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Become a Professional Gamer

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the step-1:-play-games-step-2:-???-step-3:-profit! dept.

The Almighty Buck 338

introverted writes "An article in the Wall Street Journal covers events in South Korea, where, even more so than the U.S., there are increasingly highly paid professional teams competing in games such as Blizzard's StarCraft. The article notes: 'Last year, [pro StarCraft gamer] Lim Yo-Hwan made about $300,000 from player fees and commercials. Another top earner, Hung Jin-Ho, whose fingers are insured for $60,000, recently signed a three-year deal with telecom provider KTF Co. that will pay him $480,000 altogether.' So now you can claim your time gaming as 'job skills training'!"

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GNAA FP yea! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9218244)

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I DO NOT FAIL IT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9218274)

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Re:I DO NOT FAIL IT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9218317)

LOL OEWND

GNAA SUCCEED IT

Whatever. (5, Insightful)

Maradine (194191) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218255)

"So now you can claim your time gaming as 'job skills training'!"

Alternately, I could make a good salary working 8-5 in an intellectually challenging field and save the gaming for its true purpose: a hobby.

I don't want to imagine a world where videogames cease being fun because I need to keep winning to put food in my belly.

Just a thought.

Re:Whatever. (5, Insightful)

MoonFog (586818) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218276)

Like most other professional sports out there?
Don't you think you can both enjoy and work at the same time? A lot of professional athletes out there still love what they do, and professional gaming.. well, I don't see the huge difference from that and a "regular" sport (apart from the obvious).

Re:Whatever. (1)

Maradine (194191) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218371)

"It's work, not fun," says Mr. Lim, who trains 10 hours a day with his eight teammates and their coach in a two-bedroom apartment, where they also live, in southern Seoul.


While I acknowledge the possibility of that being the case, I don't think its happening here. Still, I suppose the analogy holds. Good point.

He says it himself... (3, Informative)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218297)

"It's work, not fun," says Mr. Lim, who trains 10 hours a day with his eight teammates and their coach in a two-bedroom apartment.."

Re:Whatever. (4, Funny)

CriX (628429) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218298)

Hey, Doom is intellectualy challenging okay?! All those keys... you even have to match the colors.

A job like that pWn3z. :)

Re:Whatever. (3, Interesting)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218352)

> Doom is intellectualy challenging okay?!

It sure is if you write a map generator [rubyforge.org] for it. Packing those SIDEDEF [rubyforge.org] byte sequences... good times.

Re:Whatever. (5, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218299)

Alternately, I could make a good salary working 8-5 in an intellectually challenging field and save the gaming for its true purpose: a hobby.

I was modded up and down on this very issue. Whether or not you should make your hobby your work. "What better job to have than something you thoroughly enjoy?"

I was a decent athlete in high-school. I got a scholarship to a D1 college. I enjoyed practice, meets, and the entire thing. Once I got to college I realized that this was a job and quickly found it to be more of a burden than a release.

I can't see doing something I love as my hobby for pay. It just takes all the fun out of it for me.

I guess everyone has their own obsessions. Mine is getting money to do what I love to do on the weekends. At least I have something to really look forward to. I really feel that it would bore me to do what I currently love everyday. It's probably why I love it.

Re:Whatever. (5, Interesting)

merphle (744723) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218592)

I can't see doing something I love as my hobby for pay. It just takes all the fun out of it for me.

I started programming as a hobby (years ago) and am now presently employed as a professional programmer / software engineer. I can honestly say that I still love it.

How is this any different?

Re:Whatever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9218660)

Once I got to college I realized that this was a job and quickly found it to be more of a burden than a release.

Obviously you didn't attend Colorado University :)

Re:Whatever. (1)

zomper514 (235646) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218325)

That is like saying Playing in the NFL isn't fun.

Professional Sports...? (4, Insightful)

Alaren (682568) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218346)

Alternately, I could make a good salary working 8-5 in an intellectually challenging field and save the gaming for its true purpose: a hobby.

While I don't necessarily disagree, I have to wonder how people would react if you said "football" or "basketball" instead of gaming. I don't see how, given a suitably strategic and interesting video game, professional gamers would be any different than professional athletes who get paid grotesque sums of money to engage in what is, for most people, a "hobby."

