Technology news: The progamers world

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In our latest technology news our tech guy Colin Moors delves into the world of the pro gamer.

By the time you get to read this, you’ll have no doubt been awed by the athleticism, the courage and the grit of the athletes at the Olympic Games in Rio. Trained for months, these men and women make even the most demanding physical challenges seem easy. They put their whole lives into the pursuit of perfection in their chosen field and are, rightly, seen as role models for the young.

As well as these honed, sculpted paragons of fitness, your average teenager now has a new set of idols. These modern heroes have swapped goggles for prescription glasses and Lycra vests for hoodies. Only the expensive trainers remain consistent. Who are these people? Professional gamers.

The games in this context are computer games, competed for solo or as part of a team or ‘clan’. Professional gaming has been around for quite some time now, but it has only really hit the headlines in the mainstream media in the past two or three years. Gaming on consoles such as the Xbox or Playstation is a multi-billion euro industry. Pro gamers prefer to use a dedicated gaming computer with top-quality graphics and a solid network connection, as well as specially designed keyboards and mice designed to give them the competitive edge. To be the best requires good equipment, a sound strategic knowledge and lightning-fast reactions. In many ways it could be argued that the pro gamer is every bit as highly trained – in his or her discipline – as a physical athlete.

Technology for teens
As well as turning the teenage obsession with gaming into a realistic, if distant, job opportunity, the pro gaming scene is also a strong catalyst for advances in computing technology. The ties between gaming and the game production studios and hardware industries are getting ever closer. Games are compiled with competition in mind and hardware is produced specifically for the exacting gamer. One of the most celebrated pro gamers ever, Jonathan Wendel (aka ‘Fatal1ty’) has now retired from gaming at the grand old age of 35, having swept up something in the region of half a million dollars from tournaments alone. However, this was only a start and he now runs a gaming accessory business and licences his name to all manner of gaming kit.