Anand KrishnaswamySep 23, 2020 12:54:57 IST
In India, the mobile gaming segment of the gaming industry looks to attract most takers. Despite the increasing popularity of mobile gaming, there are still people who do not consider it serious in nature. It is looked down upon as a low skill alternative to computer gaming (PC gaming).
In the last few days, a new controversy was sparked as Timothy John 'Tims' Randrup, a well-known professional Dota 2 player, declared on his stream that he does not consider mobile gamers to be ‘real gamers’. In his stream, Tims is seen talking to a friend about how Mobile Legends Bang Bang (MLBB) is played by people as they are unable to handle the difficulty of playing Dota 2.
He further insults the game by stating that his former teammate Marc Polo Luis 'Raven' Fausto used to play the game to make himself sleepy. His teammate Carlo 'Kuku' Palad is the other person he knows who plays MLBB. According to Tims, even Kuku plays because of his wife.
In the stream, Tims is also seen being told by his friend that he sounds just like another popular streamer, Dr Disrespect. Back in 2019, Dr Disrespect tweeted that “Mobile gamers aren’t real gamers.” This tweet drew immense flak from the community and Dr Disrespect was forced to issue an apology for the statement.
The issue of Dota 2 players not having respect for mobile gamers is quite old. Even in games played between casual gamers, phrases such as 'Go play Mobile Legends' are often used to insult a player who is underperforming.
With the mobile gaming market in India alone being slated to be worth $943 Million by 2022, these phrases seem to ring hollow. According to the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), number of mobile gamers in India alone will reach 368 million. Outside the massive number of people playing mobile games is the fact that MLBB is among the few eSports chosen to be played as a medal event during the 2019 South East Asian Games which was held in the Philippines. These factors alone make one question statements such as those made by Tims and Dr Disrespect.
To understand the reasoning behind such statements, the best option is to look at the past. Until the last few years that have seen a significant increase in prize money offered to teams in eSports tournaments, many people considered eSports only be a form of mindless entertainment. Several professional gamers are able to recount tales of their younger days when parents would be frustrated by their gaming habits and as such found new methods to restrict their playing time. In some of the extreme cases, the parents are known to have even cut the electricity supply for the whole house.
The situations faced by aspiring gamers in the past show the fact that every new profession requires a certain amount of time, not good remuneration before it is taken seriously.
The statements made about mobile gaming not being actual gaming and so forth are nothing but a reaction like that of non-gamers towards gaming and eSports just 10 to 15 years prior.
In the past, as gaming consoles became more popular, a similar situation was seen as PC gamers were not fully ready to accept consoles as a proper way to game. However, today console gaming and PC gaming are looked at as two alternate ways to enjoy video games.
Given how acceptance towards gaming and eSports, in general, was first difficult to find and then how console gaming faced its own trials to gain acceptance, mobile gaming is only facing the trials required to persuade gamers and eSports professionals alike that it is serious business and should not be looked down upon.
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