Let’s Break Down The Ten Biggest Esports Myths Out There
Video games are a massive industry! They control one of the most hard-to-reach demographics and are already worth more than the movies and sports industry combined! No matter if you’re not a game, you don’t even have to be a fan of video games, but you have to admit the sheer size of the industry is breathtaking!
The esports industry, however, takes up only a small portion of the gaming cake. But, it’s one of the fastest-growing niches out there! Esports is just starting to enter its golden age and is likely to keep exponentially growing for years to come.
With such popularity, it’s not surprising to see all sorts of esports myths being thrown around left and right just for the sake of clickbait. Some media outlets still see video games as the main cause of violence in teenagers and professional video game tournaments as a complete waste of time.
They are shaping the views of the public (typically, people above the age of 50+) and tend to do so by stating “things” that just don’t add up. With time, people start taking these “things” as facts, yet they’re nothing more than factually incorrect esports myths.
Video games cause violence, only kids watch other people play video games, pro gamers are millionaires, esports is just a fad, gaming promotes antisocial behavior, anyone can be a pro gamer … the list goes on and on.
Let’s see which of these esports myths are true and which are totally made up for clickbait purposes.
Ten Most Common Esports Myths
Anyone Can Be a Professional Gamer
Well, technically, anyone can be a professional gamer as long as they work hard, dedicate a lot of time to their favorite game, and maintain a high level of competitiveness in every single match they play.
But, this esports myth suggests that being a professional gamer doesn’t require any hard work or dedication. “It’s just video games…” Now, that’s wrong on so many levels!
For starters, being a professional gamer has become a job like every other. Pro gamers work (and by work, I mean play video games) for 10+ hours every day. This isn’t your typical gaming session – they train for upcoming events, analyze their opponents, focus on their cohesion, plays, strategy… Esports is much more complex than most people think, and when we look at things from that perspective, only a small portion of players have what it takes to go pro.
Gamers are Antisocial
Well, gamers do tend to be on the antisocial side, but their behavior isn’t a result of playing video games. In fact, I’d like to argue video games are one of the most popular forms of socialization these days. People make long-lasting friendships via video games; some find true love the same way. We have to stop stigmatizing the gaming industry. It’s not doing any harm to anyone, and it’s here to stay, so you better get used to it!
The Esports Scene is a Short-Term Trend
Lots of people still believe esports is a fad. They claim it’s nothing but a short-term trend and that it will die out as quickly as it flourished to life. However, not only is the esports industry not going to die out, but it’s going to keep growing exponentially and perhaps even exceed some statistical projections.
The global esports market is valued at over $1 billion, which is a massive 50% increase from last year. These numbers alone are more than enough to debunk esports myths such as this one.
Long story short – esports is here to stay and it’s only going to keep on growing!
Esports Aren’t Real Sports
The lines between sports and esports are getting blurrier with each passing year. We already see a ton of discussions on whether or not esports has a place at the Olympics. It’s a popular topic, one that won’t be going away until esports get accepted as a “real sport” and get a spot at one of the upcoming Olympic Games.
Pro Gamers Just Sit and Play Video Games All Day Long
This myth is true! Pro gamers have to spend 10+ hours a day playing the game they compete professionally in. Let’s face it; they aren’t playing video games any more, they are working! It’s a job just like every other one, and it’s time we start showing pro gamers the respect they deserve!
Watching Others Play Video Games is Boring
Jimmy Kimmel is the most popular example of spreading bogus esports myths such as this one! Kimmel enraged the gaming community with jokes about people watching other people play video games.
“Watching another person play video games is like going to a restaurant and having another person eat your food for you.” – Jimmy Kimmel said in his late-night show.
Obviously, watching other people play video games is not boring. If it was, it wouldn’t be among the most popular categories on YouTube; it wouldn’t have hundreds of millions of fans across the globe.
According to Kimmel’s logic, watching other people play sports must be boring too… That means the Super Bowl is boring, and the NBA is boring – everything is B-O-R-I-N-G!
But, he’s forgetting that the average gamer Joe enjoys watching pro players do what they do best for several reasons. It could be that he’s trying to improve his game. It could be that he loves that particular player’s/streamer’s playstyle… or it could be that he’s just passionate about the game and teams/players involved.
Video Games are For Kids
Well, yeah – video games are for kids… but only some of them! The gaming industry has evolved past the age division nonsense. Nowadays, we have complex story-driven video games that are meant for more mature audiences, as well as colorful sandbox experiences for kids.
As far as esports games are concerned, they are somewhere in between those two extremes. Titles like Rocket League, FIFA, Fortnite, and even Valorant, are primarily targeted for less mature audiences. Then again, the industry has more complex and much more detailed first-person shooters too. Rainbow Six Siege, Call of Duty, and CSGO top the charts in this department.
Esports Promote Violence
This one is pretty straightforward – esports (and video games for that matter) don’t promote violence. Yes, some of them might be violent, but research has found that video games have no direct correlation with violent behavior in teenagers.
“We found a whole lot of nothing…Basically, we found that having information about the kinds of video games people played, how violent they were, how much time they spent on them, there was no linear connection.” – Andrew Przybylski, Director of Research for the Oxford Internet Institute and psychology professor at the University of Oxford.
Careers in Esports are Risky
One of the most common esports myths is the one parents keep telling their kids to get them to stop chasing their dreams. “There’s no way you can go pro in gaming. Are you really going to play video games for the rest of your life? What about your future; what will you do when your reflexes can’t help you anymore?”
However, there’s more to esports careers than being a professional player. The industry’s rapid growth paved the way for numerous additional opportunities. People who are passionate about esports and looking for a way in but don’t necessarily have the mechanical skills to make it as pro players will be happy to know esports careers have a ton of other opportunities.
Esports journalism is one of the most sought-after careers right now. Additionally, management and coaching roles are in demand too! Organizations are always on the lookout for more casters, analysts, and other broadcast talents. The same goes for nutritionists, fitness experts, and psychologists too. The esports industry has a ton of career opportunities, which makes this esports myth busted!
Pro Gamers Earn a Ton of Money
The last of our esports myths is actually true! Whether we’re talking about streamers or professional esports athletes, their earnings range from above-average to absolutely amazing!
The likes of PewDiePie, Ninja, and Markiplier top the charts in the streamers’ category. As far as pro players go, Dota 2 as the most lucrative game houses all top ten highest-earning players. Only one player in the top ten has under $4 million of recorded earnings.
But, we’re talking about the 0.1% here. What about professional esports athletes who are playing for top-tier teams but haven’t won any major titles like The Internationals or LoL Worlds? Well, their contracts can range anywhere from $3,000 all the way to $10,000+. It all depends on the player, his market value, and the lucrativeness of his trade (AKA the game).