This article is part of “Pro Player Perspectives” an ongoing series of articles written by pro players, coaches, and esports industry insiders.
At 78-years-old, Abbe “DiehardBirdie” Borg, is the world’s oldest esports champion, having won the Seniors CS:GO tournament at DreamHack Summer 2019.
The esports industry has been on a steady rise for the past five years in terms of revenue, market, viewership ratings, and global players.
According to a Newzoo report, the global esports market is expected to grow and take in a revenue of over US$1 billion and the audience will reach approximately 495 million in 2020.
These are big figures especially for an industry dominated by the millennials and gen Z players and viewers.
As a 78-year-old gamer, I belong to the other side of the demographic: the generation of baby boomers. Most of the esports players are around 15 to 35 years old and there is a gap between our generations.
Playing and streaming CS:GO allowed me to take up a new passion and gave me the opportunity to bridge the gap between generations. Here are some of the things I learned from my granddaughter and millennials that made me a better gamer.
Tips and Tricks
Recently, I have been streaming on Twitch. I have watched other CS:GO streamers too. They are younger than me and they play the game very well.
My daily training exercise is playing with bots and improving my shooting skills and strategies in completing the missions. There are times when I joined other streamers for rank matches.
I like to use different weapons when I play. I have seen other players and their creative ways of hitting their targets, especially the snipers. At first, I always have my grenade and pistol combo to eliminate the enemies.
Now, I learned how to use rifles and my scope in shooting enemies. One of the best tips I have learned is getting to know the maps and identifying the best spots in ambushing the enemies. Taking enemies by surprise is always a good thing. Being able to work on your own is good but being able to work with your team is even better.
I loved learning gaming slang.
I admit that I used to be a noob (a newbie) four years ago, but not anymore. I like the way acronyms and words can have a whole new meaning in esports.
I learned most of the gaming lingo I know through the young gamers. They use it all the time! Some of my favorite slang words are noob (newbie), ace (when you kill the entire enemy team), frag (kill), lag (slow connection), crossfire, GG (good game), and my personal favorite, RTE (respect the elderly).
These are very colorful words and some gamers even use some slang for some trash talk in between matches. My advice however is to take it easy with the trash-talking. Just let your actions and scores speak for you.
For those of you who might know me, you may have heard me say this many times. Just be patient.
That is one of the most valuable lessons I have learned not just in esports but also in different aspects of life.
Learning how to play a game in your 70s is not an easy task. It took me patience and a lot of hard work. The reward is always sweeter for something that you worked for. I learned the value of patience through my children, my granddaughter, my colleagues, and younger people throughout the years.
My granddaughter is trying to teach me new video games. She is teaching me how to play Rocket League and I think she will teach me Minecraft next.
She is very patient in teaching and playing the game with me and her dad. Patience is important and I think playing games has brought us all closer together.
Open-mindedness, gratitude, and appreciation
I started playing esports at age 73, a bit late compared to most players. I still have a long way to go and I am still catching up.
I try my best to practice and play my daily game of CS:GO. There were people who watched my streams that sent their support but there was also a fair share of negative commenters.
I have read their comments and I have responded to some of them online. I know that I have my limitations as a player. There was a time when they were pointing out that I was only playing against bots. It’s true that I play with bots to practice but I also play with other gamers.
I learned how to handle the “hate” comments online by being open-minded. I learned to take the comments as constructive criticism. If they pointed out my flaws, I just adjust and I’ll do better on my next game. It’s easy to get carried away with too much negativity online. So it’s better to keep an open mind.
There are more viewers giving me encouraging messages. It’s really nice and I am very grateful for their support. It makes me want to be an even better gamer. When we have a community of genuine supporters and loving family around us, we can tune off negative feedback that does not help us.
Through esports, I was able to connect and interact with players from all over the world. I have learned a lot about esports from the younger players who were watching our tournaments. The motivation and support from my family, especially from my children and my granddaughter, and from my colleagues and friends helped me in doing my best.
Reach out to Abbe “DieHardBirdie” Borg at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.