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  1. #1
    Registered Weeb kr1kit's Avatar
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    Why are e-sports careers so short?

    I used to be heavy into tracking the e-sports scene, definitely not anymore aside from some Rainbow Six: Siege Pro League... As as I was watching watching some Siege Pro League the other day it made me think about the fact that e-sports careers are so insanely short and the age that pro's "retire" is very young.

    League of Legends was the e-sport I followed the most back in the day, and you'd have really successful players who won or placed very highly in multiple tournaments retire/quit after a couple years, at the age of like 22-24. If you are over the age of 25 in the League scene then you're considered a dinosaur and seen as like a father figure/mentor to the rest of your team. So why is that? Obviously gaming is not a physically arduous career, so what makes pro players drop off in skill enough to have to retire so young? Are the reflexes/coordination of 18 years old just so much higher than someone even in their mid 20s?

    The route for a lot of these guys seems to be that they're pro for a couple years and then retire and fall back on a streaming career, to varying degrees of success. So maybe the time/effort just isn't worth it to be pro and they'd rather take their chances primarily streaming?

    I don't know, it just always weirded me out hearing how commentators would talk about some guy who's 25 years old as some sort of relic in the scene.

    Thoughts?
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    Originally Posted by kr1kit View Post
    I used to be heavy into tracking the e-sports scene, definitely not anymore aside from some Rainbow Six: Siege Pro League... As as I was watching watching some Siege Pro League the other day it made me think about the fact that e-sports careers are so insanely short and the age that pro's "retire" is very young.

    League of Legends was the e-sport I followed the most back in the day, and you'd have really successful players who won or placed very highly in multiple tournaments retire/quit after a couple years, at the age of like 22-24. If you are over the age of 25 in the League scene then you're considered a dinosaur and seen as like a father figure/mentor to the rest of your team. So why is that? Obviously gaming is not a physically arduous career, so what makes pro players drop off in skill enough to have to retire so young? Are the reflexes/coordination of 18 years old just so much higher than someone even in their mid 20s?

    The route for a lot of these guys seems to be that they're pro for a couple years and then retire and fall back on a streaming career, to varying degrees of success. So maybe the time/effort just isn't worth it to be pro and they'd rather take their chances primarily streaming?

    I don't know, it just always weirded me out hearing how commentators would talk about some guy who's 25 years old as some sort of relic in the scene.

    Thoughts?
    They are probably pro because they have become pioneers of new metas and then everyone starts to catch up and they loose their massive edge. They dont have the time to quickly pivot and master new tecniques. Skill can only get you so far.
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  3. #3
    Registered User gwem32170191's Avatar
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    Their hands are crippled man. 25 is pretty old in pro football too depending on the position.

    I used to be able to 360 no scope a womp rat from my land speeder when I was 16.
    Today I just drink alien tiddie milk.
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    because imagine how boring it is playing a computer game all day for like 10 hours
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    A lot of factors but two that come to mind
    • The games evolve faster than the players can adapt -- in the case of league, someone could be used to a handful of champs and a certain play style, only to find out all of that is now suddenly obsolete; next man up
    • It's easy to be a glutton and sit in front of a computer screen for 18 hours a day when you are 18 -- less so the older you get
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    Because it's not a real career and not a real sport.
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    Often times it's not really worth it being a pro. Sure you make good money, but there is long days of practicing, scrims and then you have to compete.
    Unlike with physical sports, former pros can just stream and make youtube videos,do boosting, coahing, make guides about the same game and make equal or even more money than they did going pro.
    Many would prefer to make their own schedule streaming, and playing when they want than staying pro, and which is the reason why alot of top pro players just give it up
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  8. #8
    Registered User Weezy32's Avatar
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    You make way more money streaming then being a pro

    When you are pro you have to play/scrim for 10-12 hours a day , travel, live w 5 guys, and its stresful af.

    Or you can just retire and stram for 4-5 hours a day and make ten times more money.


    Iwilldominate league of legends ex pro talked about it extensively
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  9. #9
    6'4 crew Smithers115's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KathleenRyan View Post
    Because it's not a real career and not a real sport.
    Lots of dudes making six figures or millions would disagree grandpa
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  10. #10
    Podunks Alt Account LtGoose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KathleenRyan View Post
    Because it's not a real career and not a real sport.
    This
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  11. #11
    Registered User CHARBACK's Avatar
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    Been following starcraft and dota for a few years. Here is why OP.

