Tales of a Pro-gamer-A A +A
Saturday, October 6, 2012
OUR country has always placed a high value on tradition, and respect of the old ways. I have spent many a childhood day on my grandparent's laps, listening with wide eyes to the entrancing stories my elders would tell me. Tales of playing hide and seek in the trees that dotted their homes, tales of street side brawls with their playmates, ball games being played in the open fields, all conveying an image of entertaining and active sport.
But we are far from those times of blissful relaxation. Fields of green have been replaced with mountains of steel and glass, forests replaced by factories and offices. With the advent of modern technology comes a change in all aspects of our lives, including the games and sports
It is at this point that I must make readers understand that the old is slowly slipping into the background, and we must now recognize the arrival of the new. In the world of games and sports, a new variety has arisen: Professional Gaming.
Pro-gaming, or E-sports as it is called, has spread slowly from isolated parts of the America and Europe, and has slowly reached Asia, where nations such as China and Korea have embraced it with an almost religious fervor.
The sport has given rise to a new breed of athlete, the pro-gamer. With mouse and keyboard at hand, he is pitted against other pro-gamers in an impressive display of focus and dexterity, relying on intelligence and hand-to-eye coordination instead of brute strength and endurance.
But everything has its critics, with a good part of society scoffing at gamers, accusing them of wasting their time, even going so far as to blame a person's failures to an excess of gaming.
The idea of playing on a computer as a sport seems laughable to most people, with a majority of its critics coming from the older generations, clinging to the idea that if it doesn't make you sweat, it isn't a sport. They would be terribly wrong in that regard, for is chess, and checkers not played as a sport? There is no sweat there.
Another reason for the distaste showed towards professional gaming is the argument that it takes no considerable skill to play a computer game. While it is true that games are played for leisure, we must understand that pro-gaming is a competition.
To play at a competitive level then, takes the same amount of skill as it would to play other sports. One needs to focus his concentration to the point where he can look at one part of a game, yet see the bigger picture. Fast hands and quick thinking is also required, which is also a prerequisite for other sports as well.
With all these matters aside, the only criticism one could throw at a pro-gamer would be to the fruits of his or her labor.
The critic would fall silent however, were he to research into the amounts of money that a pro-gamer can potentially earn. Players earn considerable money from winning tournaments, that on top of sponsorship deals, and the fame earned by having thousands of fans cheer you on, all culminate in a pretty sweet deal for gamers, with the very best in the world earning six figure salaries, in dollars, no less.
The impact that E-sports has had on my life is phenomenal. I have been playing at a competitive level since I was 13, moving from game to game, settling down on a classic of our times: Starcraft 2.
I am constantly improving at the game, though I am far from where I want to be. I have earned a decent amount of money from my efforts, and I can say that I have received a favorable amount of recognition in return for my efforts.
I wish to tell the world that E-sports is exactly what it says it is: A sport. No one can deny that now. Only time can tell us what the feature holds for it, but I know in my heart that it is a bright one. The world needs to open its eyes now and realize that the world has changed, sports has changed. Instead of rejecting it, why not welcome it?
This is the tale of a pro-gamer.
Sunday Essays are articles submitted by students of Ateneo de Davao University for their journalism class.Arvin Patrick Baker
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 07, 2012.