The day-to-day life of eSports players
Electronic sports (eSports) have become one of the media phenomena of our century and the professionalization of video game competitions has grown to the point that they keep millions of spectators following different events from home and as many crowded stadiums.
On the other side of the screens, the professional players.
Young people between the ages of 18 and 26, in most cases, who devote their days to preparing themselves to achieve maximum performance. Hours of gymnastics, tactical training, strategy planning, mindfulness sessions and healthy eating: the routine followed by gamers is not so different from that carried out by professional athletes.
More than eight hours of training
From nine to eleven hours, that’s the time many eSports professionals spend preparing daily. That’s how Alejandro Fernández Quejo, “Mopoz”, player of “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” (CS:GO) for Movistar Riders, tells it.
His mornings begin like those of any other 22-year-old. He gets up, gets ready and at 12.00 he goes to the club office to attend two hours of theory with his team members. They try to expand their tactical repertoire within the game, talk about the mistakes made to improve them and achieve a better structure.
At the end of this first part of the morning, it is time to rest. Each day, at 14.00, they have an hour to eat after which they begin training against other groups. There they use their tactical repertoire, which would be their game, and that’s how they get better.
When the clock strikes 21.00, the player and his team-mates bid farewell to the club’s high-performance centre, although their training does not end there. When they get home, many of them spend at least two hours preparing to give their best. “You have a lot of people behind you and you can’t relax.
The life of Rajohn Gregory, “EasTor”, CS:GO player for Dragons, is quite similar in that sense. Six or seven hours of training with the team plus four hours of individual preparation at home. He spends about ten hours a day playing the game. When there’s an important event nearby, they usually do intensive days to get the victory. “All this isn’t just playing: there are also hours of studying the opponents, chatting with the coach…”.
The young captain, 25 years old, compares this time spent in his preparation with the world of sport in general where if you do not exercise your own work, you lose skill. You have to seize the moment because it ends quickly, and more so considering the short professional life of the players, which according to some industry estimates is about 4 or 5 years.
Living from electronic sports
Phrases like “stop playing computer games and start studying, that’s a waste of time” could have days counted. The video game industry has changed so much in recent years that the image of professional gamers has been transformed and has thrown down some stereotypes that the community loaded.
Despite the eSports boom, which in Spain moves more than 15 million gamers, according to the latest annual report of the Spanish Association of Video Games (AEVI), there are still those who think that all are unsociable teenagers who spend their days locked up in their rooms without any more trade or profit.
“Especially in our country it is possible to make a living from electronic sports,” says Fernando Piquer, general director of Movistar Riders. For more than 20 years, his professional career has been linked to the Internet and digital entertainment. In his own words, is one of the territories that has developed most within this industry in recent years and can boast of a good projection in that regard.
For Piquer, we are currently in a privileged moment in which there is a great entrepreneurial initiative and in which many brands are approaching this phenomenon. “I think people are beginning to realise that this is a cultural issue and not just anecdotal, which has a lot to do with the culture of entertainment and the audiovisual codes of young people.
Unofficial estimates establish a turnover of around ten million euros at present. A fact that shows that this is a sector with great potential and that explains the emergence of other jobs around the industry: sports psychologists, analysts, content creators and video game coaches are just one example of people who have been trained for professions that did not exist.