(The International, an annual Dota 2 tournament at the KeyArena in Seattle, Washington. Picture by Jakob Wells. 2014.)
After a few years of nothing, I logged onto DOTA 2 (“Defense of Ancients”) and played. It has been three years since I actively played any game of the MOBA (“Multiplayer Online Battle Arena”) genre, but prior to that I’ve experience of several years with these games. Game has gone further and whole scene has developed immensely!
Esports (“electronic sports”) scene has been something I’ve been interested in at least as much as in European Football Championships or Olympics for example. And even more so maybe because to many of these titles and games, I’ve personal connection and as a younger gamer I often had the big dream of breaking it into the professional gaming world in the hopes of ‘fun’ & ‘easy’ living. This dream never got me anywhere, although I did sometimes play too much and had super fun while at it. There are other requirements to be a pro too.
Since then I’ve grown quite bit; now I can see that the growing speed of the whole scene has been really quick. Most of us cannot keep up with the changes, we need a smarter approach than that.
Anything that grows this fast brings in addition to the good sides of growth, it also brings problems. For professional esports should be the example that shows how it should be done to the community, and yet as a young branch, esports are still very vulnerable in many ways all kinds of harmful behaviors.
Mostly I am concerned about the issues that encourage players to neglect their health over the competitive playing.
Personally I know how much the esports requires from us. I had to stop playing Starcraft 2 because of repetitive strain injuries in my hand and fingers. After that I know how much strain it puts to our eyes as well.
Then there is the pressure to succeed which leads to the usage of mind enhancers to improve performance, from these beyond caffeine I don’t have any experience, but it’s certainly a great concern.
Professional gaming should encourage more ethical approach to gaming by taking good care of the player’s health. There are many natural ways (than energy drinks for example) to improve our performance what we already know through science and study such as exercise, good diet and as well as other supporting activities.
I am big fan of esports, and the whole scene and therefore I would like to see the culture to develop into more healthier ways so that ever more people could enjoy it.