I am writing this as an ordinary person, not as someone who is affiliated with certain organizations or whatnot.
My sole reason to write this is to just relate a personal journey in esports – no drama, no judgments, no backroom tales – just the truth, as far as my body and soul are concerned.
I entered the world or community or cult – whatever you want to call it – of esports for the most unlikely of reasons ever.
I was a student in Turkey and I did not want to lose my command of English. In order to have an outlet in which I can keep my English and write about the games that I love, I joined Esports by INQUIRER.Net back in 2014 or so.
I don’t want to take people down the memory lane, so I’ll just make it short and succinct.
Once, I was one of many who aspired to have a career of sorts in the esports industry. Even though I never reached that goal due to differing priorities, I was able to see first-hand the drive, determination, talent and grit of those people who made it.
It is true that many of those who glitter outside are actually struggling at the moment. Below them are the ones who are both struggling and are still in the process of trying to break in.
At the same time, many people I know have decent, if not “amazing” careers in esports that would actually pay the bills.
If you’re interested about the amount of money I’ve earned in total inside the industry, I earned more or less P100,000 during my stint as a media guy and doing various other roles. Good enough for 20 months of rent in a dormitory – or in my case, to buy a laptop, buy a round-trip ticket somewhere and have some loose change after the fact.
Still, I was happy with the meagre things that I’ve achieved and saw. I did quite a good number of mistakes, but I knew that at the end of the day, it was a part of a learning process.
Long story short, I’ve learned a lot in terms of my awareness of how esports works.
Esports is now a different beast nowadays. Before, it was just something of a trend, something that is peripheral in the Philippine culture. Sure, some people have written songs and made documentaries or television episodes about a particular game, but I didn’t believe that it was a permanent fixture in the Filipino conversation back then.
I am happy to see it rise, though I hope that local CS:GO and other FPS games whose name is not CrossFire would also be able to see the international spotlight soon.
However, what’s more important are the conversations that I got to have with numerous people. Well, not as much as those who are actually, but it’s a breath of fresh air to see that someone actually shares your love of games and that you are in a circle that promotes it, instead of ostracizing it!
It is said that “one gets the product of one’s intentions (sooner or later)”. It came somewhere in September 2017 when I started to focus on my creative and literary pursuits instead of writing stuff for esports. Surely enough, I now study with poets, writers and scholars as I increase my mastery of the craft of writing.
Slowly but surely, I went off, until one day, I found out that I don’t really keep in touch anymore with the local esports stuff, apart from local and Asian CS:GO. What a far cry from the days when I can actually carve out time to go to the Asia Minor in Malaysia as a guest…or sit down at the CrossFire Stars player lounge and be able to talk with professional CrossFire players.
But then, my actual dream to become a writer is now within grasp. I chose the one that I wanted to see, knowing that I would be able to have more purpose and make more impact as someone who dabbles in literary pieces.
I just watch Esports events nowadays as a viewer…and do the occasional tournament organization duties every once or twice a year, in addition to other related stuff. I am happy with where I am and I will always be grateful for the people that I’ve met and the experiences that I’ve seen in the industry.
I wish the best of luck to those who stay! May the stars align with you!