Imagine taking away a drug from an addict or a cane of beer from an alcoholic; reactions that will follow is understandable. However, there is a new type of addiction nowadays that can replicate the same reaction, which is gaming. Taking away someone’s gaming console is similar to separating a drug addict from drugs.
Well, this mere recreational activity can transform into a viable career opportunity if exposed towards the right careeristic goals. Career as a game developer or not-- is a finished debate. Developers are now earning bucks; but the question is, can professional gaming be a viable career path regarding the popularity of esports?
Esports, also termed as electronic sports, are online games where players play as a team or solo against opponents from around the globe. Advancement and availability of technology has made it possible for more and more youths to join the gaming arena, while all these lockdown and other pandemic related situations are inspiring others newly.
Games like Dota, Call of Duty, Fortnite, League of Legends, PUBG and many more have become synonymous with youths. According to Statista, the global esports market is valued over US$ 1.08 billion, and is projected that the market revenue will go past US$ 1.62 billion by the year 2024. This is far from a human's perspective of considering it only as a means of recreational activity during leisure. Gaming has witnessed an explosion in popularity ever since stepping into the 21st century. To make things a bit more comprehensible, it can be mentioned that gaming is worth more than both the movie and the music industry altogether.
The increasing fame of esports has created viable career opportunities across the globe. Establishing a career in this industry, both as a developer or gamer, is being taken more seriously now. Professional level tournaments in the first world countries now have lucrative price pools. Popularity and demand have come to such an extent that both colleges and universities are offering scholarships to esports players.
However, Bangladesh is yet to reach the heights and prospects of the global gaming industry. Professional gaming in Bangladesh is still at its infancy.
The main reason behind the understatement of such a blooming sector is the lack of knowledge and better understanding of it. Most people are skeptical about a sustainable career from gaming.
Another major reason is connectivity. Weak internet connection is one of the biggest hurdles for the people who wish to build careers in gaming as online gaming and esports need highly efficient network connectivity. Moreover, pursuing such a career can be expensive for the beginners, especially for school/college goers, given that one needs to invest a minimum amount of Tk 50,000 for the computer set-up and gaming console.
On the other hand, the majority of the parents are hesitant about esports and generally wish their children to pursue a traditional career which is consistent and reliable. Most parents are supportive till video gaming is done for entertainment only which negates the possibility of a career in gaming at the first place itself.
Nevertheless, there are some challenges to this career path as well. Even though there are professional gamers who are earning millions of dollars a year, only a handful actually can reach that height. Most professionals often resort to streaming matches on popular platforms earning substantial incomes; however, this kind of success comes slowly and requires a lot of patience.
Again, another problem is that only the top few games are lucrative enough to earn a decent annual income. Hence, those who are skilled at playing relatively unpopular games, or do not have proper device setup to play the popular ones, earning becomes difficult for them. In addition, sitting constantly in front of a screen for longer periods causes eye problems, posture difficulties and many other health related issues.
Gaming is basically deemed as an addiction and there are instances of games getting banned due to being over-addictive. Nevertheless, balance between daily life activities and gaming can check health issues, while reliability of the career will increase in time. As this industry continues developing, many criticisms will disappear entirely, and gaming as a career will gain more popularity.
The writer is a student of Department of International Business at University of Dhaka.