Esports: Inside the relentless training of professional gaming stars

CSO – [Applause] This is kind of crazy the eSports is gone up like a rocket boom straight and the money with that’s coming in now is insane six-figure salary in the spotlight on stage and some of them are just wholly unprepared this chair is 1600 1600 over there this shirt

I’m living a dream for a lot of people but yeah it’s sometimes it sucks because of all these drawbacks [Applause] so there’s this badge of honor and eSports that I grind I play hour upon hour upon hour upon hour but in if I grind more I’m going to get better if I

Play for too long I’ll get pain at the end of the day too long meaning how many hours eight hours if he can be successful at playing video games wanted to pursue this I would be very supportive gotta money I have more confidence everyone knows there’s burnout in this depression anxiety

There’s a lot of pressure to do that kind of extra work I love this industry but somebody has to talk about what’s wrong with it [Applause] don’t my hope you know I usually wake up to warm up and just to see how hard I’m doing like mentally and physically and if I’m prepared to play for six to seven hours a day I get really lost in overwash sometimes my life is kind of eSports in general my

Whole life is just waking up and grinding Indy howling is a rising star in the eSports world he was recruited straight out of high school to play the game overwatch for a professional team that la valiant in these fans know him as space that alias he uses in competition this was by

One of my first pieces of fan art to anybody ever you to me to fans that have been la vallee offense for a long time and always supported me even when I was like kind of unknown on the bench they gave me this this is pretty meaningful

To me when is the last day like a full 24 hours that you did not touch over watch the last day I didn’t touch your overwatch was Sunday well so pretty recently yeah when we were moving actually so I couldn’t play overwatch that day Indies contract includes a salary and perks like this spacious apartment bankrolled by what has become a nearly 1 billion dollar industry This is the line to get merchandise it is the longest line I’ve seen it Esports has a huge fan base that pack arenas to watch their favorite players go head-to-head it’s become a business that pioneers of competitive gaming could not have imagined leap decades ago As far back as the late 70s early 80s sort of this idea of hey these video games that are there for fun and entertainment there’s people out there that are real good well how do you prove you’re the best in the world the only way that’s

Gonna happen is if the best players in the world get together so someone had the idea right let’s put a prize pool on this I would say that one of the most notable early examples of this is actually with quake or John Carmack the developer the game said I’m going to put

Up my personal Ferrari as the prize to the best quake player that we can find and I remember realizing that I was gonna win and I actually noticed the reflection of the Ferrari in my monitor in those last few seconds and I got really nervous after his 1997 victory Dennis Fong was

Recognized in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s first professional gamer when you became the first eSports star as you say it was almost accidental it was the right place at the right time as far as you see it how has the industry evolved just in the past few decades I

Mean it’s evolved a ton of e ously when I first started you know you’re talking about having hundreds of spectators in a room which was a lot back then now you’re talking about tens of thousands of spectators you know equivalent to you know real sports this is what people are interested in

And around the world for that Steve Cohen is chief strategy officer for AEG and largest sports ownership group in the world ae G’s portfolio of over forty three professional sports teams boasts several successful eSports teams as well including Indies team the L a valiant how do you measure the size of the

ESports market how big is it nine hundred million to a billion for this year and expected to go to at least fifty percent over that by 2020 here at Staples we’ve sold out a tournament in less than 15 minutes you’ve got public companies like Activision Blizzard or EA Sports these

Are multi multi-billion dollar companies you start adding all the values of those companies together you’re talking about hundreds of billions of dollars right there esports is dominated by teenagers and men in their 20s Lillian pang who goes by double lift is a veteran superstar of his game League

Of Legends at just 25 years old the first program I’ve ever liked like what he stands for how he approaches the game I think is really really intelligent way of going about it so I just wanted to support him You can find a way you we have each other you ain’t in your experience and you believe that there’s a way so take a deep breath and strengthen that idea in your mind that you have so that you’re decisive even when it’s hard top players like pang trained in state-of-the-art facilities with

Luxuries other pro athletes have had for years yeah honestly it looks so sick right it looks it looks so good this is one up Studios which does all of production videos photos we have war rooms which are like mini meeting rooms humble guy over here didn’t mention that

There’s a mural of your team yeah us was faced in your head featured prominently yeah it’s really cool I guess sometimes together that’s the case it’s just pretty cool to have my face just like on the wall yeah this is our kitchen where we eat every day Manek excuse today this

Is the guy this is the guy that carries our team honestly man he carries our team no one appreciates it but we like sustain ourselves off Manny’s cooking so one of the dietary restrictions of this guy what it is kind of a be good that’s

It yeah we love in everyone look I’m in here for them honest everyone loves Manny I mean know how to cook but it’s not that that makes me it’s what makes them it’s what they need damn better later on a good news everyone but right now we just wanted to secure top floor

You know when sports first started there was no sports step at all it was just five guys who just loved playing games and like I was a part of that where like there was no there was no manager there was no coaches just like five players on

