I'm writing about the way that people see e-sports.
A lot of people seem to think that young people who take part in e-sports are giving up on themselves academically. That’s because they don’t see games as a good career path. They have this view that computer games are a way to waste time, and that they don’t teach students anything. Students should be reading, according to them. I definitely do not agree with this. E-sports may be relatively new, but a person who takes part in it is considered an athlete. On the mainland, e-sports is even seen as a national sport. E-sport athletes need to train for hours before competitions. If they win, they win trophies and money. Doesn’t that show that you can make a career out of playing games?
I think a lot of people underestimate how much money can be won from taking part in e-sports. According to game market researcher Newzoo, the best e-sport players can make millions in Hong Kong dollars.
As I said before, e-sport athletes train a lot before competitions. They might have to spend eight to 10 hours every day in front of a computer, which is about the same amount of time an office worker would be in front of their computer anyway. Pro-gamers need to analyse their opponents, and study the latest techniques in their chosen game. It’s not as simple as just “playing a game”.
I think more needs to be done to make people aware of how much work goes into e-sports. Only by clearing up these common assumptions about pro-gaming, will e-sport players get the respect they deserve.
Ho Man Ching, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College
From the editor
Thank you for your letter Man-ching. I bet your parents would be happier if you spent your time with your nose in a book because that would be “good for you”. We’re not saying it’s not good for you, we always support reading. But let’s consider this:
When printing presses were first on the rise in Europe, the church went wild because suddenly everyone could have access to information. Elders were furious too. What were the youngsters of the day thinking, going around reading? They had better things to do, like farming or housework. Reading was just a waste of precious time, especially when there was work to be done.
If we look back now and see what benefits printing has brought us – mass communication, the ability to store knowledge and move it across time and space, and the ability to share ideas – we can see that those “readers” were right after all.
The fact is that e-sports are here, like it or not. They are already a multibillion dollar industry, and will support hundreds of thousands of people in work. Let’s be like the “readers” and persevere.