By CHAZ PLAGER
With the advent of the digital era, more and more forms of entertainment have sprung up. One of which, video games, has been a huge hit with young and old alike.
However, as with most things, humans want to know: Who’s the best?
Thus, came along esports, a general term for competitive video games. The most well-known esports games are Counter Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, and, of course, Fortnite, where the winner of a recent Fortnite tournament, Kyle Giersdorf, walked away with $3 million.
Giersdorf, who is only sixteen, managed to reach a level (and paycheck) most minor league players can only dream of seeing. However, going it solo can be difficult, and most esports games, like League of Legends and DOTA are team-based.
Esports teams were created, and names like FaZe and Panda Global began to take over competitions, striking fear into the hearts of the unlucky souls who happened to run into their scouted and trained members.
The market has become a bit oversaturated for shooting games, though. And so avid gamers determined to make their hobby a living turned to fighting games.
Thousands of eager spectators tune in or show up to watch top players play games like Smash Bros, Guilty Gear, and Tekken on a big stage, with money on the line.
One man, who goes by Electric-Wind Raman online, runs an up-and-coming esports team called the Rosario Syndicate. The name comes from Lady of the Rose in Spanish, a Christian term, and Syndicate, which sounds threatening.
The group was created during covid, which slowed them down, but they’ve regained sponsors willing to fund tournament entries and host tournaments to get their names out there. Currently, 56 members are on Raman’s team, each playing a variety of games.
“I’m 21, and I live in Canada,” Raman told this writer. “My dream is that one day, I can lead this team to become a tier 2 or 1 team and stand on the stage alongside strong teams like Panda (Panda Global) and TSM.
“I’d also like to dive into other game genres like FPS (first person shooters) and MOBAs (multiplayer online battle arena, like League of Legends),” he said.
When it comes to esports, some might be dismissive of the sport, believing it just to be people worked up over some silly game.
“What I wish more people knew about esports is that it isn’t so easy– you need to put a lot of dedication into it, just like any other sport,” Raman said. “If you want to start your own team, or compete, I just want to say that you have to be committed and in love with this hobby if you really wanna do it for a living. It’s not easy at the start, but once you reach your destination, it’s even more satisfying to look back at how far you’ve come.”
Raman encourages those with an interest in esports to try games like Guilty Gear Strive or Tekken 7 if they have an interest in fighting games.
Rosario Syndicate is still accepting applications as well, from team members and sponsors alike. For more information, contact Rosario Syndicate through Twitter (twitter.com/RosSyndicate).
(Editor’s note: The author plays Blazblue Centralfiction and Persona 4 Arena. Plager met Raman online after meeting a Rosario Syndicate player at a local tournament in Vancouver. “I was interested in fighting pros to improve,” Plager said.)