    Reflex/cognition starts dropping off after early 20s, anyone who says otherwise is coping. They even studied it in starcraft and found it to be true: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/ar...l.pone.0094215
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/a...t-24-1.2611257

    Most of these pros start playing the game when they are 10 and they already have wrist injuries by their late teens. There's been some top pros who retired from starcraft2 because of carpal tunnel where you have to maintain 300-400+ APM to play at the pro level.

    A lot of tournaments don't spread the money very well and the winners get most of it. It's not sustainable to give up schooling/job and train full-time if you are right below what's needed to make $ unless you want to be neetcel.


    That being said some of the biggest earners in dota (~6M-7M+) have been over 25, (notail, Jerax,cab) and they did this by playing support/offlane positions while 20 year olds were playing mid/carry on their team. There are still pros in sc2 over 25 but usually they are worse mechanically than they used to be but compensate by strategic depth, also sc2 doesn't have a huge influx of young players.
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  12. #12
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    Competitive gaming is a young man's sport. Unless you manage to build a cult following for yourself chances are you will eventually get beat by some teenagers who can obsess over the game more than you and lose your relevance. That is sort of the problem with taking online gaming seriously in the first place, if you are old enough to have responsibilities and a life outside of the video game you won't be able to compete.
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  13. #13
    Registered User adang92's Avatar
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    mid 20s is already ""old"" for pro gamer
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  14. #14
    Registered User JayJ350's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Smithers115 View Post
    Lots of dudes making six figures or millions would disagree grandpa
    That is pretty much the professional poker argument by this point. You have very few people on the top making bank, but the vast majority trying to compete aren't making chit.
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  15. #15
    Registered Weeb kr1kit's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CHARBACK View Post
    That being said some of the biggest earners in dota (~6M-7M+) have been over 25, (notail, Jerax,cab) and they did this by playing support/offlane positions while 20 year olds were playing mid/carry on their team. There are still pros in sc2 over 25 but usually they are worse mechanically than they used to be but compensate by strategic depth, also sc2 doesn't have a huge influx of young players.
    This was actually a point that I was going to touch on, the fact that older players switch roles. My favorite Siege pro is a guy named Canadian, and he used to be(still is) one of the best players in the world but he used to be known for his insane aim and ability to carry rounds simply on kills alone. Now only a couple years later he's still pro(and a 2x world champ) but he's switched to the support role on the team, meaning he only plays utility operators where he can help out by breaching a wall or putting up a certain defensive aid, rather than picking head shots left right n center.

    In the matter of 2-3 years he went from being a headshot hunter to an old man who supports his team.
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  16. #16
    6'4 crew Smithers115's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kr1kit View Post
    This was actually a point that I was going to touch on, the fact that older players switch roles. My favorite Siege pro is a guy named Canadian, and he used to be(still is) one of the best players in the world but he used to be known for his insane aim and ability to carry rounds simply on kills alone. Now only a couple years later he's still pro(and a 2x world champ) but he's switched to the support role on the team, meaning he only plays utility operators where he can help out by breaching a wall or putting up a certain defensive aid, rather than picking head shots left right n center.

    In the matter of 2-3 years he went from being a headshot hunter to an old man who supports his team.
    similar in csgo, lots of the older players take on igl roles for youngsters like simple to pop off with awps
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  17. #17
    6'4 crew Smithers115's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JayJ350 View Post
    That is pretty much the professional poker argument by this point. You have very few people on the top making bank, but the vast majority trying to compete aren't making chit.
    Yeah its a high risk, high reward profession for many... Did you pick the rght game that has longevity? Can these skills transfer to the next esport? Can you keep up and adap to new metas/ maintain the reaction time to play at the highest level? etc

