Kim “TheMarine” Jung-min, caster for OGN’s Overwatch APEX tournament and former professional StarCraft gamer, seems to reject the idea of burnout among today’s professional esports players and said they “need to overcome” the boring nature of being a pro gamer.
Burnout, specifically in Overwatch, has become a popular topic in the community following the recent social media post of EnVyUs‘ Timo “Taimou” Kettunen, in which he described his personal difficulty with continuing to be engaged with Overwatch. The debate, which pops up in seemingly every sport from time to time, continued on social media for a few days.
TheMarine chimed in on the issue during a Twitch stream. Using his personal experience as a former professional, he said burnout is a natural outcome for all pro gamers and something players simply have to endure.
“Being a pro is boring,” he said. “It’s boring and hard. You need to overcome that. If you let that show, you’re an amateur. I hope many players continue to play with a professional mindset. Take time off properly when you need it, and nothing is wrong with playing other games. Just make sure you don’t waver.”
TheMarine was one of the three representatives voted by the region’s players to choose South Korea’s Overwatch World Cup team this year, and he is beloved by viewers because of his casting experience and insight. To make his point about burnout, he brought up other professionals around him who fell in the pit of playing other games while being professionals and haven’t been able to recover.
To more concretely describe the way in which a professional can have a steady down turn, TheMarine used a schedule that would result in the player getting worse no matter what.
“You wake up, and you don’t play Overwatch until 2 p.m. because your scrim blocks are at 2, 4, and 8,” he said, “So you play two hours of each, and then you stop playing Overwatch.. You will get worse 100 percent. You think you’re OK in the moment, but give it a couple of months. You will gradually get worse. You need to have the mentality of squeezing a couple of games in before the first scrim and after the last one. You can’t maintain your skills with just scrims.”
He concluded his thoughts by making sure to communicate he wasn’t responding to any particular player or situation, and he offered advice to any professional who might have watched his stream.
“I’m not saying that I hope only certain players do well,” he said. “I just hope they give everything they have into it…Those who find success are the people who enjoy even the pain that comes with their work. I hope they become even better, even more impressive players and show us great games. Fighting.”