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PC Games (Games) Games

The Life of a South Korean Pro Gamer 133

chajath writes with this excerpt from a South Korean newspaper about the lives of professional StarCraft players: "Prospective gamers take tests based on the skills they have picked up in PC rooms, and passing scores allow them entry into 'clans,' or guilds. Those who aspire to become pro gamers pay move-in fees and go to live at group dormitories, where they practice playing games all day long. Following a 'courage match' for semi-pro certification, the hopefuls must take a test to become apprentices in a pro-gaming group. ... 'The standard in pro gaming groups is for people to live together 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with no traveling to or from work, and for those ranked Group 2 or lower, their entire daily routine consists of eating, cleaning, laundry, and games,' said Kim Jeong-geun. 'Because of this structure of bringing in young people, developing them, and then replacing them when their lifespan is spent and they have been squeezed dry, it has earned the name of "the chicken coop."'"
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The Life of a South Korean Pro Gamer

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  • by Joe The Dragon ( 967727 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @06:55PM (#32412050)

    Without LAN how will Sc2 be able to used in pro tournaments?

    The lest thing that is needing is a internet lag / hiccup that may only hit one player or not hit all players 100% the same way. Even more so if there are nat / other port issues as well.

  • by Joe The Dragon ( 967727 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @06:58PM (#32412072)

    other pro sports have players unions and Leagues that set rules.

    May it's time for pro gameing to go the same way like the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL and others.

  • by Joe The Dragon ( 967727 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @07:03PM (#32412108)

    some of sounds like the old days of the MLB there the teams just about owned the players.

  • Exercise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wisnoskij ( 1206448 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @07:13PM (#32412176) Homepage

    "for those ranked Group 2 or lower, their entire daily routine consists of eating, cleaning, laundry, and games"

    I know from having watch previous documentaries that they are also supposed to keep up their physical fitness with exercise.
    You cannot have fast enough reflexes to compete professionally if you are not in very good shape.

  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @07:33PM (#32412324)

    While you can enjoy a job, it'll always be work. That is just life. Many people think that being a game tester would be fun. I mean you get paid to play videogames, right? Wrong, you get paid to test broken ass video games and to do things over and over again. It is extremely tedious much of the time. You aren't getting paid to just play as you like, you'll be given specific tasks like "Sometimes this item doesn't work, so use it on everything in the game, document when it does and doesn't work and try find the common thread."

    This is why I'm not a games tester. It was a career I'd considered. I like games, and I have the requisite skills and understanding to do good testing. I am good at documenting problems, and I understand how computers work so I have a reasonable chance at figuring out what causes a problem and thus how to replicate it. However, I didn't go in to it because I'm worried it would make games not fun for me.

    I do computer/network support professionally. Ever since I started doing that, I've stopped tinkering with my computer. I used to do things like overclock and so on but now I just want it to work. I solve computer problems professionally, I've no patience to deal with that kind of thing as a hobby. Likewise back in the day I was the webmaster for our university's paper. While I used to read the paper for pleasure, I stopped when I got that job. I had to go through every single story every day for work, so reading it or any other paper held no interest to me outside of work.

    Not everyone is like me, of course, some people can do things both as a job and a hobby. However the common thing is that what you do for a hobby is on your own terms. It is fun because you set the terms, the time, the goals, etc. Work is, well, work.

  • Re:More like work (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @07:42PM (#32412378) Journal
    It's a different kind of pleasure at that level. For a clear view of it, check out the end of this game [youtube.com] by the legendary Boxer. Look at the expression on the guys faces, even the loser looks like he had a good time. It was an intense amazing game. Add to that the pleasure that you get from improving at something, watching yourself get better and better, pushing your limits, and the pleasure of just being awesome at something.

    That said, I have noticed in the past few years the pleasure go out of the players. They just don't seem to enjoy it the way they did in Boxer's day. So maybe these camps are killing things.
  • by CrazyJim1 ( 809850 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @07:57PM (#32412504) Journal
    Korea used to be weak in the 98-99 years of Starcraft because they were predictable. You could tell they were clicking at speeds 2x as well as you, and they were using a good strategy, but the fact was they all used the same strategy. I think it was attributed to them having internet cafes where they all hung out and shared strategies. The strategy EVERYONE used was muta/ling. Since I was Terran at the time, I'd just make marines, hold my choke, tech to scivessels, and win. Irradiate > Mutalisks, so I'd win almost every time.

    Now I was planning on making my big comeback into Starcraft2. My theory was I've been #1 in ladder in SC1 and War3 that I could do it again for SC2, but this time I'd bring the heat with long play hours. My goal was to either make some money on Progaming, or get a job with Blizzard. Two problems stand in my way though: 1) I got a job with a promising company making video games so its like I accomplished my goal already. 2) Starcraft2 is buggy still in beta, and I get dropped from random games resulting in a loss.

    Not everyone gets my bug in SC2, but its due to their code not attempting to reconnect to Battle.net when dropped. Also SC2 does not support rejoining games, like Heroes of Newerth does. I'd think with a big budget that SC2 would have it all, but they don't even have chat rooms yet.

    I'm going to buy SC2 and play it casually, probably get #1 on their divisional ladder(meaningless compared to a real ladder), but things have changed, and I can't honestly bring it to the Koreans anymore because I don't have the time to get a perfected game. If they had professional leagues for SC2 in the states like professional sports in the states, I'd be pro easy. There's just not any infrastructure for pro games in the states like Korea has. I'm a little jealous :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:48PM (#32413354)
    I was a ref at the CPL and remember being fascinated by the Koreans attendants, these guys could move their shoulders and the attendant would know that meant that they wanted their headphone adjusted slightly up and to the right (for example) so that they never had to release their keyboard, and man watching them playing starcraft, the would hammer the keyboard like they were typing a document. fascinating stuff. however. disqualify one, and his attendant chased you around for hours trying to get him reinstated!
  • For the Win (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lawen ( 251989 ) on Monday May 31, 2010 @11:09PM (#32414000)

    Cory Doctorow's new Young Adult book, For the Win [craphound.com] talks about some of this. The main premise of the book is that the horrible sweatshop working conditions of MMO gold farmers in China, India, Malaysia, etc. inspire a plucky gang of visionaries to lead union organization for "virtual world workers". He Creative Commons licenses all of his work so grab an ebook from his site and check it out.

  • There's just not any infrastructure for pro games in the states like Korea has.

    I think the problem your running into is culture. There's nothing physical preventing American's from forming pro-gaming leagues, but in fact we are saturated with all sorts of entertainment competing for every available time-slice available in our daily lives. I'm not so sure entertainment is so diverse in Korea (compared to America), which why such dedicated leagues are able to form.

    Mod DigiShaman -1

    Korea has *many* entertainment options, just like the USA or Japan. It exports movies, tv shows and music.

    Korea's pro gaming leagues don't exist because of poor options! Korea has:

    1. Initial strong results in international gaming--and gained a lot of headlines. Whenever a small country can beat Japan and the USA at something, people notice.

    2. The PC Bang (computer game room) culture. Most games are played in competitive social gaming situations. It was the norm in Korea for a long time, and you could have consistent results planing on a LAN than laggy Battle.net

    3. A youth with less chances for economic opportunity than the USA.

    4. Some serious fast twitch gamer kids.

Exceptions prove the rule, and wreck the budget. -- Miller