It’s no secret that games like Dota 2, Call of Duty and League of Legends are drawing in larger crowds every day, whether it’s in front of the computer, for a gaming sess at home, or in a stadium as part of an international competition. eSports competitions began decades ago, offering a Ferrari 328 as a prize (1997) and upping the stakes to a Rolex (2006). Today, professional gamers don’t leave their beds for less than $11 million, which was the amount Team Liquid, the winners of the the Dota 2 tournament, took home in 2017. How do you get at this number and these skills, though? We met with pro-gamer Jin Jun during our Shanghai trip to discover his road to success.
Despite his supporters, gaming experience and the buzz created around his presence for the night’s PUBG battle, Jin Jun isn’t a pretentious star. In fact, the pro-gamer is humble, even shy, talking quietly as we start fixing the lights. Before the interview begins, we exchange a joke or two and by the time the red light comes to life, he is visibly more relaxed and ready to share his story with the people back home.
Jin Jun confesses he’s been a gaming addict since he was a kid. He was around 8 years old when computer games piqued his curiosity. The first game that really made him challenge himself was Tencent’s Chuanyuehuoxian, otherwise known as Crossfire.
I think when you play games such as PUBG, the most important element are the sound effects.
But, as Edison said, “genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”. So, to get in the major leagues, Jin Jun “practiced for a month, put in many hours every day”.
He knew fast reactions were everything so, he worked on his hand-eye coordination. In shooters, that means “your hand acts like a real gun. The longer you play, the more accurate it becomes, and then, the more stable it is. You will not miss anymore, like you did with your first shot.” He admitted professional gamers have to “practice mouse control for a long time to become that stable.”
Nowadays, he plays 18 hours a day, almost seven days a week.
You must improve the flexibility of your fingers and your brain’s response
How did his parents react to his unexpected calling? It was not easy, he says, but they are fortunately pretty open-minded people. Also, as he “started earning money as a gaming host and they learned more about it, they looked at me with fresh eyes. Since then, I have earned more achievements and rewarded them.”
How does he get “into the zone”? There’s no secret ritual, he says. Jin Jun prefers to put his headphones on to achieve that. “Sound effects are so important, since, […] we can hear the enemy and environmental changes. The sound effects allow us to have a more immersive and better game experience”, he believes.
In a game such as PUBG, where you need to be sharp and fast at all times, this rings truer than ever.