Yes, pro gaming could be the dream of a lot of kids who would have no shot at it (recall the Gary Larson cartoon about hopeful parents dreaming of their kid becoming a pro gamer?). Yes, pro gamers would be (are?) paid a lot more than seems fair. Yes, there would be a lot of ethical questions about paying our Nintendo Superstars more than our teachers or our police or what have you.

But people don't seem to mind that much with professional athletes. Why think of pro gamers any differently?

Re:Professional Sports...? (1)

Maradine (194191) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218445)

Why think of pro gamers any differently?


I don't. I wouldn't want to play football for a living, despite finding it very enjoyable. I wouldn't want to tote a rifle around for a living, despite finding it enjoyable and being quite good at it.


My point is that once something becomes work, at least for me, it ceases being fun. Hell, I break into Fortune 500 networks for a living, and even that has lost its charm.

Re:Whatever. (1)

stalwart (302922) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218384)

I concur..games are supposed to be a stress relief...when I am doing poorly at a game, or get too frustrated, I can turn it off. The joy of games I think would be lost when the focus of playing them is monetarily based.

But damn, half a mil to play games for a year is not bad, not bad at all...I suppose you have to make sacrifices somewhere. And $60,000 bucks for "finger insurance"? Are you kidding? Must be nice to work for a compay that actually gives you insurance...as opposed to the 12 million Americans that work everyday and reap 0 insurance/benefits from it.

Re:Whatever. (5, Informative)

icedcool (446975) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218407)

This is true, as a former pro-Counterstrike player I can vouch for this. We would practice daily up to 6 hours, just so we could get down a strategy juuuust right. Then you would be constantly in practice so that you had recoil figured out. Getting guaranteed headshots 100% is a challenge. But making it work also made it not fun. The stress involved to perform was intense. It started taking priority over other parts of my life like school.

Every now and then I play for fun, and that's what it is.
It is nice though in that becoming a professional gamer doesn't have any limits to it like the physical barrier in becoming a football player.

Re:Whatever. (1)

Mike Hawk (687615) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218414)

Yeah this whole participating in competitions for money is just a fad. Look how much it hurts participants in:

Football
Football
Baseball
Basketball
Hockey
Poker
etc etc etc

Lets see, doing something you love with the potential to become rich beyond your wildest dreams. Yeah, the whole competition thing sucks.

And if "professional gamer" doesn't work out... (4, Funny)

turnstyle (588788) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218440)

And if a career as a professional gamer doesn't work out ... you can always fall back on a career in professional sports.

Re:Whatever. (5, Interesting)

Buzz_Litebeer (539463) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218471)

Having supported myself for 2 years winning mechwarrior 3 tourneys, I can say you are way off base.

Gaming was exciting, fun, and rewarding. I still play games as a hobby, but I wish I could still play them for money.

Gaming is a great thing to do for money, if you can compete at the level to make enough at it.

The reason gaming is not popular as a sport, in the same way it is in Korea, is that there is not enough money to be made in the sport of gaming. You do have your success stories, the kid that made 100k playing Unreal Tourney for example, but for every one of those success stories, there are thousands and thousands of people who simply did not win, they got nothing.

In many sports, when you compete at a lower level, you can still make a good, solid, income. In gaming, its all or nothing, you are either 'teh big winnah' or you are jack shit.

There were many times in mechwarrior 3 when I would be in a tourney, and get shoved in the loser bracket because I made a mistake. Second place generally gets you nothing, or something so negligable it does not matter.

For example, in one of the major tourneys I participated in, called "Meltdown" the main prize was a Harley Davidson motorcycle, the second place prize was a 250 dollars + free trip to Seatle. Luckily, I won the cycle that time, but the second place person got to pay half of his car insurance.

I have often thought of getting back into pro gaming, but every time I sit down and try to, I realize that I can no longer compete. This only after 5 years of not participating in the scene.

You can not have a real life when the top prizes for many tourneys is worth maybe twice the cost it took to actually drive there, and the events only take place 3-4 times per year.

Pro Gaming could be HUGE in the United States, but we just haven't figured out a way to market it.

I look at South Korea and I wonder what is different there. My opinion is strictly on the fact of population density. When someone does well, they can get to tourneys relatively quickly, and can also have an easier time of promoting themselves without having to canvas such a large area. I am also sure it does not cost 300-400 dollars to fly to Seattle or Texas to compete in a major tourney.

