eSport: A Centennial Fad or the Future?
Today we welcome Amanda Mörn, one of the younger members of the Mr Green team but a wealth of knowledge nevertheless. She voices her opinions on the up and coming area of sport that is redefining the way we think about the subject entirely.
She shares her knowledge of eSport and speaks about how this centennial creation helped her to develop personally as well as professionally and her predictions to the future popularity of the sport within the iGaming industry.
Could you introduce yourself and your role within Mr Green?
I’m Amanda, I am a Shift Leader at Mr Green.
A Shift Leader is the company spider, spinning the web that connects many departments. They ensure that all operations run smoothly and to help customer support in providing excellent customer service at all times.
For those of us who are not in the know, could you briefly explain the concept of eSports?
It is an online sport – online gaming essentially. To name a few well-known games: ‘Counterstrike’, ‘Starcraft’, ‘League of Legends’ and ‘Battlefield’. It is competing and playing against other teams, but on the computer.
The first instance of computer games being competitive was back in 1972, however, this is nothing like the concept we know and understand today.
When we think of sport, are minds are usually drawn to more traditional routes of activity, do you believe eSport lives up to its name and has a place within ‘sport’ as a whole?
Personally, I think they really do. Think back to five or ten years ago, this certainly wasn’t a thing. Right now, the word eSports is getting more and more relevant because of all it is offering – we have tournaments, competitions and there is something going on all the time.
Just like football has the Champions League and the Premier League for example, ‘Counterstrike’ and ‘League of Legends’ have monthly tournaments aimed at different levels of players with big prizes.
I do believe it is living up to its name as a sport.
What first drew your interest to this unique area of sport?
I was quite young actually. I had just started 6th form and met a guy – we began dating and he introduced to me to this game called ‘Counterstrike’. Previously, when we were younger we had ‘Counterstrike Strike 1.6′ and ‘Counter Strike Source’ and then in 2012 they released a game called ‘Counterstrike: Global Offensive’. I started playing it a bit and I realised that it was so much fun to team up with random people online, you do not know who they are, but you needed to work together to win. Since then I have played the games and loved the sport.
How far would you say that sport, in particular eSport, goes towards developing someone personally and within business, is it something you would say you have experienced?
Regarding this sport in particular – there are lots of young people playing. This has both positive and negative impacts, for example, you get a lot of angry people screaming at you and being very rude and horrible, however, you still need to work as a team.
This has definitely been an influence work wise because, if you know how to be a team player, know how to communicate with people that engage at all temperaments then you will automatically do better in a work environment.
It helps you to understand and build a strategy, motivate your team and to begin to develop yourself.
If I might share an example:
When I was younger I was very shy and so at school it was pretty difficult for me to make friends as I didn’t feel comfortable reaching out.
Then when I started playing these games, I learned how to say ‘hello’ and communicate with people on a deeper level which I could then replicate in the outside world making me more comfortable in my own skin and giving me the confidence to put myself out there.
If you go into the games with a positive attitude, then you are able to learn so much in regards to communicating effectively.
How often are you playing eSports, at what levels are you able to compete?
Lately, not so much, I have a lot of work to do but not long ago I used to play daily, it has gone down to weekly, but I try to play as much as I can.
In regard to competing, what you can do is put together a team, usually around 5 people and train together and then enter into tournaments. You can actually also go to a physical location for these tournaments and although you are playing together online, you are actually in the same room doing so.
There are world tournaments held if I am not mistaken, is it very difficult to reach that level in terms of monetary funding? As we have covered so far in this interview series, especially when touching upon tennis, you need a lot of financial backing to be able to support your talents. Does eSport follow suit or break the mold?
To get high up, you do need sponsorships and there are companies out there that will sponsor individuals or even teams however, of course you also need the skills and reactions to be able to get noticed in the first place.
I’d say this is where eSports are easily recognisable as a sport and not just a game as it follows the same sponsorship structure as its traditional ancestors, like tennis.
Certain casino operators are bringing eSports to their sportsbook, in your opinion, is this just the start? Do you see this area of activity growing further?
I really see it going further, It will. Right now, this is just the beginning.
When you look at these other operators, you can see this going down well with the supporters of the sport. The tricky thing right now is that no casino can target players younger than 18, however, because of the young fan base behind this sport, in a few years when these players are grown up this will be an area of sport iGaming would be silly to dismiss.
What do you think it is about eSport that is drawing people in so rapidly? You have mentioned that it does seem to be a much younger crowd – why do you think that is?
From my perspective, it’s about being young and being at school and therefore having a lot more time on your hands. A lot of young people enjoy playing some sort of game whether it is online or a one player X-box game – though I am not sure why. I know from when I was young, we enjoyed playing these sorts of games and that feeling of fun stays with you into adulthood.
Also, if you are quiet and struggle to communicate and connect with people in real life, these games give you an outlet to have fun, meet new people and for friendship bonds to form.
Finally, do you have any words of wisdom to those interested in eSports for the future of this sport and the players role within that?
If you like it, you are good it at it, then put the time in – you can make a career but like any sport you need to get involved.
However, definitely make sure to have a life, do not live online – you need the best of both worlds.
That was the amazing Amanda, thank you!
If you missed any of our past posts in this series then take a look at the Sport section of this blog and catch up on golf, cricket, tennis and chess and how the skills learned in these sports can help shape your career and professionalism on a day to day basis.
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