The growth of esports as a whole in some ways has helped to change the definition of what an athlete is, and whilst other cerebral sports such as Chess have been trying to do the same for decades, not having as huge a global stage as esports had made it more difficult for it to stand out. But the opposite remains true too, as the term athlete has changed the way esports professionals behave and conduct themselves – but how have the terms changed, and what impact does this have?
Player fitness – As esports has evolved, the more stereotypical view of unhealthy-looking players has started to change as player fitness has become a much more important aspect of the games – good diets, proper sleep schedules, and physical training are now much more common to see. With physical injuries being less common but still present, much of the fitness focus has been mentally as player burnout has started to become all too common, and all areas of fitness are monitored amongst the top teams and top players.
Big expectations, big salaries – A change that has happened more recently has been toward the expectations of these players and how they’re rewarded – only within the past few years has investment and the money in esports started to rise, but many players are huge stars in their respective games with millions of followers and more visible than traditional athletes as they often take part in live streaming daily as part of their job. Putting in the long hours, travelling around the world, and doing everything required of a professional athlete requires the compensation too, and it’s now starting to emerge that the players are finally starting to receive this. Now looking less of a casual competitor and more of a professional elite.
Player conduct – Whilst behaviour has always been something that is monitored with players, with fewer eyes it was never over enforced. Now, some of the biggest franchises in the world have become involved in the sport, although initiatives are in place to slow the growth a list of betting sites not on Gamstop, have become a big representation in these games with players from all walks of life, and viewer numbers have consistently increased and now rival or edge over the biggest traditional sporting events – with all of that, player behaviour and conduct has become more important than before with the added difficulty of live streaming for up to eight hours per day making these celebrity players more visible than any before – often times these players are very young, but many are expected and are able to mature extremely quickly to fulfil conduct requirements.
All of these changes have certainly led to an exciting time in esports however, the professionalism is great to see too as it shows just how far the sport has come in such a short amount of time – whilst there may still be hiccups along the way, the early path is before them and it’s now just ensuring they walk it correctly.
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