I think your opinion that gaming should only be a hobby should really be presented to proffesional basketball, baseball, championship chess, GO, etc. etc. etc. On-line video games are just as legitimate.

Re:Whatever. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9218554)

I like to eat butter!

Re:Whatever. (1)

AmericanInKiev (453362) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218670)

No - this is a completely valiid point.

The pursuit of any endeavor with potential income is a tax deductable expense.

Eating frogs seems to get high rating on fear factor, thus the $15 dollars i spent at the pet shop to practice is a deductable expense.

I think we should organize more professional competative fields such as to ensure that every action from pooping to scarfing hot dogs is in fact a valid professional pursuit.

AIK

Yeah, did that 5 years ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9218256)

I guess the latency from here to Korea has gotten even worse!

Re:Yeah, did that 5 years ago... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9218290)

Forgot this in parent post - I trained for the AMD PGL on my AMD K6-2 box.

http://www.cdmag.com/articles/015/112/pgl.html

Re:Yeah, did that 5 years ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9218597)

Woah! Cool!! According to your link I can get Starcraft for my Nintendo 64 for only $45!! What a steal!

Oh, come on... (4, Funny)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218257)

"He has a fan club with 470,000 registered members, but for the past two years he hasn't had a girlfriend. His fame makes it hard for him to risk rejection by approaching girls, he says: "It's too embarrassing." Also, team rules bar him from bringing dates back to the apartment."

Screw that BS... Get a new team or something.

Out of almost half a million people, there has to be some remotely hot girl that this guy could get and not be afraid of rejection with.
I mean..... wait for it..... she' in YOUR FAN CLUB!

Re:Oh, come on... (4, Funny)

LilMikey (615759) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218503)

So what he's trying to say is playing video games for a living doesn't get you chicks?!?! Incredible paradigm shift from my usual way of thinking.

i don;t know what's more sad (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218534)

that a video game player has a "fan club," or that a pretty girl would join such an organization.

THIS is more sad: (1)

mekkab (133181) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218576)

"I never miss a match" of his, said Jung Eun-young, 28, who stood in line for 14 hours for her front-row seat.


Yep. I mean, I've kept my wife waiting for 3 hours. but 14?!

Waiting for what though? (1)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218645)

I'd be interested to find out.... heheh

Re:Oh, come on... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9218539)

The Global Gaming League (ggl.com [ggl.com] ) is trying to start the same sort of professional gaming atmosphere in the U.S.... and your comment reminded me of their old slogan:

Stop playing with yourself .

I knew starcraft was popular in south korea but... (0, Troll)

bwraith (461263) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218259)

I never knew how popular it was up until now, maybe I should pull it back out of the dark recesses and work my way into the ranks again. Dell schedule allowing....

The Wife+Gaming=No sex (5, Funny)

Himring (646324) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218267)

So now you can claim your time gaming as 'job skills training'!

That should fly as well with the wife as the, "I'm working ... really!..."

Re:The Wife+Gaming=No sex (3, Funny)

awhelan (781773) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218338)

That's fine, if he's clever enough to get paid for gaming, I'm sure he's working on a way to get paid for looking at pr0n.

Re:The Wife+Gaming=No sex (1)

Saltine Cracker (116414) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218349)

ain't that the friggin truth.

Re:The Wife+Gaming=No sex (3, Funny)

Giant Panda (779279) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218377)

When I worked for IEG designing porn sites, this was the line I used, "Honey, really. I'm working..."

In practice, doesn't work too well!

woot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9218271)

omg

elite.pro.gaming

Don't quit your day job (4, Insightful)

nebaz (453974) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218277)

Just like professional athelets, you may be able to get a whole lot of money for playing a game, but the competition is fierce, and you have to be really good to do it. Not to mention that there is probably no long term viability as you age and your reflexes go south. It will happen eventually.

Re:Don't quit your day job (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218390)

On the other hand there is certainly something to be said for getting older. While your body cannot do all the things it once could you are generally in better control of it when doing things it is capable of. Further, you will tend to absorb more strategy over time. Older gamers will have more problem with twitch games (in most cases) but will be able to make up for it in other ways.

