We’re familiar with the early games tournaments in our nearby arcade centers. People played on those machines, trying to put the initials of their name at the top of their favorite game.
The challenging part came when you would arrive the next day just to see your initials in second, third, or not in the top 10 of the highest scores. You’re not going to leave until you see your name on that damn list.
And then things got really serious. Teams have been formed. Multiplayer games have been developed. Technology increased so much in the late 1990s that it helped pave the way for highly competitive teams to connect and set up regular tournament seasons.
Things have become very sophisticated and now Esports pro teams are considered the top athletes. Now, how are these teams going to look like today?
Composition of the team
With more than 380 million viewers worldwide and an Esports market valued at US$ 865 million, teams are under constant pressure to be top-notch.
Each video game tournament has teams of between 3 and 6 players. As with other team sports, each player has an assigned position, so that teams can choose players based on their ability to play that role.
Some of the positions you’re going to encounter have names like this:
League of legend: Top Laner, Mid Laner, Jungler, AD Carry, Support.
Dota 2: Hard Carry, Mid Lane, Offlaner, Position 4 Support, Position 5 Support.
Call of Duty: Objective, Slayer, Support, Anchor
Each team also has back-up players, like a football team substitute. These subs allow the team to rotate in minor tournaments. These rotations give the main player a break to recover from major events. In addition, subs increase the competitiveness of the team, forcing big players to stay at the top of their game.
Otherwise, they might lose their position on the sub. It was called a friendly rivalry.
The players are between 18 and 25 years of age. The average age depends on the video game being played. League of Legends has the lowest average (21.2), while Super Smash Bros Melee has the highest average (25.2).
Overall, pro players are significantly younger than their counterparts in other professional sports such as NBA, MLB, etc.
You wouldn’t expect that, but retirement tends to be close around the corner. The average career is between 4 to 5 years. Due to burnout and a decline in gamer reflexes, the average retirement age is only around 25 years old.
Training of the games team
It might be a kid’s dream come true to play video games all day long, but it’s not an easy task to do it regularly. It can be exhausting, especially if you have to keep up with high performance all the time.
Teams usually practice together for 8 hours a day, including on weekends. So they train about 50 hours a week. And that’s just a group practice. After that, many continue training on their own or wake up earlier.
Their schedule tends to begin around 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. They warm up by playing a couple of games with their teammates. They’re going to keep playing for a while with occasional breaks in between.
After some of these team game sessions, they might be able to review their previous performances with their coach, or come up with new strategies for the next big tournament. They could also look at their opposing team methods and determine their strengths and weaknesses.
This is an immersive teaching approach. It is hoped that these lessons will be retained in order to be used in the actual setting of the tournament.
Pro players have also worked with sports academies that depend heavily on scientific methods to push the player’s limits. Gamers need to maintain high reflexes over a long period of time, so that these academies design challenging tasks and measure their performance over time.
They train their brains on key functions such as attention, memory, reaction time, and see how they contribute to a better performance of the gamer.
As you can see, pro players are treated like any other professional athlete. If you dive a little and see all the sponsors behind them, the prize money of the tournament, and the huge crowd of supporters, you’d think of them as celebrities.