Posted in CS:GO, Dota 2, League of Legends, OverWatch, SMITE

How Professional Athlete Education Is Becoming Crucial for Esports

Esports is already massive, and will continue to grow even faster. No expert would contradict this: esports is already overtaking ice hockey, and now even competes against flagships sports such as football. However, what is often forgotten in the conversation are the athletes themselves. Pro footballers are highly educated model athletes who leave nothing to chance. Clubs command entire armies of coaches and advisors to help their players cope with the various challenges on and off the field. Comparatively, esports athletes live the life of an amateur.

Football clubs command armies of coaches and advisors. Comparatively, esports athletes live the life of an amateur.

Weekly training schedules with given exercises? No way! Nutritionists, mental coaches, fitness trainers or other specialists? They simply do not exist for most professional esports athletes. While investors and sponsors have smelled blood and are pumping more and more money into the esports market, the professionalisation of esports athletes lags behind.

A career as an esports athlete begins and ends much earlier (in most cases) than the majority of other careers as professional sportsmen. Competitive gaming careers often end in the mid-twenties as the human brain and reflexes no longer react as intuitively to high-speed attacks from the opponent. Therefore, most gamers have to turn pro at the age of 17, or even younger – a rather short time to learn how to live like a pro. The foundations for a successful career as a gamer therefore lay in one’s youth. If a gamer wants to get to the top of his game, he must invest early on.

However, at the start of their esports career, most of them are miles away from a professional way of living – compared to young elite footballer players. Through systematic education and established support systems, footballers not only learn technique and tactics, but they internalize having a professional lifestyle at teenage age. That is exactly what is missing in esports. Only the high-talented gamers manage to get from their bedroom as a child to the top of the esports business.

This is why most recent esport moves of different European high schools are quite interesting. Since last year, the Norwegian school“Garnes Vidaregåande Skule” in Bergen, for example, offers esports as a school subject. In addition to traditional classes, where pupils write exams, their abilities as a team player or their skills in communications are evaluated as well as their performance in game strategy and tactics. On top of gaming exercises there are athletic training, nutritional counseling and special exercises to improve the reflexes of students. Overall, it’s a very popular project, and some High Schools in Sweden already apply similar concepts. Rumors say that schools in the United States and South Korea are also thinking about offering eSports as a subject.


Training and educating esports athletes will need to happen in a professional sports environment.


Universities are also slowly waking up. For example, several US-American and Asian universities offer scholarships for gamers. In England, the University of Staffordshire announced a new bachelor’s degree in esports. Tencent, the largest e-game developer in China, recently announced plans to build a whole city dedicated to esports, which will host a university.

While schools and other academic institutions increasingly discover the relevance of gaming content in their curriculums, training and educating esports athletes will need to happen in a professional sports environment. At least in Europe, pro football clubs entering the scene with dedicated FIFA or LoL teams could play an important role. The gamers can benefit from their coaches and infrastructure, and profit from their expertise in marketing, sponsoring or even scouting. Some clubs already offer academies or campuses to train their employees. Why not open them for professional esports teams?

Scouting esports talents currently takes place mainly through game-specific ranking lists by the developers/publishers. However, a simple update in the game software can completely mix up rankings from one day to another. Accordingly, the contract periods are short. Gamers are usually signed for not more than two splits – high fluctuation within a team is normal. Thus, for football clubs it is important to recognize future stars early on and tie them to the club. Here, Schalke 04 led the way last year with the so-called “Scouting Days”.


Gamers are usually signed for not more than two splits – high fluctuation within a team is normal.


However, discovering talent is only one side of the coin. Developing them is the other. Gamers do not enjoy structured career plans, they did not attend any eports junior performance center or university, and they did not benefit from regional or national support centers. Even if the eSports organization “Penta-Sports” has recently opened the first professional eSports academy in Berlin, this was only a first move. Many more have to follow.

Although linking professional football clubs with esports seems to be a win-win situation, it is still a long way for both sides to benefit from each other. One thing should be clear: the professionalization of esports athletes must go ahead if they want to keep up with the rapid growth of the industry and if they want to keep up with the expectations. Education is crucial, first and foremost.


