Pro gaming in South Africa “isn’t a sustainable career” – Robert ‘PandaTank’ Botha retiresWritten by: / / 6 Comments
After two years in the pro StarCraft 2 gaming circuit, and many more years playing Counter-Strike, Quake 3 and DotA competitively, Robert ‘Pandatank’ Botha has officially announced his retirement from professional gaming.
Botha didn’t say exactly what is next for him, but in his statement on Facebook wrote that he’s “getting older” and needs to “start thinking about what my next adventures in life will be.”
– Robert ‘PandaTank’ Botha
A concrete reason for Botha retiring from the professional gaming circuit is his assertion that “being a professional gamer in South Africa isn’t a sustainable career,” making it difficult to continue to spend a significant amount of time on the sport without the guarantee of a future. He doesn’t regret the time that he did use to climb up the ranks of pro gaming, though, writing:
“… I have already achieved everything from gaming that I set out to, being mainly traveling, playing on the main stage in front of a massive live audience, attending Homestory cup (no jokes) and representing my country. Therefore I have no regrets in the choices I made or the way that I spent my time.”
“All-in-all it has been an amazing, life changing experience,” Botha continued. “I got to travel to places I probably would never have been able to (or at least not any time soon), I made tons of awesome friends along the way and I even managed to inspire the odd person here and there through my ‘triumphs.'”
In an interview with El33tonline in early 2013, Botha alluded to the fact that he might not be playing StarCraft II for many years past the release of the second expansion pack, telling us that the South African competitive gaming scene is “very far behind the rest of the world,” and that making it as a professional gamer in South Africa is “impossible.”
With so many years of experience, travelling around the world and playing on the biggest pro gaming stages, Botha must have some insight into what is and isn’t possible to achieve in South Africa – what do you think? Has Botha retired too early to reap the fruits of his work or do you think he’s made the right choice to try to build a career outside of professional gaming?