Re:Don't quit your day job (1)

nebaz (453974) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218484)

This is true for certain types of games, but even then, eventually mental faculties decline (at least in terms of speed) and older people get more forgetful (although my grandfather was sharp as a tack until the day he died). Although I doubt a 70 year old would embark on a professional gaming career. :-)

Re:Don't quit your day job (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218558)

I think my point (which I should have stated explicitly, I admit) was that the useful time span for a video gamer is probably going to be longer than, say, a basketball or football player. Especially football. On the other hand, there are some crusty ass mofos playing golf professionally, so it's not universal.

Re:Don't quit your day job (2, Funny)

nebaz (453974) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218643)

This is probably true, but just out of curiosity, what do you think the upper age limit for a gamer is generally? There are baseball players in their 40's, and a few NFL kickers. Do you think a gamer could continue into their 50s-60s? (I hope so). I could see retirement homes in 40 years with old NES games, with huge icons, and slowed down processing time so we can still play SMB. :-)

Re:Don't quit your day job (1)

Buzz_Litebeer (539463) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218573)

I used to game for money, and I can tell you that at 24 I can no longer compete at the high profile games out there.

I do not have the reflexes I once had for games such as Unreal Tourney, and this is after only 5 years of pursuing other interests.

I used to play games 8 hours a day, now I play them maybe 6 hours a week. It really does make a difference. Though you are correct in one thing, i am a much smarter gamer than I used to be, I can often win by using strategy instead of twitch skills.

When I used to be good at quake, I would just run through the levels, allowing my enemy to get a shot off, and then killing him through simply being manually better at the game, i no longer seem to have that ability ;-(

and Im only 24!

1... 2... 3.... Rush! (3, Funny)

lcde (575627) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218301)

[pro StarCraft gamer] Lim Yo-Hwan made about $300,000 from player fees and commercials.

And you thought you got pissed when someone Zerg Rushed you.

Re:1... 2... 3.... Rush! (1)

mrtroy (640746) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218334)

ya i would go terran against that, get my bunkers in before your zerglings arrive, and smoke those zerglings before they touch my bunker.

Then I would tank/goliath pump and destroy you before you can say "owned"

And im not a pro...I only train 6 hours a day, I work 9-5 :P

Re:1... 2... 3.... Rush! (1)

Molz (87066) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218580)

Yeah. The bunkers work wonders against a zerg rush. I typically like to go with a 3/2 mix of marines/firebats which really rocks them since the marines can start hitting them a ways off and if any get close enough, the firebats toast 'em. Ah fun times...

Doesn't sound fun (1, Funny)

Dizzle (781717) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218306)

If you're getting paid to play games, what do you do for fun? Practice practicing medicine?

This is getting out of control. (5, Funny)

Dr. Bent (533421) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218313)

in South Korea, where, even more so than the U.S., there are increasingly highly paid professional teams competing in games

Jesus, are they outsourcing everything now?!?

Re:This is getting out of control. (1)

Woogiemonger (628172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218487)

Jesus, are they outsourcing everything now?!?

Well, it's not the same thing though. It's not like we had thousands of highly paid professional gamers in the US that lost their jobs.

I am a professional gamer (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9218318)

My company has been paying me to be a professional solitaire and spider solitaire player for years.

Re:I am a professional gamer (4, Funny)

mrtroy (640746) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218373)

My boss can do the minesweeper expert size in 50 seconds.

Looks like he has been training for a few years.

My best time is 120.

Re:I am a professional gamer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9218661)

My best was 89. But I can only do it with a A4 Wacom stylus ;-).

-k

(50 sounds incredible)

Cheaters (2, Insightful)

L3on (610722) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218330)

You must remember, becoming a professional gamer bears it's burdens... "OMG CHEATER! HACKER! BAN HIM!!!1111"

Musician, Pro Athelete, Gamer (2, Insightful)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218335)

You're better off becoming a professional musician or pro athelete than a pro gamer.

Sure, the TOP GAMERS make over 200k a year (BTW - being a pro gamer also means you need to buy bleeding edge technology, so that 200k isn't much after you subtract your monthly computer upgrade budget), but most hardly make any... not to mention that you not only have to be fabulous with one game, but with at least one new game ever year or so. If you take a break, or have an off year or two, you are in debt.

I'll stick to my day job, thanks.

Re:Musician, Pro Athelete, Gamer (1)

mgoodman (250332) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218408)

$400 for a video card isn't all that great. And who says you need a billion fps when a million will be just fine? You don't need bleeding edge technology to woop someones ass in counterstrike or starcraft...these games are several years old and having a radeon 9600 pro vs a radeon 9800 pro isnt gonna matter.

