As far as esports have come over the last decade, there’s still little doubt that the games and teams have a lot of room left for growth. At this point, very few people can compete competitively and support themselves this way, and while this issue is slowly diminishing, there are still many hurdles holding hopefuls back. Taking a look at some of these, we want to explore the major challenges that can get in the way of potential eSport pros.
Games are Changeable
A major problem in esports is that no games remain the same forever. Eventually, almost all games die out, are replaced, or are fundamentally changed by patches on a level that can undercut the skills on which a player relies. This means that even if players find a great fit in one game, they might not be able to succeed on a pro-level in any other.
Take another form of interactive entertainment like online casino games as a counterexample. Casino gaming exists on a spectrum and, on one end of it, there are games that require no skill such as slot games. In the absence of skill, these games are engaging because of their options of themes such as fantasy and ancient culture as well as offering bonuses and jackpots. On the other end of the casino gaming spectrum are heavily skill-based casino UK games from craps, roulette, or poker. These games encourage a highly transferrable skill-base within their genres.
While this can be the case for some genres, as we saw with Jay “Sinatraa” Won’s move from Overwatch to Valorant, in many instances it won’t be. For many players, being a pro in one game means just that, and nothing more. With such a level of career insecurity inherent to the esports world, putting everything on the line can be a frightening prospect.
You’re Only as Good as Your Opponents
As with any professional level competition, the level you can rise to is often dictated by your opponents. If you live in hotspots like America, Japan, or South Korea, this can work out great. You can fight the best on these occasions, which can allow you to experience the highest possible level of play.
The other side of this comes with areas with smaller communities, such as Oceania or Central Africa. Players in these areas live too far away from the world’s hotspots, which means they can’t really find the experience to drive them to the highest level. Unless we can break the laws of physics and latency, this is always going to be a problem. Essentially, this means that people in certain places are always going to have additional hurdles to succeeding on the world stage.
A Problem of Burnout
The final big issue we need to discuss is that of burnout. In traditional sports, there is only so much practice that a player can manage due to physical exhaustion. You can’t run around playing tennis all day every day, for example, because the human body cannot handle the strain.
Video games, while exhausting mentally, do not have quite the same effect physically. A person can practice ten hours a day in a video game, but doing so can be extremely hazardous, and lead to complete burnout.
Esports has come a long way, and its continued growth shows no signs of slowing down. It does, however, have some major questions as to how these games could affect the players. Are these things that can be addressed, or are they simple realities of this format of competition? While only time will tell, it’s certainly an interesting question to ponder.