we have all seen the posts where Robert 'PandaTank' Botha has stated
his resignation from gaming.
will ever forget PandaTank's stellar performances as part of the
MSSA's official Protea eSports Team at the 2011 and 2012 IeSF World Championships as well as at the Test match between Silviu 'NightEnd'
Lazar and himself in March 2013 in Johannesburg? PandaTank did much
to inspire many gamers, but his star did seem to wane a little in
let us look at this statement, how true is it?
it that South African gamers have expectations that do not meet
it that South African gamers are not prepared to put in the work that
makes a professional gamer?
to be a professional gamer you need to be absolutely dedicated to the
game, practice every single day, and play in as many LAN
championships as possible.
you read right, you have to play as many LAN championships as
the major international competitions being LAN's gamers have to leave
the confort of playing online in their comfortable bedrooms to play
in the busy, noisy, hectic LANs where schedules of play override the
gamer, and every gamer is just another competitor.
more than that, the professional has to learn time management. The
professional becomes a spokesperson for the company sponsoring
him/her, and has to be available at all times to promote the company
and to further enhance the face of gaming. Thus being a professional
means that the gamer becomes a mini celebrity, signs autographs, does
public appearances and must be available to the masses when in
other words, a professional gamer is no different toa professional in
any other sport!
then, is professional gaming really not a sustainable career?
answer is simply that it can be sustainable, but with conditions.
most important condition is that gaming is NOT a long term career.
The gaming career is very short, and must be used as a stepping-stone
to other careers that are more long-term.
gamers in Europe go from being players through to team managers and
may even end up as team owners.
only that, but sponsorships are vital.
only way that a company is going to sponsor is if they are getting a
return. All companies are looking for increased sales. If the
sponsorship will not lead to greater brand awareness, there will be
this all needs to be properly managed.
how is this done?
there are many professional sports agents – go to them. The sports
agents understand the marketplace and the value of cold, hard cash.
Although the sports agent will take a cut, the agent will help the
gamer get the best possible deal.
in conclusion, professional gaming can be sustainable.
must be remembered that PandaTank was a trailblazer. He was the first
true professional gamer in South Africa. Because he did not maintain
a long sustainable professional gaming career in South Africa does
not mean that other will not!
should all learn from PandaTank's experiences to see what should be
done, what can be done, and what must be done....
PandaTank should arrange some lectures on the ins-and-outs of
know that I would pay to hear him speak!