As we follow the fictional (but fact-based) exploits of our esports team, let’s take a look at a typical day in the life. Just what kind of commitment does it take to be an esports professional? (If you miss any installments in this series, you can read them all at here.)
Nobody ever told Tomas Castillo being an esports professional would be easy, but even he hadn’t really understood the commitment it would take to get really good at gaming. All the old timers in the sport—and his teammate Zach Reynolds, at 29, was certainly an old- timer by esports standards as well as one of the best—tended to gloss over just how much work excelling at the sport really was. Maybe they just didn’t want to scare off esports recruits. After all, it was pretty cool to play video games for a living, and being able to make a decent living at it didn’t hurt either.
Tourney days were always a little crazy. Up at dawn, he’d fuel up with a good protein-heavy breakfast and hydrate himself well. Then it would be off to the arena for some pre-tourney strategy talk with his coach and teammates, as well as some practice. Then their media and fan interaction commitments would begin with scheduled interviews, open forum panel discussions, and opportunities for fans to get autographs and talk with their favorite teams and players. It was all great fun and an ego-boosting trip on most occasions, but on tourney days, he preferred to do his talking after the gaming. It was less distracting that way . . . and less exhausting.
Luckily for all the esports athletes there were limits on media and fan access before tournaments, so they could all focus on why they were really there which, in this case, was to determine the top League of Legends team. Tomas was biased of course, but he thought his team, Team Otherworlds, had as good a chance as any to come out on top.
“Why not us?” He’d always ask himself before a tourney. They worked hard, and winning would validate all the grueling hours they’d put in over the past few months leading up to this tournament.
A typical “workday” for Tomas looked like this:
8 am to 9 am: wake up, eat a nutritious breakfast, and shower/dress
9 am to 10 am: meet with his team and coach to strategize/plan the day
10 am to 1 pm: hold team scrimmages or practice in-person or via stream
1 pm to 2 pm: lunch and errands
2 pm to 3 pm: review performance by video, feedback with teammates
3 pm to 5 pm: fulfill social/PR commitments, blogs, email, fan interaction
5 pm to 8 pm: more team scrimmages or practice in-person or via stream
8 pm to 9 pm: dinner
9 pm to 11 pm: more practice, team discussions, and then bedtime
It was clearly not a schedule for the faint of heart, or for those not fully committed to being at the top of his or her profession. And if there was one thing Tomas liked more than the gameplay itself, was the sweet taste of victory.
“Plus,” he thought, glancing over at Zach who had donned his headphones and was doing a few wrist flexing exercises to get warmed up. “Victory would be an especially fitting send off for Zach.”