Re:Musician, Pro Athelete, Gamer (1)

L3on (610722) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218424)

A professional gamer is sponsered by companies who make many of the "bleeding edge technology" products you mension. Therefore if one becomes a professional gamer they get all the newest/coolest stuff for free.

Re:Musician, Pro Athelete, Gamer (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218430)

Monthly? Maybe quarterly at the outside, and you don't have to replace your entire system. Furthermore, a paraplegic can become a pro gamer, but they're going to have a hard time being a b-baller or even a golfer.

Stick to your day job if you like, but if I had the necessary skills, I'd head for the gamer shit long before the football player. There's much more to life than money, like doing what you love and are good at and feeling the accomplishment thereof.

Re:Musician, Pro Athelete, Gamer (1)

Fearan (600696) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218444)

One new game every year? The article specifically states StarCraft, which is now approaching its 8th birthday.

Re:Musician, Pro Athelete, Gamer (1)

wramsdel (463149) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218478)

Starcraft was released in 1998 and ran just fine on my AMD K6-233 at the time. As it hasn't been radically updated since, I don't think there's much of a need for anything more than bottom of the barrel present-day technology if Starcraft's your addiction.

Re:Musician, Pro Athelete, Gamer (1)

SnowDeath (157414) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218492)

Are you stupid or just dont read the f'ing articles...this is for StarCraft. What type of hardware do you think you need for friggin' starcraft?

Not good at math or reading comprehension, huh? (5, Insightful)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218548)

Sure, the TOP GAMERS make over 200k a year (BTW - being a pro gamer also means you need to buy bleeding edge technology, so that 200k isn't much after you subtract your monthly computer upgrade budget), but most hardly make any... not to mention that you not only have to be fabulous with one game, but with at least one new game ever year or so. If you take a break, or have an off year or two, you are in debt.

You do realize that these Korean players are playing StarCraft, game for which a machine from five years ago was overkill. I mean the game requires a Pentium 90, 16 MB of RAM, and a 2X CD-ROM! The game is five years old!

Even if you were member of some sort of mythical pro gaming league that adopted new games as soon as they came out, I can't seriously imagine spending more than $5000 a year on upgrading hardware and buying the latest games. On a $300,000/year budget, that's chump change. Hell, on that kind of budget you could buy a sports car or two each year without feeling the strain.

I'll stick to my day job, thanks.

Geez, I hope it has nothing to do with making purchasing decisions for your company if you think you have to throw a significant portion of a 6-figure salary at staying competitive in StarCraft.

Re:Musician, Pro Athelete, Gamer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9218578)

oh yeah, I'll need to buy a monster of a computer to play STARCRAFT, a game released in 1998.

I can't believe I'm reading this. (1, Funny)

Snoobs (43421) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218348)

I just flunked out of school AGAIN, for playing Starcraft. Damn, I need to learn Korean so I can start getting paid. Does anyone know where to download peoples replays of famous matches? thanks. PEACE

Re:I can't believe I'm reading this. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9218572)

You're completely fucking worthless.

Re:I can't believe I'm reading this. (4, Interesting)

tbase (666607) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218593)

Ummm... being a professional anything would require a level of responsability and dedication that for some reason I have a feeling you lack. Like professional sports, to make a living at this you have to be the best or at least in the top single-digit percentile. And there are always hundreds or more likely thousand of people busting their behinds to become better than you.
If you don't have the willpower or sense of purpose to put the game controller down long enough to get a passing grade at school, you might want to look into a career where being mediocre will at least put food on your table. My guess is that once StarCraft became a responsability, you'd find yourself sneaking a few rounds of some other game when you should be 'training'.

Look at me, I am old, but I'm happy -Cat Stevens

Where has Gary Larson gone? (5, Funny)

AndroidonPPC (737311) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218350)

Man... there was a Far Side comic about parents hopefully imagining newspaper classifieds desperately searching for a super-mario player so that their son, engulfed in games, would have a career.

Professional starcraft player. Fastest Zerg rush of the east! ^_^

World Leagues ? (1)

vluther (5638) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218360)

It would be interesting to see how these guys do against, the top of the US/European gaming professionals.

Just to see two different styles of play, or realize that even with different cultures, some games need to be played the same way..I'm not talking about Quake or UT etc, but strategy games, do they favor an all out constant attack, or what kinds of weapons do they prefer ? How many different ways are there to win at Starcraft ?

