The performance world has always been on the hunt for prodigies, from musicians to top athletes in sports like tennis and soccer. The videogamer’s quest for excellence involves something many parents try to shield their kids from—obsessive game play.
The teen recruits must eventually leave their families to live with their teams, spending 12 hours a day in training and up to 250 days competing and traveling away from home. The pro gaming teams pay for players’ travel, gear and accommodation, as well as a base salary and performance related bonuses. In return, the team takes a cut of winnings. Top players can ultimately take home $18,000 a month or more.
According to Patrik Sättermon, a 28-year-old professional video game player who is considered past his prime, the peak age for a video game players is 18 or 19 years old when they “have the right balance between reflexes, the ability to understand the game and also enough maturity.” Sättermon recruits and trains young players for professional tournaments at his academy in London. I’d like to see these kids play Pac-Man against Billy Mitchell.
Photo: Pop Culture Geek