How to Become a Pro League of Legends Player


Assuming you’re already level 30 and playing ranked games, there are a few important things you can start doing now that will help you get closer to being a pro in League of Legends.

I want to make it clear that this post isn’t about specific in-game tips that will increase specific in-game skills. I’m not going to be talking about how you can start getting better at mid or late game, Youtube has a plethora of content for topics like that. In this post, I discuss what competitive gamers can do primarily outside of LoL in order to get better inside of it.

There are plenty of players who are good enough to become pro but never quite make it.

So, how do you become a pro League of Legends player?

  1. Hire a coach
  2. Get the right gear
  3. Get better at learning
  4. Start training like an athlete
  5. Develop a personality and reputation
  6. Become a team player
  7. Attend local tournaments
  8. Network & build a following
  9. Consider varsity esports
  10. Learn from Biofrost

If you didn’t start playing LoL right at the beginning then you are behind many other players. One of the most crucial skills in esports is learning. If you can cut down on the time it takes you to learn and improve you’ll be much better off at reaching a professional level or any sort of level that can offer you financial gain.

In a nutshell, becoming a pro LoL player requires you to be top 50 challenger or higher for a long period of time. But accomplishing this and being a pro gamer requires so much more than just playing LoL itself.

HIRE A COACH FOR LEAGUE of LEGENDS

I’m still unsure why so many competitive gamers are hesitant to hire a coach. People hire coaches/instructors for literally anything, even things that offer no path for a professional career. Having an esports coach may be the best way for you to learn, or it may not be. But you won’t know until you’ve given it a fair chance. You’re not going to get worse by hiring a coach, but you could get significantly better in a significantly shorter amount of time.

Personally, I learn best when someone is walking me through it, especially after trying to learn it myself first. It helps me “put the pieces together”. Esports have a big learning curve. Like I discussed earlier, you have to spend unnecessary amounts of time practicing things you’re already good at in order to practice something you’re not good at.

LoL is a great example of having to spend a lot of time doing things you’re already good at for small opportunities to practice something you’re not good at. That’s one of the issues with games like LoL, you are constantly performing actions that you’re already good at and are unable to repeatedly practice specific skills you aren’t good at. Imagine if basketball players could only practice layups by playing full on games.

The biggest benefit I see to hiring a coach is reducing the amount of time necessary for improvement. Hiring a coach/player that is better and more experienced than you is an almost guaranteed way to improve faster. An additional benefit is learning how to accept advice and critique, a skill that can be difficult for many to develop but is crucial if you are to become a pro gamer. In fact, being coachable is a skill in itself. If you make it onto a high-level team but struggle to work as a team and listen to the IGL it won’t matter how good you are as some players won’t put up with it.

Saving time might not seem like a big deal to you if you’re younger but you need to realize that there are many other things you could be improving in your life that would also help you improve in LoL. If you’re required to spend all of your time in-game these other areas are going to suffer. Do you really want to spend eight hours accomplishing something that could be accomplished in four hours?

Learning requires mistakes, and mistakes take time. A LoL coach has already gone down the path you’re currently going down and can help keep you from wandering off of that path. If you’re serious about hiring a coach and increasing your likelihood of becoming a pro LoL player, I recommend signing up for gamersensei.com.

There’s a great Udemy course that helps you learn how to improve your game mechanics, micro/macro knowledge, and rank from former LCS coach, NicoThePico. You can click here to check it out, it’s often on sale.

And don’t complain about having to pay for a coach. When I was 15 years old I got my first job dishwashing and I saved up for the latest Nvidia card (a laughable 128mb) just to ensure I had consistent and max fps in counter-strike 1.5. Besides, in the business world, it’s common for people to work at a company for free just to learn from those with more experience.

If you do hire a coach, milk that opportunity and ask as many questions as you can. In fact, write down all the questions you can think of before starting your work with them to get the most bang for your buck.

Coaches are also great for helping LoL players break through plateaus. A coach may be able to better identify your weaknesses and what you need to work on. They may also be able to help you see things you haven’t seen in yourself, like bad habits you’ve developed over time.