Re:World Leagues ? (1)

mikeee (137160) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218433)

From what I understand, the Koreans dominate international competitions; their games tend to be relatively short and fierce, with doesn't-look-possible micromanagement of combats being key.

Re:World Leagues ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9218613)

Lets put it this way, US/European players who think they have a chance move to Korea.

Re:World Leagues ? (1)

rylin (688457) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218659)

I guess you could check out the World Cyber Games [worldcybergames.com] :)

Not to mention... (3, Informative)

Universal Nerd (579391) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218368)

CS Player Ola "elemeNt" Moum's sale (or buying out of his contract) from Schroet Kommando (SK) to NoA.

More info: SK's site [schroet.com] , NoA's site [teamnoa.net] and CSNation [csnation.net] .

OK, so, uh (1, Interesting)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218376)

How do I become a professional gamer?

Rob (Damn misleading headlines)

Poker!! (4, Interesting)

moehoward (668736) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218381)


Online Texas Hold 'em is the ONLY way to become a professional gamer.

Why doesn't the Slashdot crowd consider this to be "gaming"? It has all the elements of a great game AND you win money. Isn't that what this article is all about?

Well, consider (1)

Hal The Computer (674045) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218511)

I hate to be the wet blanket, but think about it. If you make any kind of money at poker, you do so becasue you're consistantly winning against the other players well above average. And the law of averages says that you're probably winning somebody elses rent money.

Is gambling evil. No! But I think I'd prefer to play Blackjack against the house.

Re:Poker!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9218653)

Quite possibly because it is gambling.

job (4, Insightful)

MikeHunt69 (695265) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218392)

Yeah, but wouldn't that make it ... a job?

One of the best pieces of advice I have read: Don't make your hobby your job. Except in extremely rare cases, you will start hating your hobby. I have investigated a few alternative jobs in the last few years including photographer, videographer/moviemaker, professional gambler, scuba diving instructor, commercial diver, motorcycle build/repair, vehicle spraypainter. All of these things have been/still are hobbies and I have stopped myself every time, because I know that as soon as I start in a new career I will hate that hobby.

I used to love computers btw.

Gaming fun (3, Insightful)

Tech404 (781821) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218397)

Gaming is for fun, not work. I am a StarCraft fan, yes, in fact after this comment I'll be playing it (whiteraven710 if anyone cares for a game or two). But there is no way on gods green earth that I'd do it for money.

Gaming should never be considered a career, when it is, it'll become boring and no longer be a fun activity. I really hope this never becomes a common job title.

Re:Gaming fun (1)

elwell642 (754833) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218441)

Gaming should never be considered a career

Perhaps someone should inform Nike.

i just saw you on b.net... (1)

herrd0kt0r (585718) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218479)

Gaming is for fun, not work. I am a StarCraft fan, yes, in fact after this comment I'll be playing it (whiteraven710 if anyone cares for a game or two).

says the guy with 19 wins, 3094 losses, and "LOOKING 4 CLAN SEND MSG PLZ" on his stats page.

just kidding. i wasn't on b.net. ;)

I don't know about you... (4, Funny)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218404)

But I ALWAYS destroy that Silly Chinese army in C&C:Generals. And if their Army is any indication of their gameplay, I'm home free!

I'll do it for half... (1)

TheTXLibra (781128) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218418)

Heck, most of us have to pay, either monetarily, or emotionally (from our significant other) in order to play games. I think if it were actually a lucrative, well-paying career, then us "geeks" could probably get our hitherto negative appelation put on par with "big baller".

Money makes the world go around, and with a six-figure income, where you don't have to retire due to old age, it could become quite an attractive trait. "I make 300k competing against some of the top professionals in my field" sure sounds a lot sexier than "I do tech support for XXXXX..."

-TheTXLibra
"You've got no kids, no wife, no job, and you're not in The Tigger Movie!!!" - my best friend's son, Gabe, at 5 years old. [everything2.com]

No Deaths = Amateurs (3, Funny)

engineerErrant (759650) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218421)

The fans of a given game can't reasonably be called hardcore until some of them die playing it (as with Diablo 2 a couple years ago). I see the Starcraft guys still lack commitment.

I long for combat!

