Dropping out and dreaming big: Inside Wardell’s path to pro esports – Sportsnet.ca

Dropping out and dreaming big: Inside Wardell’s path to pro esports – Sportsnet.ca

Free from the demands of school after he dropped out in November, Wardell developed a new routine that was much more fun than commuting to York. He’d wake up every morning and fire up Global Offensive on his computer, eyes glued to his screen and hands steady on his mouse and keyboard. He’d play for 12 to 14 hours a day, with occasional bathroom and food breaks. When he wasn’t battling opponents, he was studying YouTube videos posted by professional players, trying to pick up skills and strategies. “I didn’t know if I was good enough,” he says. “I just kept working hard.”

While traditional sports have established sorting and development systems such as school and club sports, few gaming organizations have any such systems in place. If they do have amateur programs, it’s usually only for major titles like League of Legends. This can make it hard for aspiring gamers to measure their talent, and can result in overconfidence in their skills, says Shane Talbot, director of esports at MLSE. Talbot paints a picture of friends playing video games together in their spare time, and one is noticeably better than the rest. This can potentially plant the idea of going pro, without a full understanding of what it takes. “If, all of a sudden, you’re just gaming for 12 hours a day because you have this perception that you’re going to be able to make millions of dollars doing it, there’s a risk of being disillusioned in that
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