BREN Esports’ Ralph Andrei “Coach Leathergoods” Llabres is busy building Bren’s League of Legends: Wild Rift team. But for those who are thinking of building a career in esports, he cautions prospective pros with a reality check.
In a long Facebook post, Coach Leathergoods listed down five important points every applicant must remember before trying out for a shot. At the same time, he reminded players to check their attitudes before they even think of going pro.
“Bakit ba napakataas ng value ninyo sa sarili niyo?” he asked rhetorically.
Based on his post, among the many applications flooding his inbox were from players who expected benefits and prestige right away, despite a dearth in credentials.
He specifically named PC players of League of Legends, of which Wild Rift is a mobile-oriented spinoff. “[N]ot looking down on these players,” he said, “but stating the fact that why have such audacity to even ask me of a minimum requirement your team would want[?] Lalong lalo na pag dating sa salaries ninyo. Imagine wala pa nga ni isang [M]ajor na concrete and wala pa ngang results for [R]iot-sponsored events, alam niyo na kaagad na kayo ang pinakamalakas?”
With Wild Rift only released in the middle of last year, an established local pro scene is still in the works. According to a release from the Philippine Pro Gaming League, Mineski Philippines is the official license-holder of Riot Games esports in the country, and together with longtime partner Globe Telecom, the two companies will run all official esports tournaments for the mobile game.
When it comes to salaries, Llabres also revealed that some applicants demanded the same level of remuneration as established pros, including a bootcamp, a new phone, salary, allowance, as well as other benefits they see from other teams.
Llabres continued: “[S]a tingin niyo ba na dahil magiging pro player na kayo eh dapat pareho na kaagad ang nakukuha ninyo na benefits katulad ng mga idol niyo sa iba’t ibang game sa mundo ng esports? Baka nakakalimutan niyo na sa kung paano nila narating kung ano ang meron sila ngayon.”
He specifically mentioned the case of the now world-famous Bren Mobile Legends team. “Ang tanong dito is nakapag sakripisyo ka na tulad ng mga sakripisyo ng mga manlalarong iniidolo niyo para masabi na you have what it takes and you deserve what they have?”
The bottom line, the coach said, was that turning pro required patience, respect, and the right attitude. He compared the journey to the story of the tortoise and the hare.
“[B]ago niyo pa isipin na mag apply para sa isang team please naman guys pag isipan niyo na ng mabuti na handa na kayo mag sakripisyo at na kaya na ninyo baguhin ang mga sarili niyo,” he said.
His advice? Stop the toxicity, focus on your self-improvement, and stop blaming others for your mistakes.
“Kapag na handle mo na yang 3 na bagay na yan baka sakali after 6 months or 1 year of training, ikaw na pala ung tao na pinapangarap mo maging,” Llabres said.