Top esports players like Tfue or Shroud can make tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in just one tournament… but there can (usually) only be one winner. That winner needs to have it all, of course – but what is "all"? How much do you have to change your life to climb your way to victory in esports?
The Life of an Esports Star
The life of an esports star isn’t an easy one – becoming a pro player means making a lot of sacrifices. Living the pro life isn’t easy – many esports athletes train for up to 12 hours a day, either alone or with their team. And make no mistake, burnouts and huge amounts of stress are prevalent in the industry.
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That’s a hurdle that only comes up once you’ve made it to the rank of esports star, though – there are things you’ll need on the journey there – things other than talent and an interest in esports, that is.
Having the time to pursue becoming a pro player is one of the biggest hurdles aspiring esports athletes face – between schools and jobs, most people struggle to dedicate enough time to practice or go to competitions and events.
Depending on your skill and talent, not to mention the game of your choice, you’ll need to spend a lot of time practicing – and of course, you can’t neglect your regular responsibilities to play. Mouths need feeding, bills need to be paid.
Money/Ability to Travel
Travel is expensive, and aspiring esports stars need to be able to go to tournaments as they happen. Whether that means owning a car, being able to get to an airport easily or something similar, in order to get noticed in the esports scene, you need to be able to get there first.
Especially for younger players and those without a disposable income or freely available visas, this can be an all but insurmountable hurdle. Remember how we talked about Arslan "Arslan Ash" Siddique struggling to make it to some tournaments? Yeah, it's a thing.
This is an obvious hurdle that comes with becoming a pro player – being able to commit to participating in the esports world. Every player, no matter how good faces setbacks, unexpected losses, or just "bad days".
Not giving up can be a difficult mindset, especially near the beginning where you’re especially likely to struggle to get your foot in the door. That's why many esports teams employ psychologists to help them deal with these issues.
A much less talked about ability for esports stars is emotional intelligence, yet it is absolutely essential. Being a team player and being able to deal well with other people is a must-have skill, even if your game doesn’t require a team to compete. That's why a lot of pros, while great in terms of mechanical skill, struggle to perform well in a team.
There is still a lot of dealing with potential managers, coaches, and sponsors involved – not to mention that it’s essential to be able to deal with the immense pressure that pros must go through. Impulse control, the ability to make sound decisions while stressed and effective communication all fall under emotional intelligence, and that’s why it’s a must-have for those who are looking into becoming a pro player.
Do you have these qualities? Do you think you have what it takes?