THINK you’re pretty good at those video games? You reckon you’ve done well in the comfort of your bedroom and now you want to make a career of it, in front of all your adoring fans.
Former pro-gamer Prasad Paramajothi, will set you right. It’s about discipline and training and even some push ups if you want to have an edge as a professional gamer.
Prasad vividly remembers the early days of Counter-Strike when he first started playing in 2001. Even in 2005 when he turned pro, there was little to indicate that esports would gain the global prominence it commands today.
He is quick to note that much has changed since his heyday as a competitive gamer, with the esports industry continuing to make advances today.
He has since left that life behind — “too old be a pro gamer now,” he admits — but he continues to be involved in the esports scene both locally and regionally. He now works with esports accessories maker BenQ Zowie, helping it connect with the growing gaming market in the ASEAN region.
A New Era For Gaming
The arrival of high-speed Internet, and the dawn of the social media age, has been a real boon to esports according to Prasad. The last decade has seen the emergence of new games, more players, a variety of regional and international competitions, and many new industries that operate adjacent to esports.
Money has also been pouring in — competition winnings are in the millions and so are sponsorship deals for some of the world’s elite teams and players. Lately, owning your own esports has become very fashionable, too — many teams in the NBA now have an esports division, and so do football teams across Europe.
We ask Prasad what kind of opportunities will present themselves in the growing esports sector.
Making A Comeback
While he now wears a different hat, Prasad is happy to recount his journey as an aspiring professional esports athlete.
He got his first taste of Counter-Strike at a LAN (local area network) gaming centre in 2001. Like many teens of the early 2000s, he was quickly hooked to CS’s simple yet addictive game mechanics — run, hide, shoot, and repeat.
It prompted him to pursue a career as a professional gamer after completing university. He started his own professional team, Team TitaNs, in 2005 with the intention of supporting a stable of players who could compete locally and internationally and make a career in esports.
After a five-year hiatus, he is planning to reboot his team later this year with the hope of bringing through a new crop of local esports athlete.
Prasad tells us more about his journey as a pro gamer, and what those entering the field should bear in mind.