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Overwatch esports star Kim “Alarm” Kyeong Bo dies at 20

An esports star known particularly for his involvement with the video game Overwatch, has been found dead at the age of 20.

Kim “Alarm” Kyeong Bo, who was a member of the Philadelphia Fusion team, passed away earlier this week, although the cause of death has not been revealed.

For the uninitiated, Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer first person shooter game which was first launched in 2016. Players are assigned into two teams of six, and each player selects from a large roster of characters, called “heroes” to complete map specific objectives within a set time period.

In June, this year cross platform play across all platforms was initiated.

Philadelphia Fusion have said  that they are devastated and heartbroken by his loss, describing hm as the heart and soul of their organisation.

Kim had already made a name for himself in the Overwatch League, winning the Rookie of the Year award, and as also nominated for MVP (Most Valuable Player).

Prior to joining Philadelphia Fusion, Kim played for Fusion University, an academy team.

Esports is booming right now, for the same reason that fans enjoy other sports – for the competition and the chance to watch the best in action.

Indeed, whilst the pandemic may have put a temporary halt to major esports tournaments and competitions, it actually helped boost their popularity because, deprived of the chance to watch their favourite football, rugby, cricket, or basketball team in action, they turned to esports instead.

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With esports, people from across the world love to tune in and watch the pros play each other in competitive matches. And, with online streaming and platforms like Twitch and YouTube, professional gaming can be accessed easily, and for free, 24/7.

Esports also hares many of the dramas and controversies to be found in other sports. Top gamers are much in demand, can get traded to other teams, and frequently move between franchises. But the price of failure can be high. Lose too many games or make a high profile mistake and they can be fired.

And gamers like Kim are not doing it for the sheer love of the game. The Overwatch League offers salaries ranging from US $50,000 up to US $5 million, depending on how well individual players perform, and if they are able to help secure a higher portion of the prize pool.

It is a young person’s world though. Most people who decide to become professional esport players begin in their early teens, when they have no other responsibilities like going to work or supporting a family.

It takes hundreds of hours of practice and there are no guarantees at the end that the hard work will pay off. For all those who go on to make a professional career in esports, there are hundreds who fall by the wayside and are just not quite good enough.


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