skills with special programmes and less with the game itself. But the individual games also usually have to be played or trained for several hours a day in order to keep up with the competitions.
You also have to be in good physical shape. Many e-sportsmen therefore also do physical sports as a compensation, some of them even very successfully and with high ambitions.
Potential far from exhausted
The number of pro gamers who can make a living with their e-sports is, however, relatively small compared to older sports. German football alone employs more professional athletes who can make a living with their “hobby” than there are well-paid pro gamers in the entire world. But e-sports are growing, due in no small part to the inexorable rise in the quality of video games. The budgets of the games can more and more often keep up with those of Hollywood films or sometimes even exceed them many times over, and the storytelling is also constantly getting better and more emotional, so it’s no wonder that more and more gamers can be found – but also more and more parties that want to share in the success of the video game industry.
eSports is not yet an officially recognised sport
Politicians don’t quite see it that way and don’t consider e-sports to be a real sport in Europe. But if chess is recognised as a sport, it is only a matter of time until e-sports, which already have very professional structures and in which the prize money is far higher than in chess, will also be recognised as an official sport. So far, this is only the case in a few countries, including China and North America. The Chinese are also among the most successful e-sports players, although many pro gamers also come from South Korea – the country of origin of e-sports.
In South Korea, eSports is almost like football
In South Korea, pro gamers are celebrated like football stars here. It seems the most normal thing in the world there when the 40,000-seat Seoul World Cup Stadium fills up without a hitch and the fans cheer for their favourite teams in the League of Legends game. Of course, the matches in South Korea are also broadcast on television and streamed on countless websites. Politics even runs its own eSports section and Naver, South Korea’s search engine, has introduced its own tab for e-sports, where you can find all the important news and links to events.
What is surprising is that despite these aspects and South Korea’s biggest top companies as sponsors, e-sports only make up a small part of the industry. This is due to the great striving for perfection that many Asian countries have in them. Education is seen as a top priority in South Korea, school days often go from 9am to 9pm and because that’s not enough, there are even holiday schools. There is not much time left to establish oneself in e-sports. Some drop out of school for this, but they also take a big risk, because the number of participants in the championships is of course limited.
If you make it that far, however, or if you wait until after your education, then you can achieve an incredible amount of fame as a pro gamer in South Korea, be present in all the popular media and earn an incredible amount of money, especially by South Korean standards. The prospects for pro gamers are not quite as rosy, but that doesn’t stop them from becoming part of the e-sports scene.