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NEW VIDEO: I Quit MMOs and THIS Happened

Thoughts on eSports and Pro Gaming

Cam Adair

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'd like to post a quick thought on pro gaming, since I had a similar delusion when I played CS:GO.

The chances of you going pro are nearly impossible. At any given time, there are only 100 to 200 players in a pro circuit, give or take, and there are over 10,000,000 players on each popular e-sport at a time, at the very least. Now, of course, the vast majority of those players are casuals with no drive to actually accel at the game, but even if only one out of one hundred players had a real drive to be a pro, that would still leave you as 1/100,000. AKA: 0.00001%. 

Steel, an Ex-Pro player banned for match fixing, said it the best himself: if you want to be great at something, as in world class, you have to be born above average at it, and have an affinity for it. If you don't, you have no chance. Because someone born shit at something can work at it until he's way above average, but he's never going to be better than the person who put in just as much if not MORE work, who was BORN above average at something.

In all my time playing CS:GO, I got good enough to the point where I could compete fairly and regularly with people of the LE/LEM ranks, which is just two to three ranks below the top ranked players in the game. Now, of course, the game's ranking system is broken due to the fact that solo que and 5-stacking are ranked in the same giant ladder system, but regardless, I was "above average" at the game during my peak playing it, easily.

But then steel put out that video, and in it, he said that if you haven't made it to the top rank in the game and moved on to playing in the private pay-to-play leagues within your first year of playing the game, you have absolutely no chance of going pro. NONE. Because think about it: if you're that kid going, "hey, maybe if I play just three to four more months, I might be able to get to the global elite rank on the valve matchmaking ladder", what are the odds that through hard work and dedication, you're EVER going to play with the handful of pros who were already crushing it in that rank, asking themselves "is this really it? Where do I go next?", within the first six months of them playing? Newsflash: you won't. Some people just learn faster than others at certain things. 

I know for a fact that no matter how much I EVER practiced basketball, I would never be as good as Kobe Bryant or Lebron James. Period. Because me practicing 16 hours a day compared to Kobe practicing four hours a day still equates to Kobe running circles around me. It's just the way the world works. And pro games are no different. 

When I played games competitively, I always knew that deep down. So I told myself, "if I just made it to global, I'd quit there, and be happy." I wouldn't move onto the leagues. Of course, luckily, I quit playing video games before then, but that ethereal goal that you're looking towards is nothing more than a last ditch effort to keep that feeling of growth moving forward, because you know that once you get there, you're just going to think to yourself, "that's it?" I put in all that work just to reach this rank, and now it's over? Nothing happened? Now what?!

I can only imagine the feeling that World of Warcraft players get when they hit max rank, get all the best gear, and do whatever it is that people do in that game. I guess I was lucky enough to never get into MMO's, where you can just make an infinite number of new characters, and where there are infinite numbers of expansions and DLC content. Yikes.

Anyways, that's my take on it. As a gamer, it was frustrating, because the entire point of playing a competitive game is to improve. You never want to admit to yourself that you've hit your glass ceiling as far as skill goes, because in a certain sense, yeah, you can always "improve", but when does it get to the point where you'd have to put in so much effort to fix all of those unconscious bad habits in the game that it would be pointless to try? It gets to the point where you go insane trying to improve.

So a message to anyone out there still playing competitive games trying to go pro: give it up before you get too good. Because at the end of the day, the life of a pro gamer is miserable, stressful, and unrewarding. You're not going to be the best in the world, and the truth is that you don't want to be. You aren't going to be any happier at the highest rank than you are at the lowest rank. In fact, if I really think back to it, no matter what competitive game I played, whether it be CS:GO or Starcraft (and my LoL playing friends will attest to this as well), the best times that you're going to have playing those games are the very noobish beginnings, when the game is new, fresh, and nobody really knows what they're doing and everything is just fucking around for shits and giggles. Once every match is being carefully measured out as to how many rounds you can lose to save your elo, once every match is a stressful rage-fest of over stratification, and you care more about your rank, your future pro-prospects, and networking your clan with better players instead of just PLAYING THE FUCKING GAME FOR FUN, you've missed the point entirely and gone way too far. 

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