Being a professional gamer sounds like a dream come true, but there’s a bit more to it than just kicking back and playing Xbox with your friends. eSports gamers have to be disciplined in their craft to reach the top of the tree. For some, that involves not just practising their game of choice, but also keeping their brain and body in tip-top shape by exercising their mind and strategizing with teammates. In this article, we go inside a typical day in the life of an eSports gamer to find out what it takes to get to the top.
What are eSports?
Although there is still much debate over what constitutes an eSport according to PokerStars, some believe that online games such as poker count, whilst others think that only a few select video games make the cut.
League of Legends, Dota 2, Counter-Strike, and Fortnite are some of the most widely recognized video games. They tend to draw the largest pool of entrants and the largest prizes too. For this day-in-the-life, we’re going to look at the routine of an Overwatch player.
Overwatch is a team game that is always played by two teams of six people each. It is based in outer space, where each of the characters plays a different hero. Together these heroes must look after the world below them, using their unique set of skills. Some of the skills are humorous, some terrifying, but they’re all different, which is what makes the team aspect of this game so very important.
A Healthy Breakfast
The time that a player wakes up varies from person to person, but almost everyone puts in an eight-hour day. It turns out that whether you’re an early bird or a night owl makes almost no difference to your success, it’s the hours you clock in that count. A healthy balanced breakfast is a theme of almost all eSports players. Porridge, eggs, fruit, and juices are all popular choices; some even opt for a protein shake before heading to the gym.
The gym is an important part of most gamer’s days. Sitting in a computer chair and making minute motor movements might not seem like the kind of job that requires a toned body, but there are real benefits to a strict gym regime as we can see from numerous videos on YouTube from gym enthusiasts.
Sitting down for long periods can play havoc with your back, so core strength is an essential exercise to ensure the health of a gamer’s spine. A full-body workout ensures that enough energy is burned to stay in top shape, and it keeps a player ready for whatever gruelling battles might be ahead later on in the day. Going Solo After breakfast and hitting the gym, most players tend to start their solo practice.
During solo practice, players will often review previous matches, particularly those where they lost, so they can identify those areas where improvements need to be made. Many players make a good chunk of their income on Twitch, sometimes amassing hundreds of thousands of followers, which, after advertising revenue, can generate a substantial salary.
So, after reviewing their performance, many will dedicate an hour or two to Twitch streaming. On these streams, they’ll work through difficult scenarios, interact with fans, and generally prepare for whatever a tournament might throw at them.
Working as a Team
Team practice often takes place later in the evening, as some eSports players still choose to work a regular job.
On average, the whole Overwatch team will get together between 5 and 7pm and begin proper training with a coach to correct mistakes and direct operations. After all, conducting 6 eager eSports players requires some management!
The team works through scenarios just as the single-player had earlier in the day, honing both their individual skills and their strategy as a unit. Generally speaking, between two and three hours will be spent playing as a team. This team time helps to refine the strategies that teams will use to defeat their opponents.
Whilst in a casual game between friends this sort of strategising isn’t really necessary, in the upper echelons of gaming you can guarantee that all of the teams will be doing the same. Even the tiniest edge from one of the players could be the difference between winning and losing the tournament.
Not only do these team sessions improve gameplay, but they also build camaraderie. As anyone who’s played any team sport will know, getting on with and trusting your teammates is essential to success.
Screen Time Is Over
After team practice, a healthy dinner is next and is generally followed by something that many people would be shocked by: a total lack of screen time. So many of us have our phones with us all evening – even sitting watching the tv – that the thought of settling down with a book is almost an alien concept.
However, time without screens before we hit the hay is really important. Blue light is emitted by both our screens and by the sun, meaning that when we look at these screens our brains believe we are seeing sunlight. This can certainly make it more difficult to sleep and can also throw off our circadian rhythm in more extreme circumstances, even leading to insomnia.
Despite spending their working lives glued to a screen, a surprising number of eSports gamers mention that switching off screens for at least an hour or two before bed is one of the parts of the day that they look forward to the most. Not only does it help them switch off and get ready to sleep, but it also gives them the time to connect fully with their friends and loved ones.