Ghosts of gamer's past: A tribute to those that missed their prime potential at becoming a professional player
Ghosts and hauntings
Gamers in the past understood a specific type of mentality that modern day gamers may not adhere to as loyally or as fiercely. This mentality is that of true grit, of understanding that even though Rockman shattered into pieces right before your eyes, right before you could land that final energy blast on the last boss of the game, that your journey was not for naught. This highlighted the importance of having save file records, relics of the past that could be input as code into the specific game to instantly "log" your progress and thus skip the pain and labor of having to start over from the initial "easy" bosses and levels in the side scroller.
Nowadays, these relics have evolved into living save files, which can sometimes be corrupted, but more often than not, also have the added advantage of being a duplicate, parallel world existing in an auto-save file. Thus the ghost of the main "storyline" of the world in which your character beats all the baddies and emerges a hero, exists in autosave.
Spiritual tag and hide and seek
To gamers, and professional esports athletes, their mainstay games were not just a game. They were indeed a religion, or sometimes, even a spiritual experience. The overall aspects of the game that the players made their own personal mantras, their own vendetta-material, their own secret tactics, and their own clan/guild memories, are all things that we as a gaming culture experience and understand. Sometimes we knew that we were the ones in secret, hiding, biding, and training in order to beat our next opponent's Akuma in Street Fighter 5 or Tekken. Other times, we were the ones seeking out competitions, flaunting our knowledge through use of youtube, twitch streams, or in online tournaments, dominating the rest of the players, and building a loyal, albeit small fanbase.
Pain and regret on what could have been
To those of us that have not achieved what we knew was obtainable, yet just out of grasp, due to reality's circumstances, time-constraints, or even sometimes, parental restraints, I would like to reminisce on what we learned through this undying pain and angst that lives on within our very spiritual experience that we have with games and competitive arenas.
Indeed, I find it appropriate to list a small selection of games that may relate to esports and achieving a professional outlook on the esports ideals of both sportsmanship, competition, and above all, winning that championship title.
The first title in this selection of esports related titles is StarCraft Two, Virtual Novel, or SC2VN for short. It depicts the journey of a starcraft 2 player who wishes to achieve his professional title through moving across regions of the world, from a western society to an eastern one. The story takes place within a mecca of esports, Korea. This is a quaint title that is free-to-access on steam and also via their website. It is very palatable both to new players as well as those who have been gaming for over 50 years. While it is more a comic-book/visual novel than a game, it is worth the read.
The second title in this selection of esports related titles is Don't Forget That Esports Dream, of which I am actually a founder and supporter in, (find me, DiOrcus, in the credits). This title is the second installment of the SC2VN series, and is basically depicting the history of professional gaming, in it's prime-time with the game, StarCraft. Also taking place in Korea, this title reminds players that exist today about their rich history and experiences that could be found both in gaming lounges, as well as in the virtual worlds/arenas of the games they love. It contains some cliche character tropes, but overall is also a very worthy read.
Long lost dreams reignited
While some of us gamers have long since lost the drive and motivation necessary required to become a fully competitive esports athlete at a professional level, others of us still are chasing some dreams of glory and stardom. I find it commendable that many of us have since become more pragmatic, more experienced, more astute in our lifelong pursuit of improvement in gaming, despite the naysayers. We are growing and helping the new generations of gamers, of new competitors, of lifelong teammates and mentees. We share our sage/guru wisdom and experience to newcomers to the genre through coaching, free guides on youtube, and alternate methods. While I do find sites like metafy.gg and gameleap.com useful for player improvement, the most important factor in a player's improvement is their own personal grit.
Dedication to the cause and to the outcome of the game is never lost on the player that finds joy in both learning from failure and learning from success. Just because we lost the chance to make it big on the professional arena, be it due to age or due to other circumstances, does not mean we failed on a grand order of things. It merely means we are given a new set of opportunities to "level-up" others or help fellow players rise above the rest. For those of us that are still chasing the initial dream though, it can still be possible, but will become a challenge in certain genres(rts, moba), but very attainable in several others(cardgames, sports games, fighting games).
What are you waiting for, gamer? Train those three hours every day, so when you meet your competition, you can beat them!