Sad Facts (4, Insightful)

somethinghollow (530478) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218429)

Unfortunatly, you have to be REALLY good at these games to make money. If you think you are really good, then you have to be even better.

I used to do Quake 3 WFA. So, I ended up hearing things about good Quake 3 players, which were, at the time, Fat1ity (or WTF ever you put that "1").

He apparently played lots of tennis and trained on the virtual field for long periods of time. The real-life sports, he said, helped him with coordination and prediction. So, you can just be a geek sitting on his haunches all day if you buy into Fata1ity's views.

What I'm getting at is: this isn't a bunch of part time gamers. This is a job, and, as with most jobs, once you get paid, the fun level drops. Kindof like when you decide to concieve a child and it isn't working as quick as you thought, the sex turns into a task instead of something fun to do (or so I hear from many people, as I've never tried to concieve).

Re:Sad Facts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9218453)

Let me no if you need to outsource that last job.

Re:Sad Facts (2, Interesting)

larsoncc (461660) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218611)

However, in the case of Fata1ty (again... WTF you put that 1)...

He's able to leverage his relative fame into endorsement deals. For instance, some new ABit motherboards are coming out will bear his name and his specs. They will expand from there to full computers.

It's important for these gamers NOT just to be good at the game, but to make a NAME for themselves. It's the name recognition that will bring the money.

Now, it brings up an interesting side bar... Game companies seem to cheer on individuals that PLAY, but not individuals that MAKE games. Yet, the gamers really want to connect with the game producers.

And yeah, this mode of operation works well for companies - after all, no company wants to hire a prima dona, and every company wants a faceless, replacable work force.

Finger Insurance?? (3, Funny)

d_force (249909) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218446)

Last year, Mr. Lim made about $300,000 from player fees and commercials. Another top earner, Hung Jin-Ho,
whose fingers are insured for $60,000, recently signed a three-year deal with telecom provider KTF Co. that will pay him $480,000 altogether.

I know pro-sports players buy massive insurance... but exclusively for fingers?!?!

Hell, can I get a pro-rated discount for only insuring my thumb, index, and middle finger? What about only the dominant hand?

Reminds me of the Conan O'Brian skit: "In the year twoooo-thousand... People will be able to save $150 or more on their finger insurance by switching to Geico!

Interview (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9218464)

Sir, could you tell us a little about yourself and your career as a gamer?

"Hallo! I R KOREA ^_^ kekekekeke"

OK..well..um...how did you get so good at Starcraft

"OMG zerg rush! ^_^ kekekeke"

Probably not all it's cracked up to be (5, Interesting)

Moonshadow (84117) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218476)

I dunno. While it'd be great to get paid for gaming, playing one game 10 hours a day, every day, would get rather monotonous and dull after a while. I enjoy gaming because I can play whatever game I want for however long I want. I might play some UT2K4 in three game modes, or Viewtiful Joe, or NWN, or whatever suits my fancy. Any one game after a while gets to be rather boring. My initial UT2K4 craze (ie, spending every spare moment on it) lasted about 2 weeks - now, I play maybe 2 hours a week. I mix it up with Legendary Halo when I don't feel like competing online, or maybe Soul Calibur when my roommate's in the mood for an ass-kicking. I'm a gamer, no doubt - I've sunk hundreds into building a capable gaming machine, and the living room is jammed with consoles - but any one pursuit, especilly forced, would just get dull. Gaming is a hobby, a release, and to have to "train" for it would be rather unenjoyable, I think.

Of course, I'm very much not a powergamer, and I have an actual 9-5 that I work and come home to relax from, so my perspective is probably quite different from the younger crowd's.

TV coverage (2, Interesting)

Sean80 (567340) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218496)

I guess this doesn't make a lot of sense to me until such time as these games start to be shown on TV, where rounds can be surrounded by ads and what have you.

Of course, this might be an interesting direction for games to go in. Unreal Tournament 2004 isn't too exciting to watch unless you're actually playing in it, so what types of games would do well on tv?

Another area that I find fascinating is the potential for people to do "useful" things in games. Could gamers solve potentially large problems by the fractal differential of the quantum encoding of their movements in a game of Doom? Will games move so far into the realm of virtual lives that people physically do work there?

