Pro player Iceiceice cites Streaming as the reason why Chinese Pros underperform
“Streaming is destroying their careers” – Daryl Koh
China may have been one of the most formidable forces in the realm of Electronic Sports on a global scale with a lengthy dominance over the rest of the world as far as pro Dota 2 is concerned but not until the recent years where the country’s professional gamers fall into a slump.
The main culprit: Online Streaming. In an interview with CNET Dota 2 pro Daryl “iceiceice” Koh bluntly states that Streaming is destroying the careers of his fellow professionals in China, saying that most pros “prioritise streaming over training“. Iceiceice started out his pro gamercareer in Singapore with team mVp and worked his way to the Chinese professional gaming scene by landing a spot with Team DK back in late 2013. Iceiceice, together with fellow Malaysian Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung and Chinese pros Xu “BurNinG” Zhilei, Zhang “LaNm” Zhicheng and Lai “MMY!” Zengrong formed the powerhouse era of Team DK which earned them the nickname “Galacticos” from fellow Chinese teams until late 2014. Aside from Team DK, iceiceice has also played for other Chinese teams for his 3-year stay in China, namely EHOME and ViCi Gaming.
But just how big is streaming in China?
According to fellow pro player and former teammate LaNm back at his speech in iResearch Summit back in 2014 an Online Streamer’s salary can go as high as 10 times the average player salary, which results in more professionals switching over to streaming rather than participating in leagues. As iceiceice puts it a top streamer in China can earn up to USD 500,00 from platforms such as Douyu.tv, Zhanqi.tv and Huomao.tv depending on how long he streams everyday, which iceiceice describes as more than twice a player can earn from winning at TI, Dota 2’s biggest global tournament, and currently holding the record of a single tournament with the largest payout.
Looking back at pro leagues, China has been on a road to recovery with newer names and rising stars making up its own tournaments as a lot of the more veteran pros either half-retired or resorted to doing online game streams. Perhaps the most tragic output from the Chinese Dota 2 scene was during the Shanghai Major earlier this 2016 wherein none of the 5 teams from China made it to Top 8, albeit they were redeemed in TI6 where young team Wings Gaming took home the Aegis of Champions.
And these young faces may just be the hope of Chinese pro Dota 2 as the country’s chosen delegation to the upcoming Boston Major is a mixture of both the young and old, or veteran, players, with some of the younger ones to have their first ever appearance at a tournament held outside of China.
While they may be in a slump, there are still those who are hoping to see the eastern power rise once again in the field of Pro Dota 2 and that dream will be tested once the Boston Major commences this coming December 2016.
You can read the full feature for iceiceice and his new team, Team Faceless over at CNET here: link