At age 20, professional gamer Michael Schmale had it all: a steady salary, a team mansion overlooking Hollywood and a chef, personal trainer, coach and team manager who were all there to help him play at his best. But the job came with plenty of uncertainties too. This is the first episode of “Next Jobs”, a new series about careers of the future hosted by Bloomberg Technology’s Aki Ito.
Video by David Nicholson and Victoria Blackburne-Daniell
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just imagine living in this 15 million dollar home your pay to steady salary supported by a whole team of staff whose sole purpose is to get you to play at your best and if you don't perform you're cut from the team here we go round three round three and keep it going no breaks if you think this sounds like the life of a pro athlete you'd be right kind of stop your bitching it's the life of the sports player of the future live by the lucky few today as technology replaces old jobs it's awesome creating new ones I'm Aki Ito and I'm here to show you the jobs of the future my name is Michael small I'm a professional gamer for someone who's uneducated in the eSports scene and doesn't understand how it works the way I would describe it is it's kind of similar to a professional athlete it's a lot of preparation hard work and team effort I think one guys above me no trust me is no ghost gaming pays players like Mike to compete in video game battles yes that is a real job now more people watch video games than Netflix Hulu ESPN and HBO put together an eSports is already a billion-dollar industry that's how ghost can afford to shower players with all kinds of perks like this team house it's a 10 bed 16 bath mansion overlooking Hollywood and it houses ten players at a time all in their late teens and early 20s so when most people just take a quick look at the house we're living in it's a bunch of teenagers and it's a lot of us so you would think it's rowdy we're just reckless but we're professional eSports players here's the day of a professional gamer I wake up 9 to 9:30 breakfast chest up chest up let's go 11 a.m. we have workouts that last for an hour to an hour and a half you go Mike pushing straight in the ground eight nine and ten after we do that we hit the film session and we watch the film on other teams to see what they do just taking this time make sure you guys take your time you don't need to be fancy with it just need to make sure to hit the shots you need to hit man after lunch we played from 1:30 to 7:30 I'm gonna be and that's just a long grind of playing against other talented teams get up we played from lunch to dinner you have a wild lifestyle with Todd butter hey do what looks amazing Mike's been playing video games since he was 5 but when his parents got divorced that's when he really buckled down on gaming I would just get at my desk turn my game on it's like I would disappear and go into another world and forget about all that when he was 14 Mike qualified in the pro league of the popular video game Call of Duty he became one of the youngest professional players in the game when I first walked into the event I was just amazing just fell in love with it that's when I knew this is what I wanted to do that conversation with his parents telling them he was pursuing a career as a professional video gamer well imagine your kid telling you that there was a lot of arguments and late nights but Mike promised to put school first and his parents eventually came around well as a single parent it wasn't easy in my mind I really couldn't foresee it as a career but we were at the mall and some young boy came up to Mike and I said excuse me are you Spacely and Mike said yeah he goes can I have your autograph and I started to cry and I'm like this is crazy I'm like he recognized you might and that was instrumental for me as well realizing how this is taken off I started earning money at these tournaments after my third local event that was like one of the best feelings ever being able to go home and like look my looked at like today I got paid for playing I wasn't just wasting my time and I wasn't just making up like stories and fairy tales just so I can play video games more Mike didn't want to discuss his contrast but when he joined ghost it was reported that he and his teammates shared a fifty thousand dollar signing bonus and where each offered a four thousand dollar month salary on top of all that my cosa earns money on the side fans pay to watch and play on the popular streaming site twitch Annie OSA sells his own line of apparel that all makes for a pretty good living by the standards of any twenty year old but it's even better when you consider that almost all of his expenses from his rent to his food to his training his gaming related travel is all paid for which leaves a lot of room for shopping can I take them off all right we got the easiest mo Rox I've been a fan of shoes forever so there's a lot of times where I spend the same amount of money on shoes but like professional sports gaming is not a lifelong career and there's a ton of turnover to three months after I met Mike ghost dropped him from the team and he's now back home in New Jersey this sounds very tragic and nearly end a player's career but this is very common thing in the scene and players get released and switched around all the time my advice to young gamers that want to play professionally you got to stay patient you got to stay dedicated and understand that it's gonna take sacrifice because there's always another person out there trying to take that spot but I don't have any plans to give up the gaming career I'm gonna bounce back from this and make my mom and dad proud you