The world of competitive gaming, or e-sports, doesn’t require the players to get up out of their seats. But that doesn’t mean the players don’t sweat. Or make a ton of money.
One of the biggest names in the e-sports realm right now is a 22-year-old named Matt Haag, who is better known as “Nadeshot.” He’s a master at “Call of Duty,” and he’s part of a team, called OpTic Gaming. He’s even sponsored by Red Bull.
And just three years ago he was flipping burgers at a McDonald’s, according to an excellent profile of Haag by the New York Times’ Conor Dougherty.
But playing video games is serious work. He and his teammates practice for hours a day, Dougherty writes. Haag is monitored by a “sports technologist” to check out the effects of video gaming on his brain. And he has a nutritionist to help him plan healthy meals and to make sure that he’s getting enough exercise, according to the Times.
That’s not out of the ordinary when it comes to the competitive online gaming world, where there’s big money to be made. A team of kids from Korea won $US1 million for playing another popular game, “League of Legends.” Millions of people around the world watched them do it.
And much like other gamers who have found fame via social media and sites like Twitch, which Amazon bought earlier this year for close to $US1 billion, Haag makes money from video streams as well as sponsorship deals and tournament wins. In fact he’ll probably make around $US700,000 just from his YouTube site, the Times reports. And Major League Gaming signed him to stream exclusively on their site. Together with the money he makes at tourneys and from his sponsorship, he’s on track to making $US1 million, the Times says.
Haag has more than 1 million followers on YouTube, and it’s easy to see why. His videos range from gaming sessions to personal peeks into his life to late-night food cravings, and everything in between.
Still, as it goes with sudden shots to the top of stardom, there’s always the worry that it can be gone in an instant.
“I think about my future probably at least 10 times a day,” he told the NYT. “I think about what if this all goes away one day? What if for some reason people just aren’t in your live stream tomorrow? What if people aren’t clicking on your YouTube videos tomorrow? What if your team doesn’t work out and you’re not performing that well and you have to quit competitively? What happens when you can’t compete anymore and you want to retire because you’re going insane?”
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