Posted in Clash Royale, CS:GO, Dota 2, League of Legends, OverWatch, SMITE, Twitch, Uncategorized

Esports to become the greatest sporting event by 2020

 [ THIS POST IS FROM ONE OF OUR ESTEEMED COLLEAGUE, PRATEEK MALHOTRA (https://medium.com/@prateekmalhotra) AND FIRST APPEARED HERE: https://medium.com/@prateekmalhotra/esports-to-become-the-greatest-sporting-event-by-2020-f1ddd15287cd ]
Dota 2 mid-laner Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan plays for the North American team Evil Geniuses

Two college students Minh “Gooseman” Le and Jess Cliffe created a total overhaul mod using assets from Valve’s Half Life 2. Le did all the programming and Jess worked with the community of players. What started as an experiment, attracted Valve Corporations, who in turn gave a commercial release to the mod also known as Counter Strike. These digital weapons, players and maps led to the booming of then unknown territory called the ‘esports’.

esports, an online competitive gaming tournament played between pro-gamers on a computer machines has taken the industry by storm as gaming community has started recognizing it as a career option and branded it as a real sport. Getting into the debate of whether esports is a sport or a farce will yield no results, hence I would like to reveal some statistics which will make things more transparent.

According to Newzoo, a leading provider of market intelligence across gaming, esports and mobile gaming released its third edition of esports report which highlights that esports economy will grow to $ 696 million this year. The report also added that Brands will play a major role in shaping the esports economy and by 2020, the growth will reach to $1.5 billion dollars. Further to add, US and China will generate $362 million dollars in 2017, followed by Asia-Pacific regions which will take 51% revenue share.

Why is esports becoming so popular?

esports games are divided into different genre and the most popular being fighting games ( Street Fighter ), first-person shooter ( Counter Strike Series), real time strategy ( WarCraft 3 ), and multiplayer online battle arena ( League Of Legends and Dota ).

Just like any other sport, esports has managed to garner a wide range of spectators across the globe. The overall operations of esports is similar to that of any other sporting event like NBA, NFL, Football and many others. A team consists of 5 members having individual skills which can be executed during the game. The team is managed by an esports expert who oversees players salaries, housing, office space, healthcare and sports staff. The players go through rigorous training and practice for hours to reach the pinnacle Esports tournaments are held on a grandeur level and the level of intensity and cheerfulness seen among gaming fans is similar to that seen in a football or a cricket fans. These tournaments are live-streamed on mediums like Twitch and YouTube which have millions of followers.

The popularity of competitive gaming is testament to the fact that Intel Extreme Masters which was held in Katowice, Poland drew 173000 fans to the stadium event. Online, the event was watched by 46 million unique viewers, more than Trump’s inauguration TV audience of 30.6 million viewers.

Pro Gaming Scene In India

Pro Gaming Scene in India is at its nascent stage, but it is evolving and growing at a fast pace. Hardware companies like Asus, GigaByte and NVIDIA are bolstering the esports mania by organizing Dota 2 and CS:Go tournaments across gaming cafes and events. Many startups and gaming companies have jumped into the scene to promote esports culture.

In January, USports, a ₹100 crore league, announced by the founder of UTV Group, Ronnie Screwvala, will take its course this year.

In February, Nazara Games announced that it will invest INR 130 crores in a new esports league in India over the next five years in the league, which will include PC based games DOTA 2 and Counter Strike : Global Offensive.

Last year, Mountain Dew launched Dew Arena Gaming Championship with a prize pool worth INR 10 Lakhs. Many brands followed the bandwagon by announcing individual leagues and tournaments, thus encouraging and boosting the gamers and esports scenario.

Talking about the role of a team manager and esports scenario in India, Eklovya Dutta, Captain and In Game Leader of upcoming esports team FEROCIOUS believes that the role of the team captain is to make sure that there exist a discipline, cohesion, and structure within a team. As the team captain himself , he sets fixed goals to every member and encourages them to focus on playing the game and improvise while doing so. Esports is a massive industry and is gradually growing in India. However, lack of infrastructure, support and topsy-turvy management and self-pride can impair the esports scenario in India.” In order to compete with the International players, its important to focus on team game-play rather than changing the team member.”

The pro-gaming scene will further strengthen its hold in the Indian market considering the situation of Internet is improving in India. From 105th position and 4.1 Mbps speed till three months ago, the country has risen to 97th position on a global level with 5.6 Mbps of average connectivity speed.

Akamai’s State Of The Interne

To conclude, the competitive gaming market is growing at an exponential rate, media giants like ESPN are broadcasting the tournaments and competitions, and brands like NBA and YouTube are jumping into the world of esports. The positive synergies between companies, pro-gamers and developers can surely make esports the greatest sporting event.