Langara student walks the line online as esports coach

Vacnouver, BC, Feb 29, 2020. Attendees at the UBC Gaming Expo. Photo by Max Leckie
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By Max Leckie

Between his schoolwork and his part-time job at Starbucks, one Langara student is finding time to coach an amateur esports team.

Lawrence “Trance” Amador, a first-year business student, said his schedule is so crammed, he had to give up live-streaming his gameplay.

“I just try and find pockets of time where I’m able to fill my duties while still trying to find time for myself,” Amador said. “It’s definitely hard to balance.”

Competitive video game tournaments have existed since the 1980s, but have evolved into the million-dollar industry known more commonly today as esports.

UBC Gaming Expo attendee gaming. Photo by: Max Leckie

 

Amador’s dedication to the sport and his overloaded schedule are not uncommon among eSports players, and more balance is needed, according to health experts.

Caitlin McGee, a physical therapist who works remotely at 1 Health Providence, or 1HP, said many of the players she works with are younger, so her work involves teaching them better sleeping and nutrition habits.

“It’s good for general overall health… also it’s going to make you play better,” McGee said. “That’s the kind of thing you’d get quite easily in traditional sports but that’s not necessarily something that’s been built into gaming and eSports.”

SFU League of Legends team members at the UBC Gaming Expo after their show match against UBC. From left to right, Andrew “Aielth” Duan, Ricky “Rickyy” Lin, Jimmy “Shimy U” Tran, Justin “Ninssasin” Huang, Chester “Kuuguya” Cervantes. Photo by: Max Leckie.

 

Joshua Hafkin is the founder and CEO of Game Gym, a Maryland based eSports gym. He said that by providing structure for kids to learn about games, it can help them build healthier habits.

“I kind of call us the middle school gym teachers of esports,” Hafkin said. “Our job is to introduce kids to these different esports and then teach them life skills along the way.”

Amador’s goal is to eventually take on a managerial role in esports when time permits, but for now he is happy passing on his knowledge to his team members.

“They know I have the experience that they need to be able to get to the next level,” Amador said, “I’m just trying to teach the next generation of League of Legends pro players to succeed.”

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