From Pentakills to Penthouse Mansions: The Lives of Pro Esports Players

To any self-declared gamer, the life of a professional esports player seems like a dream come true. After all, there are far worse ways to earn a living than traveling the world while playing your favorite games. While it hasn’t always been the case, esports has become a remarkably lucrative industry, with players at the highest level of competition earning upwards of $400,000 a year. Once you factor in prize winnings from tournaments, sponsorship deals, and income from merchandising agreements, it’s easy to see why esports has produced so many millionaires.

But dizzying bank balances and high-stakes gaming aside, how does the average top-flight esports player spend their days? Let’s take a peek behind the curtain and find out.

Five-Star Luxury, Full-Time Training

To an outside observer, the 24/7 of a professional esports athlete might look like a life of luxury. Many S-tier rosters are housed under one roof in sprawling properties furnished with the latest mod cons and gadgetry. For the luckiest line-ups, home gyms, swimming pools, private chefs, and even maid service come as standard when you’re playing esports professionally. However, these indulgent creature comforts come at a cost. It’s less about pampering esports players and more to do with freeing up their schedules to focus on training.

All that square footage and those five-star trappings might be nice, but it’s the gaming suites and training centers that are most appealing to the esports professional. Conventional athletes might balance everyday training with their private lives, but an esports pro eats, sleeps, and breathes their game. Here, players have access to the latest gaming hardware and charting software, ensuring they have everything they need to fine-tune their skills.

A Day in the Life

A typical day for an esports athlete begins with a late start. An Olympic athlete might be hauled out of bed with the dawn chorus, but the schedule of an esports player often calls for late nights. As such, esports players aren’t usually expected to stir from their beds until late morning. After a good night’s sleep, it’s time for breakfast. Despite what many people think, the nutritional demands of esports are surprisingly specific. In order to maintain energy levels and cognitive function throughout the day, the usual dietary choices won’t do. Fortunately, the most successful esports teams can fall back on the expertise of private chefs and nutritionists to ensure they’re making all the right dietary choices, every day.

Once breakfast is out of the way, it’s time for a daily huddle. Coaches tend to live alongside teams, and it’s coaches who usually chair these meetings. On most days, teams will be playing against other line-ups. During these daily kick-off meetings, coaches will lay down some specifics about the rosters their team will be playing against, encouraging players to come forward with potential strategies and useful tactics. Want to see which strategies your favorite teams are deploying? Head to 1337PRO for the full 2024 LEC schedule.

Now it’s time to head to the gaming suite. Scrimmage is an important part of training for any esports team. While the outcome of these games doesn’t affect rankings and points are never awarded, these games provide a wealth of gameplay data for coaches and players. With the first scrimmage of the day done and dusted, players head off for a nutritious lunch, followed by a short stretch of physical training. To overcome the sedentary nature of esports, exercising is important, while focused conditioning can help players combat occupational hazards like wrist and elbow injuries.

Once players have worked up a sweat, they’ll move on to another round of scrimmages for an extended evening training session. Sometimes, this involves playing against other teams. However, if a roster is large enough, players may compete against their own teammates. There’s also time to delve into the analytics from earlier training, with players looking for ways to fine-tune their strategy and identify weaknesses.

Dinner and Downtime

After all that training, energy levels will be hitting a low. Thankfully, the dinner bell is ringing. Mealtimes offer players the chance to recharge their batteries but also allow for some much-needed socializing time. Once dining is done, players also get the chance to kick back and relax for a few hours.

Some esports athletes may choose to dedicate their downtime to individual play. However, most teams set aside the late evening exactly for this purpose. For a couple of hours every day, esports players work on their individual skills in ranked games. As well as allowing players to polish their existing skill set, these ranked play games let pros get to grips with champion builds and test out any changes to the game’s meta. Some players may even opt to live stream their personal playing sessions via platforms like Twitch.

Eventually, it’s time to leave the keyboard and wind down after a long day. Die-hard gamers may want to use this time to reflect on their performance, but most choose to put gaming to the back of their mind for an hour or so. However players choose to spend this time, it’s vital to avoid screen time for at least 30 minutes before hitting the hay. Finally, players can think about bedding down for the night, with players aiming for the ideal of eight hours of sleep.

Once you take stock of an esports player’s schedule and consider how full an average day is, those hefty salaries start to seem a lot more reasonable. Eager to take the plunge and turn a love of gaming into a high-earning career? You might be tempted by the superficial luxury of life as an esports player, but you’ll need to be committed to everything that goes along with it.