    same thing in sports though... How many AHL players dont make the show? How many div 1 uni football players never make it to nfl camps?
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  18. #18
    Registered User JayJ350's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Smithers115 View Post
    Yeah its a high risk, high reward profession for many... Did you pick the rght game that has longevity? Can these skills transfer to the next esport? Can you keep up and adap to new metas/ maintain the reaction time to play at the highest level? etc
    It's honestly just an alternative to pro poker when you break it down. Poker is also a young man's sport when it comes to the high level competitions. Older guys just don't have the endurance for it.
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  19. #19
    Registered Weeb kr1kit's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JayJ350 View Post
    It's honestly just an alternative to pro poker when you break it down. Poker is also a young man's sport when it comes to the high level competitions. Older guys just don't have the endurance for it.
    I mean you have guys like Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, etc.. still winning tournaments in their 40s.. Hell even Doyle Brunson won tournaments in his 80s.
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    Originally Posted by kr1kit View Post
    I mean you have guys like Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, etc.. still winning tournaments in their 40s.. Hell even Doyle Brunson won tournaments in his 80s.
    I am sure there's some old guys who can still win video game tournaments as well, I mean look at that Donkey Kong high score guy and other famous competitive gamers who are getting up there in age. It's just the reality of these tournaments can be a real test of endurance, stamina can become a real decisive factor by a certain point.
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    Originally Posted by JayJ350 View Post
    I am sure there's some old guys who can still win video game tournaments as well, I mean look at that Donkey Kong high score guy and other famous competitive gamers who are getting up there in age. It's just the reality of these tournaments can be a real test of endurance, stamina can become a real decisive factor by a certain point.
    I don't think so and poker and donkey kong really count as esports. Also I googled donkey kong high score guy and I get a ton of information about dudes who messed with the circuit boards to get their scores.
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  22. #22
    Registered User JayJ350's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CHARBACK View Post
    I don't think so and poker and donkey kong really count as esports. Also I googled donkey kong high score guy and I get a ton of information about dudes who messed with the circuit boards to get their scores.
    Donkey Kong is serious business.
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    Originally Posted by CHARBACK View Post
    Been following starcraft and dota for a few years. Here is why OP.

    Reflex/cognition starts dropping off after early 20s, anyone who says otherwise is coping. They even studied it in starcraft and found it to be true: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/ar...l.pone.0094215
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/a...t-24-1.2611257

    Most of these pros start playing the game when they are 10 and they already have wrist injuries by their late teens. There's been some top pros who retired from starcraft2 because of carpal tunnel where you have to maintain 300-400+ APM to play at the pro level.

    A lot of tournaments don't spread the money very well and the winners get most of it. It's not sustainable to give up schooling/job and train full-time if you are right below what's needed to make $ unless you want to be neetcel.


    That being said some of the biggest earners in dota (~6M-7M+) have been over 25, (notail, Jerax,cab) and they did this by playing support/offlane positions while 20 year olds were playing mid/carry on their team. There are still pros in sc2 over 25 but usually they are worse mechanically than they used to be but compensate by strategic depth, also sc2 doesn't have a huge influx of young players.
    do you think there could be a 50 year who gets to the top tiers in league of legends?
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    eSports change exponentially faster than physical sports. For instance, a game like League of Legends literally changes to some extent at least once a month, depending on the scope of patch notes. It also aims to make at least one major gameplay overhaul and introduces/reworks at least half a dozen champions per year. Players need to constantly adapt to never-ending changes, and some grow used to certain metas and playstyles - which may not always be optimal depending on how the underlying game has changed. It took many years for basketball to transition from a very physical, front-court based game to one that emphasizes outside scoring. Most eSports experience fundamental changes to the gameplay at much faster rates.

    It's also ridiculously easy for someone who's talented at their respective video game to climb to the top and start competing with the best players at a very early age, while in physical sports that doesn't happen until the player actually develops a body to match that of mature adults. Then there are arbitrary barriers to money-making in physical sports - in the US that's mainly school/collegiate sports. In a way, eSports careers aren't that short because someone can make the most money as a teenager. A Counter-Strike player who started getting paid at 16 and retired at 26 made money for more years than most NFL players, for instance. Also, the nature of video games means that someone trying to make it to the big leagues will probably be able to spend more time getting individually better than actual professionals, who have to prepare specifically for play in team settings - I think that's another major driver behind the young replacing the not-so-old.
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    Originally Posted by JayJ350 View Post
    I am sure there's some old guys who can still win video game tournaments as well, I mean look at that Donkey Kong high score guy and other famous competitive gamers who are getting up there in age. It's just the reality of these tournaments can be a real test of endurance, stamina can become a real decisive factor by a certain point.
    I disagree with the poker analogy to video games. Poker is all mental, video games require a huge mechanical and reaction component. Poker would be more akin to something like chess
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    Originally Posted by Smithers115 View Post
    I disagree with the poker analogy to video games. Poker is all mental, video games require a huge mechanical and reaction component. Poker would be more akin to something like chess
    I am mostly just talking about the competitions. Poker competitions are a lot like gaming competitions.
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    Depends on the game I guess, some Quake pros have been in the top10 for 10-15 years.
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    Originally Posted by lampelys View Post
    Depends on the game I guess, some Quake pros have been in the top10 for 10-15 years.
    I didn't even know Quake is still being played. Wtf. Which version?
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