The retirement age for professional athletes is generally late 30s or early 40s. Professional wrestlers can look back on a long career, some of them even fighting in the sixties. Why do professional athletes, whose physical peak performance only includes the victory leap, retire so early? What are they going to do after they retire?
Early departure, early retirement
The New York Times
At airports, players can start their careers as soon as they have learned to use the computer. Take Guinness Book of Records holder Victor Lil Poison De Leon III as the youngest export player to compete in his first Halo tournament at the age of four, and sign his first Major League Gaming contract at the age of six.
However, the retirement age for athletes is also earlier than for others. While most professional players retire at the age of sixty and most athletes at the age of forty, the players at the airport are about 25 years old. Most players reach their peak in their early 20s.
For example, we have a strike of ex-contractors: World-class professional Michael Savan Grzegerziek left in April 2018, just two months before his 24th birthday. Birthday, retirement. League of Legends veteran and SoloMid team member Søren Bjergsen Bjerg announced his retirement at the age of 24 last month.
It seems that the players have no choice – the oldest active professional, Clinton Fear Loomis, still competes at the age of 32. But when you’re 30, you’re already considered old at airports.
Try to keep up, Grandpa.
One of the main reasons why professionals retire is that they can no longer keep up with the times. NBA champion Dwyane Wade shared a few months from the moment he got talking: I knew it was over for me. He saw De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hild’s royal guards running and shooting across the courtyard, and knowing he couldn’t keep up, he realized it was time to leave.
The same goes for the guesthouse at the airport. Research into the health and performance of players shows that what looks like simple keyboard and mouse actions is actually a big effort. To remain competitive, players must have quick reflexes, good hand-eye coordination and skilled hands. In an interview with the Washington Post, Dr. Todd Sontag talks about the export of athletes:
His hand-eye coordination begins to deteriorate at the age of 25, Sontag said. 18-year-olds have been playing for 10 years and are faster than older players. It is difficult to remain competitive after 20 years and there is not much open space.
Sports competitions require many more solutions in two seconds than any other sport. The agility of the players is very important for their success. And if they’re going to press fewer buttons than younger players, it’s time to retire.
Injuries to hands and eyes
Career-damaging injuries occur regularly in other sports. This happens at airports, but to a lesser extent.
It’s in the nature of games that players spend hours sitting in front of the computer. Athletes train many hours as part of their job, and many players tend to neglect their physical needs. Players could forget to get up and stretch, which led to a lot of back and back problems.
But perhaps the most deadly injuries – at least for an airport career – are on the wrist.
In 2015, the League of Legends announced the resignation of Hi Du Lam as a result of a wrist injury, an event that caused a sensation in the mainstream media at the time. Although Hai did not return to the competition for several months, he said in later interviews that he could not play for hours without feeling pain in his wrists, which limits his ability to compete.
Morning post office in South China
In the meantime, a player’s life choice can also end with his career. Gamblers who do not check their diet and exercise regularly may face a variety of health problems. Add these factors to your stressful life, which is always under pressure, and some gamblers eventually retire due to health problems.
The last example – the most famous player of the Chinese Legend League – Jian Uzi Zihao. In an interview with Nike, Uzi said the doctors said his body looked like that of a 50-year-old man. When a 23-year-old player announced his resignation, he declared…
After years of staying up late, eating fat and irresistible stress, I discovered last year that I had type 2 diabetes. The doctor told me that if I continued, there could be serious complications.
Nutrition and exercise are also essential at airports to maintain fitness and competitiveness. In recent years, export organisations have started to pay more attention to the physical and mental health of their actors. Physical trainers, sports scientists and even psychologists have been hired by these teams to keep their players in shape. And it seems to be working more than expected. The winners of the 2019 International Olympic Games had a team psychologist to help them withstand the pressure of a competitive top game.
Only the best survive.
Perhaps the least noticeable factor in the retirement of professional players is the bad guy in the sector. In this young industry, most existing systems have not yet been optimised, not even on the world stage.
Let’s take the example of Dota 2. Valve, the creators of the game, organize the annual competition The International, where the best teams in the world compete for the highest prize in the world. International is Valve’s top priority, with the majority of its resources devoted to competition.
However, according to analyst Kyle Freedman, that’s exactly what hurts the game in the first place. Without sufficient support from Valve, independent operators will not be able to support tournaments with large prize pools. This was especially true during the coronavirus pandemic, when Friedman said that Valve had done little to ensure the survival of his community.
Fortunately, Valve has since responded to these deliberate challenges by approaching tournament organizers around the world and offering them financial support to organize tournaments in Valve’s name.
There are also teams that rely on their jackpot. Not all teams pay the monthly salaries of their players. As a result of the pandemic, activities with generally high prices have been cancelled or reduced. Without tournaments to support them, some players simply decide to quit.
Career in airport pensions
Retirement does not always mean the end of a career for athletes. There are many different career opportunities with which they generally disagree.
The most widespread streaming is probably on popular platforms such as Twitch and Facebook games. The aforementioned young players, Shroud and Lil Poison, continued as soon as they left the stage. The shroud is even considered one of the most successful banners in the world, with a net cost of $16 million.
Flows can be a profitable career choice for artists and charismatic actors. Former stars like Shroud could use their popularity as a player to achieve success in streaming mode.
Others become coaches or analysts for teams. The aforementioned fear has created many transitions between training and play. Sometimes players in one game even become coaches for other matches, as in the case of Polt in T1.
Although this is a rare case, some actors find themselves in administrative positions within their organisations. High became CEO of Team Radiance four years after his retirement. Lee Faker T1 San Hyuk, although not yet retired, has become co-owner of the organization and has expressed his intention to work with it after his retirement. With a net worth of $4 million, Baker is one of the world’s most successful athletes.
And finally, athletes can also follow the path of the Shak. Friedman himself was a member of the CompLexity Gaming team before he became an analyst.
As in any other sport, athletes can end their careers by retiring. But like other sports, life doesn’t end when you leave the arena. Professional players usually have shorter careers, but that doesn’t make them any less valuable in terms of the respect we give to athletes in other sports.