A team and now I think like I just gotten to the point where there’s just so much eyes on the scene there’s so much money there’s so much like partnerships opportunities to make money or to like collaborate with others you know it’s it’s like a fully fledged business

Peg’s net worth is estimated to be over a million dollars and he has 1 million followers on Twitch and online gaming platform where users watch others play League is a it’s a highly competitive game there are casual players that only play for fun the league is again where

You can really find a lot of self-improvement every time that you play initially I just loved it as a player and now I love it as a professional I won’t have to worry about money for a while and I’m really grateful for that As fortunes rise for top eSports players many parents that might have once discouraged their kids from spending hours playing video games and now cheering them on which which guy is yours he’s up there and uh second feet on the ride your role here is a family

Because I I enjoy it I can relate right like many parents at this local east bolts competition we DANC who is eager for his son Connor to excel as a gamer I’m not in the video game in this game I have a finance background being online has the same social dynamics as any

Other team sport if he can be successful playing video games he wanted to pursue this I would be very supportive I’m hungry since Connor loves gaming so much I actually looked up online but the average salary for a pro player is and I think is 160 thousand or something I feel like the skills that he’s learning is will go you know even beyond the gaming world Oh

Rectum you gotta money gotta have more confidence oh yeah it wait faster than him you’re a master at again G no maybe the piano lessons all the traditional things that maybe I even did with my oldest child maybe it’s time for us as a different generation to look at

Things through their eyes hey Connor you just got this text from your teacher good luck Connor today in the 1v1 last night one of our players who won fortnight tournament was offered a scholarship wow that’s impressive are you now wanting him to be much better at these guys improve skills that is kind

Of where I’m going now like understanding that there’s like clubs and leagues and things like that and that maybe there’s even support in the college environment for this that there’s scholarships available so let’s see where it goes yes yeah play the game right here this is

This is how he won right here pretty epic land right here elite teenage players are now getting access to the same resources as conventional athletes colleges have launched competitive eSports leagues and over 100 high schools of developed dedicated eSports programs as part of a recently created North American scholastic eSports Federation Here at one of the 56 high schools in Southern California with an eSports program gamers that a decade ago may have been socially isolated and now training in groups and eyeing a growing array of careers in the industry what do you say to the people who have no clue

About what eSports are or how big they are globally I think simply this is a new world there’s so many subsidiaries that go into the eSports and the gaming industry as a whole there’s the IT directors there’s the marketers there’s the coaches there’s a whole community that’s involved in it’s not just people

Who play the games what is the biggest misconception about gamers like yourself they’re just a bunch of nerds or something like that I know a lot of people out there have like I’ve heard just around staying like oh it’s just like the gamer clever like for it and I

Blah blah blah but the truth is it’s like like a lot of people have stated already it’s a really big team sport I don’t know I can be you game design like I know USC has a great video game design program there with this club with the

Help of this club I’ve developed a love for computer signs of programming so I’m starting to look at hopefully I can get accepted into University of california-irvine because I know they have a really good eSports program but for the elite few who have their sights set on the arena the road to

Stardom can take a heavy toll This is a typical day for Indy and his team that la vallee a training center practice gang review and more practice People just worked so unbelievably hard because it’s the 24 hour industry too much money they very often lose sight that players of people in his years of covering the issues that plagued the eSports scene journalist Richard Lewis has seen the long hours lead to immense pressure on the players a 12 hour 14

Hour day is not uncommon and they do this at least 6 days a week very often 7 which is why we have all these like terrible issues with burnout and players kind of getting ground ground up by 24 unit India’s under reputation for working long hours and at 18 years old he’s

Starting to get injuries more common to people at least twice his age the last time we taught there was your lower back way before that and then your wrists and then you have plum stuff so what about your wrists so we had kind of both sides yeah yeah

Sharp burning and pain that you’d messaged me about how has I come back recently it’s just been like if I play for too long I’ll get pain at the end of the day wrist injuries have become prevalent in eSports and can end careers before they get started but for many players mental health

Issues are as much a concern as the physical you know back when I used to play in middle school or in high school there wasn’t that much stress because we’re not competing that hard but when you when I went into eSports it’s a whole different like level of stress

When you’re playing with against professionals it’s always in the back of your mind basically just you always have that pressure on your shoulders that you have to perform and you have to do really well so that you can win and take everything home you have to remember a lot of these guys

Live in the same house they live in a gaming house right and where you know the team literally lives together eats together brings together trains together and there’s intense pressure not to get a girlfriend yeah if you’re in a house of six seven guys and everybody else is

Deep in their training you’re just gonna bounce for a weekend you know that I think there’s just kind of that social person even if it’s unsaid or unwritten [Applause] hey real quick before you anything the most important thing to do is to activate yourself earlier in the morning

Some teams like Indies have hired team psychologists to help players deal with the stress their stereotypes that go along with the sport of I grind I play hour upon hour upon hour upon hour I put in 12-hour days and so there’s this badge of honor and eSports that if I