As usual the WSJ is well behind and lame (4, Insightful)

ianscot (591483) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218506)

Smithsonian Magazine ran a high-profile article about this ages ago, at least a year back. The WSJ article here, true to form, dumbs down its take on Starcraft:
"a game of strategy that's like a combination of high-speed chess and Risk."

to the point where anyone who's actually played the thing would say it's a generic description of all RTS titles. Yeah, they're writing for an audience of stockholders and CEOs, they think, but c'mon -- they could have differentiated it from every other title, couldn't they? (Especially because it's interesting that Starcraft is the center of this little cult despite being a rather old title?)

This is the conservative paper of record, at least for the George Will set, and anything I have any personal experience with they completely botch. I'll never forget the WSJ report, seemingly years after the fad, that men were starting to wear pony tails in office settings.

(But how about that etching of the video game star? Mostly it's just middle-aged businessmen gazing imperiously over their mahogany desks, but here we get a video game hero. Quite odd to see.)

Quote the rest... (1)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218565)

Atleast quote the rest of the paragraph. It did a little bit more explaining, but not much. Atleast all the CEOs know it's an alien fighting game. "Players control one of three alien species in a computer-generated universe, attempting to gather resources, build weapons and annihilate the enemy"

I have to say it (1)

SpermanHerman (763707) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218529)

In Soviet Russia... games play YOU

Pro gamers are strange creatures (5, Insightful)

Munden (681257) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218538)

I was on my way to becomming a competative gamer in Counter-Strike. I joined CAL and was undefeated in CAL-O. Counter-Strike requires many hours of time of practice and strats for any person to be sucessful at it. I had to give up many things just to beat the first season I played and ultimatly I decided the sacrafices are not worth it. Friends become enemies, all spare time is used to hone your craft, and it turns from a fun game into a chore or job with extreme pressure. This is especially true in team based games like Counter-Strike. I made over $580.00 in one month on Star Wars Galaxies the first month I played. That was fun but became less fun over time. If you have the ability to sacrafice your friends, time, sanity, family, job, and in many cases education, then you too can be a pro gamer. Games are targeted at the younger generations. Many students sacrafice their time which would otherwise be spent on more productive activities but instead on games. To be a pro gamer you have to be all in 100%. I have seen my friends even take off a year after high school to get a job and play games instead of going to college.

where is the money from? (2, Insightful)

happyfrogcow (708359) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218547)

who is sponsoring it, what do they hope to gain, and hoe long until the bubble burts and the realize there aren't any gains?

is it a spectator event? do they get money from people logging on in some spectator mode?

this is silly.

RTFA (4, Funny)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218608)

There was so many sponsorship ads in that article I had to go get myself a Coke.

Clarification on the 400 APM (5, Informative)

silverHat (708410) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218562)

In the article, the author noted that the top player(s) can reach upwards of 400 APM.

This needs clarification about exactly what's going on here.

First off, this number is derived out of all the combined actions over the course of the game and divided by how many minutes the game was. There is a simple program created and written for this that analyzes each game through the replay details. If _anyone_ here plays StarCraft or it's younger brother WarCraft 3 (as both are considered professional games in Korea with WC3 becoming more and more popular) then you will know it's damn near impossible to accomplish anything efficiently with that high of an APM in the early game for about the first 2-4 minutes. To get that APM, keep in mind, he has to be clicking away approx. 6 times a second for the WHOLE match.

Yes, players can do this, but we gamers give it a special name: Spam clicking. As an avid gamer, spam clicking is one of the most obnoxious ways to show off your 1337 skills.

How do I know that 400 APM isn't possible, or at least where every click actually does something? Very simple, I've seen these replays, and by comparing top replays of players who spam click vs. those who don't, the highest _most efficient_ number is more are 150-175 APM, well below the 400 number the author glorified these players with. As you can probably tell, this works with marketers and advertising business, because I once tried to spam that much myself, and couldn't get higher than 250. People think it's supernatural.

glines (1)

sso (780856) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218575)

Is there a $450,000 market for glines players? Please contact me if you are hiring :)

are there any..... (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218599)

Are there any teams out there that are working on their tonge game play??

Follow me [slashdot.org]

RSI? (2, Insightful)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218632)

Mr. Lim, who trains 10 hours a day

How on earth does he avoid repetitive stress injuries?


-Colin [colingregorypalmer.net]

What?!?! (2, Funny)

PardonMyFrench (777584) | more than 10 years ago | (#9218650)

And all these years I've been givin' it away for free?!?!?!

~sean
Stupendous Badass

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