To begin with, your summary has succeeded in capturing my attention ... which is very rare. So well done for that!
The context in which the criticism was made
Now to get to the heart of the matter, when I read that there would be dramas and dark secrets, perhaps unconsciously I imagined that it would be a comic strip of the style: behind the scenes of the world of e-sport. As there are so many others in the webtoon format, on tapas and the other webcomics sharing sites. But this time, it's not MOBA but a fighting game, with which I have more affinities. So I thought to myself why not give it a try. Also, I often ask for reviews without giving any, so for once I'm going to do what I would have liked to receive. (a lesson I learned recently!)
The content: graphic part
First of all, your art is not perfect (no more than mine, for that matter) but there is something, a style that emerges from it. Maybe you have artistic references that influenced this way of drawing faces and hair?
I noticed that you like to place the lights to the right of the characters. And that you experiment a lot with the panels, to the point of making the characters emerge from it. At times it might be interesting to think outside the box but on other occasions I feel like it doesn't highlight the scene showing ... but maybe I'm wrong. You be the judge !
I saw that you took the trouble to draw the interior of the hero's house. I liked this detail. It gave the panel concerned a different rendering from the others.
You have successfully placed the speech bubbles. It may seem absurd to you, but it's more difficult than it seems ... in any case for me it took me a long time to master in horizontal format. And I'm still learning the vertical format. The text is also a good size. I've seen digital comics with unreadable texts before.
Other than that, I don't see anything more to say at this time. Unless you want to know more about the perspective etc.
The content: narrative part
Ok ... this one is a little tricky. From what I've seen so far, no offense, the story that comes to mind is Sword Art Online. The promise of a game with endless possibilities. On the other hand, if you like the series maybe my comparison will not offend you.
For starters, it is technically impossible to create such a game. Just like Sword Art Online. So I will try to disregard this data in order to analyze your series.
Now that we have accepted the hypothesis that such a game could exist, we must talk about the development time that it could potentially have had. Because the one he currently has is far too small for a project of such a large scale. Especially if we take into account the fact that the game is capable without asking the player to enter even their first and last name, to know their deepest wishes, their past, their personality, their administrative information, etc. In short, to know him fully. I know I'm exaggerating but hey that's almost the idea.
Imagine that there has been fabulous progress in a few years in computer research, especially artificial intelligence. And that this one uses the current capacities of the data bases, because the company which develops the game is a huge multinational of the GAFFA style which collects the personal data of many people all over the world. Or else it is associated with these, for reasons unknown. Allowing moreover to create new secrets and new scandals around the game. Which reminds me of a big black spot, in my opinion, the lack of information that the reader has on the game ... Anyway , 5 years of development is too short. Unless an idea similar to violations of the use of personal data was used.
Besides, even this game managed to get published it would still have a huge balancing problem. Already when so normal the actions of the players can break a game, then imagine if the player had the possibility of doing anything and everything at any time of the game, all because ... for example, he has always dreamed of being invincible. To solve such a problem, your game would have to restrict the amount and quality of abilities that characters will have procedurally generated according to the player's personal information. Well, that among all my comments is the one that breaks your head the most. So you are free to take it into consideration or not. But in case you're interested, I can develop my own in more detail if you're ready to make a big change in your story. Because there is a good chance that a leads to this.
This point is just a personal preference, and maybe a habit of common media practice of making the suspense go on for a very long time, but I find you are not taking your time enough — setting up the characters, the scenes, the story in general. Everything is going fast. For example, I would have liked to see more of the workout. It would even have allowed me to discover the rules of the game, how to play it and all kinds of stuff. Also, to see growing the emerging relationship, which did not exist at all at the beginning of the story, between the hero and his coach. However, you don't need to reveal everything all at once. Just a little bit more. Guess you did this for surprise, which is great, but it would have been even cooler to know the protagonist character's abilities in advance when he's fighting a bot, for example. And then to realize how he managed to use it intelligently against a real opponent. This does not prevent you from later making him discover his secret techniques.
Another thing, the first fight. I was surprised to learn the story of his opponent at the end of the chapter. It's a shame that it was not the hero's first big challenge because it would have been his first opportunity to confront his deep desires, to question them. Helping him to understand why the game has chosen to make him play the character he hates the most. This is why, I thought that the asset of the game your characters are playing was not the endless possibilities of choice, but that it was able to fulfill everyone's deepest desires / dreams. Which I find much more motivating for a player like his opponent to play such a game. But hey, my preferences again.
Quick note, in some places important details are missing. For example, when the hero says the washroom is occupied, you could have given readers a hint by making a small box showing the locket "closed". Because the hero said that, but I saw nothing. Most surprisingly, you did exactly that in the next box. You could have done it for this box too. Just a simple little addition.
Also, when the future coach mispronounces the hero's name, it's supposed to be a joke but it's a bit spoiled by the fact that the protagonist never communicated his first name to this one, at any time. In any case, if he does, the reader is not informed, which is a shame.
I'm going to be picky about this, but you never said that coffee ... which is a liquid, is capable in your game, of stopping projectiles.
Ah yes ! I thought I was done but looking at your comic again I remembered something. When the two main characters walk into the place where Tony Tourney's is to take place, he tells them they have time and you show us the clock. It's subtle, but you never told us what time the tournament started. So when the reader looks at the clock, they know the tournament hasn't started yet ... not because they knew the tournament's start time, but because the host told them. Unfortunately, making the clock box almost useless.
Sigh anyway, despite all this I find your story interesting to follow. Sorry, if I seem to be teaching a lot, but I wanted to be honest and help as best as possible. After as I have already said you do what you want with my advice. There is no problem if you decide to do otherwise or even to continue on your throw.
Edit: I had written all of this before seeing that you added new page. Did you add an extra page for the fight against Hagen? Because I don't remember the scene where he meets in the real world?