Professional Gamer David Treacy, or "Zaccubus" to his—erm—fans, recently spoke to Alienware about the changing face of professional gaming. Based on his interview, however, there's not much to talk about.
While Treacy compares the world of pro gaming to the economy ("It grew rapidly over the last decade, then almost imploded on itself.") he also mentions that the hardware is getting better, new games are being produced, and huge corportations (he cites Coke, Pepsi, Subway, and Adidas) are signing on as sponsors.
If there's no audience base for professional gaming, then Treacy blames television for being ill-equipped to properly capture the essence of gaming events. "Every TV show I've seen so far has been way too cheesy and not indicative of what pro gaming is about. Trying to squeeze an event into a 60 minute broadcast doesn't really work for gaming... Only recently, thanks to MLG, can we see what gaming events should look like: Great shoutcasting, well presented, and without the need to cheese it up for regular people to understand." Without this cheesiness that Treacy is referring to, what could possibly be left?
Don't get me wrong, I love watching people who are better than me at video games play them for money, especially when I don't know those people.
Oh wait. No I don't.
Treacy also describes the difficulties that one must endure in order to really make it as a pro gamer, a thankless profession that only pays about $30,000 annually before sponsorships. His advice to aspiring pros boils down to the following: It's really hard. "It's not easy to go pro. It takes time and if you don't pick the right games you could spend over two years mastering a certain game only to have it blown out of the water as no one is sponsoring it anymore. So pick wisely. Oh, and don't rage so much from losses. You only learn from your mistakes."
Here's to staying one of the Regular People.
Related Professional Gaming on the Downturn, Cheesy TV to Blame [Kotaku]