The world of eSports is steadily becoming more mainstream. These organised competitions based on video games existed as far back as the 1970s, however, their regulation, participation and spectator appeal have all been growing progressively since the early 2000’s. These days, approximately 1.6 billion people know a little – or a lot – about competitive video gaming, and that number just keeps on growing.
For anyone who enjoys playing at an online casino this rise in popularity is only natural. With increased organisation and activity there are now more betting opportunities on tap, and an entire industry has sprung up around eSports wagering. The entertainment value of online video gaming is also obvious to anyone who has played in casinos, and the addition of the sporting element is a winner, in so many ways.
Strong Influence from Land-based Sports
As the eSports juggernaut continues, it becomes increasingly similar to more traditional land-based sports. Colleges are awarding scholarships to electronic sports players, and tournaments attract attention from all over the world.
Major events have started to feature electronic and traditional sports alongside each other. This has officially been planned for the 2022 edition of the Asian Games. At the same time, eSports inclusion is being considered for the Olympics and several other international competitions.
Increased Demands on Athletes
Essentially, eSports has become very lucrative. As well as all the other industry developments, this means there is a lot more pressure on athletes to perform. Prizes and sponsorships can easily run into millions of dollars.
For the first time, it is possible to make a living by being a full-time gamer. Regular salaries for team members are becoming increasingly common. However, just as with traditional sporting disciplines, only those at the top of their game get to reap these rewards. The toll it takes can be high, and the average retirement age is just 25.
Achieving Peak Performance
Athletes always have to train hard, and those in the eSports industry are no exception. As well as practising their gaming skills, they need to build physical and mental stamina. That means regular workouts, proper nutrition and sessions with therapists or life coaches.
All of these things are becoming more commonplace on electronic sport teams, along with general managers and performance coaches. Just a few years ago these roles didn’t exist; today it is hard to imagine a professional team without them.
Managers help to keep ‘athletes’ in line, focusing on the games and getting enough sleep and exercise. Coaches are vital for coming up with fresh tactics, and ensuring players work together. This frees up In-Game Leaders to focus on their own avatars. They are able to achieve higher stats, and to put their gaming skills to better use.
The Importance of Boot Camps
The staff and routines needed to keep gamers in top condition are the same no matter where in the world a squad is. As the importance of these structures became more obvious, boot camps began to emerge.
Initially these were simply “gaming houses” – venues where players could live together and bond while they were training. Often they were in the city or town where the team was based. Having everyone in the same place really enhanced team performance.
These gaming houses still exist, but much more formal camps have also developed recently. Anyone who wants to make a career out of eSports will be spending a considerable amount of time travelling to tournaments all around the globe. The advantages of a centralised base, when in a new city, are obvious.
Hardware giant Nvidia also recognised these benefits. They created the GeForce Boot Camp in Silicon Valley, equipping it with everything a squad in training might need. This includes 3 meals a day, and 240 Hz G-Sync monitors with high-dynamic range and 4K resolution.
As well as all this, boot camp participants get to play on gaming rigs that are built to the same design specifications as those used in major competitions. If you want to get yourself ready to play at the ESL Pro League Finals, for example, the best thing to do is practise on an identical rig.
This is just what the Detroit-based Renegades team was doing at the end of 2018. To prepare for the 8th edition of the Finals, the CS:GO gamers attended the Nvidia boot camp in Munich. They were able to take advantage of all the facilities, and practise new moves against other squads.
More Boot Camps Anticipated
The other advantage of the Munich camp for the Renegades is that they were much closer to Odense, Denmark, which is were the ESL Pro League Finals were held in December 2018. This is a lot closer than their native Detroit, so travelling was not as draining. With athletes travelling around the world for most of the year, this kind of convenience should soon be in high demand.
A camp has also recently been opened in Shanghai, and industry insiders expect more to pop up in the near future. Gamers often say that the long hours and travelling turns their teammates into family. With the camps, Nvidia gives them a place to temporarily call home.