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Schism

The myth of the professional 'TCG' gamer

14 posts in this topic

To me, the author comes off as a loser. "I wasted my life playing magic, I should be paid for it". The author shouldn't be playing magic for the money. Its a hobby and should be treated as a hobby. No one should be playing tcg as a job, its not gonna help in the future. The author is just salty. Alot of people would be happy with just playing magic and traveling to events. If he wants to make money, he should get an actual job or even open a card shop

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bout to read this dudes book

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when asked if he would rather be a cardgame scrub or a cardgame pro, comrade stalin famously replied "they are both worse"

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rise above

 

choose to ball

 

ACP 2020

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2 hours ago, RZR_DigbickThePickleMan said:

To me, the author comes off as a loser. "I wasted my life playing magic, I should be paid for it". The author shouldn't be playing magic for the money. Its a hobby and should be treated as a hobby. No one should be playing tcg as a job, its not gonna help in the future. The author is just salty. Alot of people would be happy with just playing magic and traveling to events. If he wants to make money, he should get an actual job or even open a card shop

That's really not the point of the article at all. Btw, I agree with every word that he wrote, and I am assuredly not a loser. However, had I not decided to take the focus of my life off of TCGs though, I probably would be.

 

The issue isn't that Magic players don't make money. That's totally fine. The issue is that Hasbro and more importantly the actual players themselves market the game as one where expecting to make money is a realistic goal within the game. It really should be common sense that TCGs shouldn't take away focus from other important aspects of your life, and yet people let TCGs do that to them anyways. You don't see the flaws in your mindset because everyone else in the community has the same attitude that you have, so you mentally normalize it. In many ways it's like being part of a cult.

 

For me, it took a platinum level MTG pro telling me, "This game is a dead end as a career. Do not for one minute think that it isn't," for me to finally snap out of it and take a step back. However, had I spiked a few MTG events and got some solid cashes, maybe I wouldn't have listened. After getting a few four figure checks, I might have tried to tell myself that I could do this all the time, and that this was the way to go. In a way, I'm very lucky that I was unlucky at MTG when it mattered. I would had a few more thousand dollars, but who knows how many thousands of hours I would've wasted as a result? The reason that players trick themselves into thinking that card games are a viable career is because they want to believe it is. In many ways, life would be so much easier if we could earn a steady paycheck by just flying around the world and playing card games.

 

Learn from my mistakes everyone. I'm probably way better at TCGs than you are. If I can't make TCGs into a career, you can't either.

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It makes perfect sense that tcg players aren't paid/rewarded well when the core product that they're advertising isn't that good of a product in the current market in the first place. 

 

TCG streams are boring, you can't tell what's going on half the time.

TCGs are relatively inaccessible for normies and have a large learning curve.

TCGs require a huge amount of time to be invested into them. very few people want/are able to dedicate between 7 hours a day to an entire weekend to play card games.

TCGs require hundreds of dollars to be spent on them every year to have a chance at being able to play them.

TCG communities are toxic af. It's not just the trolls but the "brand-name" people as well. There's a huge difference between a 12 year old telling you that you suck dicks over xbox live than dealing with socially inept people in a card shop that smells like sweaty balls. 

The best accessories companies can sell people are binders, sleeves and deckboxes. Only a few companies can do this so there's few sponsorships. 

 

I'm suprised MtG has done as well as it has and it's only a matter of time before Hasbro makes the online game the focus of the franchise as a true rival to HS. 

 

What's said in the article holds true for Yugioh too. Regionals and YCS are a marketing tactic to get you to buy more cardboard. 

 

If yugioh wasn't released at the height of anime's influence in the west in the early 2000's along with DBZ and pokemon it would have died years ago. Yugioh hangs on as anime merchandise rather than a competitive card game and Konami has managed the competitive side of the game terribly. You can't really pay, showcase or sponsor competitive players/internet personalities to bolster your brand equity at the competitive level when your brand equity isn't what needs improvement in the way MtG can with the Pro Tour. Competitive yugioh is a niche within a niche. 

 

 

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I haven't played YGO in almost 4 years now so I wouldn't know anything on that front. If you think you can make a good living just off of good tournament finishes you're delusional. Magic is a little bit different than ygo because they offer cash prizes at Pro Tours/GPs/SCG Opens but not by much. I've had a couple good finishes at a few events but I would never consider playing as full time job. It's too exhausting mentally and emotionally for me and most people. A friend of mine said that if you are playing Magic (or any tcg) only for EV you are playing the wrong game. 

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I think the take away is that it's fine to think you can make some money from playing TCGs, but you can't go and think that the money will ever be guaranteed or, even if it was, good. Definitely don't think that playing TCGs could sustainably be your source of income, given that there's like 20 million MtG players, out of them there's probably 20 who play for a living, which makes the odds out to be about 1 in a million. And even if you were to subvert those odds, you're still going to struggle to maintain the lifestyle with consistent performances and maintaining the necessary status/relationships necessary for a sponsorship AND even then you're still relying on the health of Hasbro and Wizards Of The Coast, one misstep from them could put you out of a job and leave you with a possible CV black hole. 

