Being a competitor is striving for self-improvement, every time you sit down for a match you are trying to do better than last time. If you didn't win the fight, did you at least nail that punish that eluded you last time? That's a win in my book. You'll never win them all but if your goal is self-improvement, it's hard to not see those gains over time.
To me, it means I have friends all over the world I would have otherwise never met. Friends 3 time zones over I can talk tech with, get some games in, and share the latest stupid setup that should have never worked. It also means accountability, having a group of likeminded people that can keep the space safe for everyone of any skill level. We hold each other accountable and make sure we all have a great time.
As a newcomer to fighting games with Tekken 7, Full Combo Esports have been the highlight of my time in this space. Always well run, everyone has a smile on their face as I bug them to watch my stick while I go have a smoke. By the end of the night, you'll be checking when the next event is. Who knows if I'd even still be playing if I didn't have these folks putting on events locally.