In Atlantic City to cover the IGN Pro League Tournament, one of eSports' high profile events, STACK met with the COO and four members of the Evil Geniuses, a professional gaming organization many refer to as the New York Yankees of eSports. This is part two of a five-part series introducing some of the most celebrated virtual athletes in the United States.
"To be a top-top player and to stay at the top, you need to be putting in a minimum of eight hours a day," says Benjamin "DeMusliM" Baker about becoming a pro virtual athlete. "Think of it as a full-time job with 40 to 50 hours a week, minimum. Any less and you won't make it." So ends any doubt about whether eSports is a legitimate form of competition.
Like other new sports, eSports has struggled to earn the respect and acceptance of traditional athletes. DeMusliM is one of the leading voices in changing perceptions of the sport, along with the rest of the Evil Geniuses crew and other folks, like fellow StarCraft II gamer and NBA athlete Gordon Hayward. These virtual athletes' dedication to their sport rivals that of any NBA, NFL or MLB athlete we've worked with here at STACK.
DeMusliM not only trains like a mainstream professional athlete, he competes like one. "Going into a game, I always make the player adjust to my style. I have a very aggressive-based style," he says, evoking an obvious comparison to a point guard who forces his defender to play up-tempo. "I like to make the opponent work around me rather than me working around my opponent."
Team EG recently competed in a Major League Gaming tournament in Providence, R.I. Stay tuned for more exclusive eSports content featuring the virtual athletes who are pioneering this truly amazing sport.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock