While it is often still debated whether eSports is a real sport, professional gaming has long since established itself as an entertainment giant. At tournaments in popular disciplines such as “FIFA”, “Dota 2”, “League of Legends”, “Overwatch” or “Fortnite”, tens of thousands of fans cheer on in the halls and several hundred million in the Internet streams. Corporations and organizers lure with higher prize money than at the US Open or Wimbledon. Soccer clubs, retail chains, and technology companies hire their own teams, TV stations are expanding their reporting, and the players are superstars on social media. The triumphal procession that began in the late 2000s – it continues crazy year after year and even defied Corona.

In Germany, too, more and more young people are aiming for a career in e-sports. But the competition is tough, as Katharina Gugel and Ulf Eberle show in their ZDF report “37°: Zock oder Flop – The brief fame of professional gamers” (Tuesday, February 7, 10:15 p.m.). Among other things, they accompanied young talents such as 18-year-old Paul, who left school before graduating to pursue his dream of becoming a professional gamer, and 23-year-old professional Janik Bartels, game name JNX, who is one of the best German e-sportsmen and by their own admission earns between 150,000 and 300,000 euros a year.

But at what price? For years, Bartels has sacrificed everything that young people normally do at his age for money and fame: trying things out, partying, meeting friends. “The pressure that it could all be over at once is definitely there,” says Bartels, who trains “League of Legends” every day from morning until late at night – a prominent online game that is played by around 180 million people worldwide . Two teams, each with five members, try to level the enemy’s base with their fantasy heroes. To put it simply. Tactics, team play, quick reflexes and maximum concentration are required to survive here.

And Bartel’s fears are entirely justified. “If you have a bad month or two, you will be exchanged. That happens,” explains the 23-year-old. Quite a few professional gamers are already leaving the e-sports circus in their mid-20s because, on the one hand, their responsiveness and eye-hand coordination are decreasing and, on the other hand, they are not able to cope with stress and strain.

Jörg Adami, Managing Director of the “esports player foundation” (EPF) – a non-profit funding institution that regularly organizes “Talent Camps” to help promising young players, also knows this. “Careers in e-sports are much faster than in traditional sports.” The boys would be thrown from the children’s room onto the big stage and were exposed to “infinite pressure” – also on the social media channels, which they constantly update with new content have to take care of. “Many people can’t stand it.” Burnout and “profound depression” are common in e-sports – and mean a game over for your career.

Lucas Cordalis did not exactly become a crowd favorite in the jungle camp. Even behind the cameras there was little sympathy for Daniela Katzenberger’s husband, as show author Micky Beisenherz has now revealed.

Anne Will surprised a few weeks ago with her soon-to-be talk show – something has also changed privately with the presenter: she is said to be newly in love. Her new friend is 26 years younger and writer Helene Hegemann.

The original of this post “Earn money with gambling? ZDF documentary shows how young people break it” comes from Teleschau.