Grind more I’m going to get better their brains are constantly churning you can see the stress in their face and in their eyes and so what we’re trying to do is avoid that burnout avoid that 2-year career that the player plays and makes a decent amount of money for those

Two years but then goes from that to nothing it seems as though the lifespan for eSports athletes is brief is that accurate in your view is there anything to be done about that I don’t I don’t know if there’s a real answer for that yet I think it’s too early days you know

Remember that this is just the first generations coming up the unknowns seem to be the biggest hurdle and plotting a plan ahead what if some of the other challenges over the next half decade I think we’re prepared to scale up fairly quickly and I think there are a lot of

Other people in the ecosphere that are prepared to scale quickly as well I think the danger comes when you don’t do it in a responsible and sustainable way and I get worried about pot money just screwing this up that’s that’s what I worry about the money what that’s

Coming in now is insane and people don’t want to miss out on getting their slice of that when you look at something like football American football you’ve got the NFL teams you’ve got the players and the players have their agents for eSports which entity has the real and

True power it’s the developers they make for game and a game is viewed as intellectual property there’s no player association there’s no unions nobody’s looking out for you I’ve heard players speak out against the NFL and they don’t have to worry about never playing ball again you don’t have those

Options in eSports the developer owns the football In addition to his grueling schedule for the la valiant Indy was tapped to play on Team USA in a global tournament the overwatch World Cup [Applause] how are you feeling at this moment I’m nervous by this crowd some interesting things you were posting about a couple of days ago getting

Brand-new shoes from Frankie arena to be in Turkish you’ll use what was really amazing I never thought I would ever get a parachute from thank you taxi we’re at play today [Applause] when all the gameplay takes place here center stage 20 seconds to game just a game [Applause] fine what’s that cool if I got three four people to why nobody’s [Applause] died of choice right now and easy like a key across the point specs will be be soon [Applause] reduce your score a lot of mobility but it’s gonna be tougher to retake control the point by the end of the first game the US team was winning but this is a best-of-five elimination match stink-son around quickly the UK is ahead [Applause] time it was right there

An addictive completely upset we never thought wait [Applause] for the billions of gamers across the globe the rise of eSports is a hard-fought dream come true I’ve always been someone who goes out and says like yeah it’s sometimes it sucks because of all these drawbacks but at the end of

The day it’s definitely worth it and I’m living a dream for a lot of people fortune and glory comes at a cost that is still not fully known were the guinea pigs of this new sort of phase of sports that’s gonna go across the entire nation eventually it’s kind of fun to be

Sitting in the driver’s seat an eSports you can literally jump from being in a bedroom into being a six-figure salary in the spotlight on stage three months later and some of them are just wholly unprepared I don’t think I’m being unduly conservative in saying there’s something here that matters and

You can you can really screw it up for I love this business I love this industry but somebody has to talk about what’s wrong with it I took them with me The matchdays fuse this is probably as time goes on just start collecting more shoes or whatever else you’re interested in hopefully that’s the beginning of yoga right yeah it’s my job and it’s my life so it’s a it’s a profession and it’s how I make

Money so I have to put my hundred ten into this at all times you know how much is playing a game for fun anymore

Professional, competitive video game playing—the phenomenon known as esports—has seen double digit growth for much of the past decade. With a massive following, many say it will soon become an official Olympic event. Throughout the U.S., high schools are launching competitive gaming clubs, and even some colleges are offering scholarships to top players.

It’s a dream come true for professional esports players—traveling the world and paid salaries to play video games full time for a living.

But as money continues to pour into the industry, the pressure on these young pros—many still in their teens—is leading to early burnout from high stress, repetitive stress injuries, and grueling practice schedules.

In this episode of CBSN Originals, we follow pro esports players Doublelift (League of Legends) and Space (Overwatch) as they compete for glory, get an inside look at what it takes to be pro, and explore the risks many are taking to stay at the top.


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0 Reviews

34 thoughts on “Esports: Inside the relentless training of professional gaming stars”
  1. E-sport will destroy our next generation both health and education. The impact of e sports is already visible in our parks and sports centres. There are fewer youths come to play outside as they addicted to these online games. For the sake of few pounds for the treasury they just ruin our kids future by allowing every fortnight launching new games. It's a crime not to ban online games.

  2. Esports is just pathetic. Playing for 9 hours is not grinding. They’re just trying to validate an addiction, trying to validate years of inactivity and laziness by calling themselves “athletes”

  3. mi amigo podría dedicarse a esto, (faramir jugando 300 horas) realmente es muy bueno y disfruta mucho jugar videojuegos. Me gustaría que en mi país hubiesen este tipo de oportunidades. Hay chicos con muchos talentos y múltiples habilidades que se deberían relucir alrededor del mundo. Muchos de estos talentos son apagados por las personas en su alrededor incluido sus propios padres. Es un orgullo la perseverancia y disciplina de estos chicos !!!

  4. It is not a sport. It is a pastime. You sit at a console for hours and are glued to a screen. People who play games are not athletes. If you want to warm up. Good old fashioned physical exercise is still good

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