“They are just playing video games, why do they take it so seriously? It can’t be that hard…“
Many people hear the rumor about how much esports professionals are making and say: “They are just playing video games, what could be that special or difficult about what they are doing”. This is just a common misconception if we were to take those same “doubters” and sit them in front of a console or PC and tell them to replicate it. They most likely could not replicate it or get even close to what the professionals are doing. The difference between the average player that is ‘good’ and the professional level is staggering.
Professional esports players do not spend their time sitting around laughing it up. Most of the time they are intensely practicing, reviewing film, and playing the games in their own free time. In an article from Business Insider in 2015, they got to talk with several players from Team Liquid about their schedule. To reach the highest level of a player in a game the players for Team Liquid follow their regularly scheduled practices and film reviews for 8 hours per day: Tuesday – Thursday, but they squeeze in their own time before and after regulated practice. Then Friday – Sunday are competition days on the big stage in the North American LCS. Mondays are usually the day off for these players, but why take a day off when you could be getting better. These players must also be seeking time to stay healthy, whether it is attending the gym or simple self-care to keep themselves in tip-top shape outside of the games.
“I can technically see friends and family on Monday, our day off. But because of the way League of Legends works, there is no downtime. I don’t want to spend my time away from here … I’d rather spend my time practicing”
a quote from Alex “Xspecial” Chu.
Alongside these extensive hours, esports careers are very short. Lebron James has been in the NBA for 36 years and has been considered one of the best basketball players of all time. Due to the nature of esports with new talent rotating in, the average esports career lasts around 5 years for most pro players. Of course, there are exceptions for certain players. In League of Legends with the meta being ever-shifting players that are exceptional at a certain role may shift out of relevance as champions and certain roles come and go. To be able to stay within the professional leagues, the players must practice consistently and stay on top of their game or risk losing their spot to a younger player with more potential.