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Inside Professional Gaming

What is being a professional gamer really like?

Swip3r: Being a professional gamer seems like a huge dream to a lot of people, but it does come with a lot of stress. You have to put in a lot of work because if you’re not putting in the most effort in the region, you’re going to be overpassed by someone who wants to take your position. At the same time, we don’t have to do 9-5 jobs. We get to essentially live in a gaming house as a team and compete every weekend.

Claire: I feel like a lot of people see it as kind of a cake walk but really the hours that esports players put in is actually really insane. I think to stay at the top it’s required for you to put in 12+ hours a day because everyone else is practicing really hard. Everyone will be like “oh you’re just sitting there playing games” but really, you’re sitting there mentally exhausting yourself for most of the day, pretty much every day of the week.

What is a day in your life like?

Swip3r: You practice from 11am-6.30pm. Then, you have individual practice hours, so you could be playing around 12-14 hours a day, 5 days a week. On Friday, you head to the studio and compete against another team in the open ladder in which there are 8 teams. You just have to try and hold the first position, play the finals and if you win you compete overseas.

How do you get paid?

Swip3r: We work for an organisation, they get money from sponsors, investors or Riot Games and we get paid salaries per year. You get extra money from tournaments if you win finals. You don’t have to pay for rent or food… It’s viewed professionally as an actual career.

Claire: It’s lucrative in the sense that you make good money for the year, but when you consider longevity of players it’s not actually very long. So, the amount of money that we make; it’s not going to last forever, it’s only going to last maybe 5 more years for some of these players.

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A lot of people don’t go to uni, they go straight from high school to becoming a pro gamer, so a lot of people are missing the education and qualifications needed to get a real job. So that’s where it becomes kind of a question mark because a lot of people don’t have plans after esports and the career doesn’t last long.

What is a gaming house?

Swip3r: A gaming house consists of 5 players, you can have 1 sub, ideally two coaches (head coach and analyst), house manager and sometimes a chef. Our house has 8 or 9 people in it. It does come with its faults because you’re living with the same 8 people, you’re working full time, you’re eating together and doing everything together. It can create some stressful and high intensity environments that can cause arguments.

Claire: It’s something that a lot of young players struggle with because they come straight from home, they’ve been living with their parents their whole life. Now they have to take care of themselves and interact with other people that maybe they’re not comfortable with. It’s just chance if you have a good environment or not.

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