 

 I actually really like that quote from Hoban on this subject when he said that he plays Yu-Gi-Oh over Magic because he enjoys it more - with the added monetary draw towards Magic not really mattering since, 'I could make more money on minimum wage on the same hours' (which is also stated in this article).  Any money you make from playing these sorts of games should be as an added bonus and that's all. I'm sure that theoretically, the 40k you'd get from winning the Pro Tour is so much sweeter if it's just money you can spend on whatever you want instead of money you need to have to pay off a bunch of utility bills anyway.

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4 hours ago, RZR_DigbickThePickleMan said:

To me, the author comes off as a loser. "I wasted my life playing magic, I should be paid for it". The author shouldn't be playing magic for the money. Its a hobby and should be treated as a hobby. No one should be playing tcg as a job, its not gonna help in the future. The author is just salty. A lot of people would be happy with just playing magic and traveling to events. If he wants to make money, he should get an actual job or even open a card shop

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I personally think we should feel blessed and thankful that this person has taken the time to put his thoughts and experience down on paper with the hopes of preventing others from making the same mistakes he made in the past. Normally most people would consider that a noble use of time worthy of praise and respect. RZR I don't know you and I hardly feel I have the knowledge to ascertain what kind of person you are but you don't seem to realize that you are totally missing the intent of the article and the valuable perspective it provides.  

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3 hours ago, ACP said:

 

Learn from my mistakes everyone. I'm probably way better at TCGs than you are. If I can't make TCGs into a career, you can't either.


Without necessarily agreeing or disagreeing with OP, since you know about both math and magic so you would know something about how much of a role luck plays: I wonder what's your opinion on the difference between the 'actual top pro players', let's say, 'the top 10 of the world', and 'the rest of the top 200'. Is that mainly luck or is there actually a difference in skill? And if so, why is it so hard to become 'the best': is it because there's so much competition, or because the game is actually so complex to excel in? (As in, chess/go, taking years to becoming a pro etc.)? I mean if the point of the OP is 'you can't be a magic pro unless if you're the absolute best in the world', then yes, that's understandable, but at the same time it makes me wonder why one can't become the best in the world (besides 'there being better things to do with your time', which I think is subjective anyway) - I mean, someone has to be, and it's not like that person is an alien or a robot or anything. That's also assuming that these top players get these results without cheating, which is something I don't know anything about as I don't follow MtG. 
 

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5 hours ago, dennis frogman said:

 

 

rise above

 

choose to ball

 

ACP 2020

Check out this one ACP raps 'bout how he is the best elitist narcissist Yugioh baller on DGz: 

 

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17 hours ago, mark said:


Without necessarily agreeing or disagreeing with OP, since you know about both math and magic so you would know something about how much of a role luck plays: I wonder what's your opinion on the difference between the 'actual top pro players', let's say, 'the top 10 of the world', and 'the rest of the top 200'. Is that mainly luck or is there actually a difference in skill? And if so, why is it so hard to become 'the best': is it because there's so much competition, or because the game is actually so complex to excel in? (As in, chess/go, taking years to becoming a pro etc.)? I mean if the point of the OP is 'you can't be a magic pro unless if you're the absolute best in the world', then yes, that's understandable, but at the same time it makes me wonder why one can't become the best in the world (besides 'there being better things to do with your time', which I think is subjective anyway) - I mean, someone has to be, and it's not like that person is an alien or a robot or anything. That's also assuming that these top players get these results without cheating, which is something I don't know anything about as I don't follow MtG. 
 

I think you're asking the wrong questions and to some extent might be missing the point of the article.

 

The details between MTG vs Chess or the role of luck or what have you are kind of irrelevant.

 

People need to realize what they are sacrificing in their quest to become the best and seriously ask themselves, "Is this worth it? Am I making myself happy?"

 

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i only started up again recently and wish i didn't . I done the 'pro thing' like chaos era, travelled did the points all that

 

Literally, Apart from a few really chill guys, the actual crowd i play ygo with are just, I don't know man, I try to help out but it seems they will always Not ' get it ' , from social awareness, hygeine, to actually making competitive decks for realistic playtesting. And I try to throw IDK £100-200 or so, to really round out the deck make it high end competitve , but there really is no competition locally, anywhere I need to go is expensive as shit, I want to go to Basingstoke that is easily a £80+ trip just for what, 4-6 hours of a game? to get a few packs at most?

 

I really want to go to LIverpool but that is going to be retardedly expensive for what it is, and again, I had life priorities to account for too,

Before you could prob drop 25- 50 for a weekend a month, or every couple of months  and it wouldn't be so bad, but when even a local event for the weekend costs upwards of 30 - 100, and to just play casual games with people who do not even wash, for £10, rather go pub or some shizz, its too much for me to justify just to grow your nerd-Card-peen

 

It seems ygo has turned a little into a postcode lottery, you are either in the area for competition or have to just shell out crazy money to play. God forbid you 'miss the boat' on buying cards to see them quadruple in price overnight,

 

it is nice to chill with people and play, travel to places and meet the new guys but everything is twice as expensive to do nowadays, it is almost a luxury to play now, and some just don't have that anymore

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