Then And Now: Talking To Retired Pro Gamers About The Rise Of Esports

Dave “Walshy” Walsh first started competing at Halo in 2002. Back then, the term “esports” hadn’t yet entered the lexicon, pro gamers rarely earned the big bucks, and competitions were all about the love of the game and discovering who played the best.


These days, Walshy still works in the pro gaming field as a commentator for the Halo Championship Series. Compete’s video team sat down with him and some other Halo pros who got their start years ago, when opportunities for pro gamers were much less lucrative.

Mason “Neighbor” Cobb, also a former pro Halo player, reflects on how few rules these old tournaments had, and how difficult it would’ve been back then to land a sponsorship. These days, esports contests have prize pools in the millions.


Andy “Bravo” Dudynsky, a former Halo coach, also weighed in on how much money has been pouring into esports since he started out: “There’s talk within the industry about when the bubble might burst, but I think there’s a long way to go ... I think we’re going to go down some interesting turns in the next three to five years.”

This video is the fourth episode in our new season of Compete videos. Previous videos have covered the University Of Utah’s first-of-its-kind varsity esports program, the Southern California fighting game scene, and the medical experts who keep esports pros healthy.

Executive Producer
Japhet Weeks
Brooke Minters

Senior Producer
Anastasia Weeks

Zoe Stahl

Associate Producer
John Dargan

Theo Schear

Anders Kapur

Devin Clark

Maddy Myers
Eric Van Allen

Additional Consultation from Editors-In-Chief
Stephen Totilo
Tim Marchman

Footage from
Major League Gaming
Youtube: Mott2The
ESL Gaming Network
343 Industries
Madison Square Garden

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