Old man doto
I want to talk about something that I feel is limiting the growth of esports, and I might be the most qualified to do so. To be a professional Dota 2 player in the current era, you have to give up college and other career opportunities. You are committed to your career choice.
Playing Dota professionally takes up all of your time if you calculate in the amount of time you have to travel and train to be worthy of being considered one of the best teams in the world.
As of right now, a lot of players, fans, and organizations treat players in their late 20's to be an older player reaching retirement. With that being said, being a professional player in esports, compared to any other sport, is a terrible investment of your future--even if you are successful. I see a lot of players lose confidence and retire because of this predetermined misconception set by the community. I am 30 years old and approaching 31, so I know this feeling well. People on Reddit, Twitter, Instagram, and even in my pubs seem to share this sentiment. So why is it in traditional sports there are superstars in their 30's?
To be honest I don't watch a lot of traditional sports, but I know in basketball, names like Lebron James (33) and Stephen Curry (30) are talked about as being the best in the game. In some extreme cases, there are players like Tom Brady (41) who are still winning championships. The career expectancy in traditional sports is a whole decade longer in comparison to esports.
There could be a lot of reasons for this, and a big one is that traditional sports don’t change much. A lot of esports come and go as the years go by. It’s only natural that most players are only good at a certain game, and as that game dies, so does the future of those that played it. I do believe it is easier to learn a game when you are younger, comparatively to when you are older. I think that is one thing a lot of professional athletes have in common: they all start playing when they are young. For example, I couldn’t imagine myself picking up LoL and expect to go pro.
Luckily for myself, and many other Dota players, the game we all know and love has been around for over a decade and continues to show signs of growth. So when I’m told that I’m too “old” for Dota and see other players retire because that’s how they feel, I just can’t understand why. I don’t feel that I, or any other player who grew up playing Dota, is too old to play Dota professionally because they’re in their late 20s. I have heard the argument that your reflexes in video games goes down as you get older, but I would play reaction time tests with younger players like Sumail all the time and still school them with an 11 year age gap.
I may be one of the first players to take the charge in playing Dota in their 30’s, but I do hope many more will follow in my footsteps because I truly believe it is good for the game and esports as a whole. It is important to not feel limited or pressured by a fictional age range that people made up and have no idea what they are talking about. I would know. I have been playing this game professionally longer than just about anyone. After all, I was also once told once told a long time ago that playing video games was a waste of time and I needed to get a real job because nothing would come from it.