If you’re just not in a place where you can afford to pay for a coach/mentor, check out your esports subreddit. You may be able to find free coaches/mentors on Reddit LoL or its Discord channel. In fact, this is how a lot of the paid coaching services started and many gamers are happy to give a helping hand in their community. Often, teaching is the best way to learn.

GET THE RIGHT GEAR FOR LEAGUE of LEGENDS

Using the right gear can have a drastic impact on in-game performance for LoL. For those that say getting proper gaming gear is just hype, I would argue that you’ll never see a pro using a mouse with a ball in it (if those even exist anymore) and you’ll never see a pro using a monitor made in the 90s. My point is that you’re going to eventually get high-end gaming gear, so if you can get it now, you’re training will be better off. It’s always best to train the way you’ll be competing.

I will say, however, that once you get into the actual higher end gaming gear products, the differences between everything is pretty minuscule so there’s no need to complicate things. A lot of it comes down to preference with either the shape/feel or the brand itself.

If you want to check out some of my recommended esports gaming gear then head on over to ‘Gaming Gear’ section in the Recommended Gear section.

Pro Player Setup – “Faker”

Here is what pro LoL player “Faker” uses:

Mouse: CORSAIR Sabre

Keyboard: Corsair K70

Mousepad: Corsair Gaming MM400

Monitor: BenQ ZOWIE XL2430 24 Inch 144Hz

Headset: CORSAIR Void PRO

Just Remember

While you won’t see a pro LoL player using a ten dollar mouse and a basic wireless keyboard, you also won’t see them testing out every single keyboard, mouse and monitor on the market. It’s pretty difficult to test out a lot of different gaming products. Gamers often stick with what was first comfortable or what was given to them by sponsors. As long as you’re shopping within the gaming products line, the differences between everything is pretty minimal and subjective.

GET BETTER AT LEARNING IN LEAGUE of LEGENDS

Learning is perhaps the most critical skill in LoL. With a new patch coming out every two or three weeks, it doesn’t matter how good your overall skill is, you need to be the best with every new update.

In order to do this, you need to be aware of when patches are being released and you need to start playing the new version immediately.

Here’s some information from the League of Legends Wiki regarding patches:


patch (otherwise known as a new client version) is a modification to the game files of League of Legends. Every patch will contain one or more of the following materials:

  • New game content: new or remade champions, items, and skins.
  • Balance changes: changes made to even out the power balance between champions.
  • Bug fixes: changes made to correct unintended behaviour in the game.
  • Client/Backend/development changes: technology or configuration changes that go on behind the scenes.
  • Patch Notes: Riot Games Inc.s’ official documentation of the changes made.

You can keep an eye on patch releases here, but I would also recommend following LoL’s main twitter here.

If you’re already on an amateur level team then your team will benefit from scheduling practices around patch releases so that you all stay up to date and practice the skill of learning as a team with every patch.

With all the patches from LoL, it makes it very difficult to “master” the game in the traditional sense. Games like CS:GO undergo patches far less often, and while some change the meta game, most are relatively small and easy to adapt to.

This need to constantly adapt to patches makes LoL a very demanding game. Traditional sports like basketball or football allow players to master fundamental skill sets. When these skills are mastered, less time can be spent on the game itself and the associated skills, and more time can be spent on building strength, addressing weaknesses, recovery, and other activities that lead to a more fulfilling life.

LoL is one of those esports where you really do have to spend countless hours playing. This can detrimental to the health of players when compared to other esports. Until game developers work more closely with professional players and create specific training tools that can cut down on the required playtime, not much will change.

The unfortunate thing with some esports is the inability to practice particular skills. In LoL, you most likely have to play an entire match for a brief opportunity at practicing one particular skill.

Imagine if basketball players could only play entire games when trying to practice layups or three-pointers? I hope esports develops more tools for practice at the competitive level in the future, as there is a lot of wasted time and health risks associated with having to play long hours.

HOW TO GET BETTER AT LEARNING IN LEAGUE OF LEGENDS

You can’t just be the best at the current patch, you need to be the best at the next patch, and the one after that.

With every patch that comes out, study it like it’s a college course and the exam is next week. Make predictions, think of strategies and test them out.

Give yourself less time to learn a new patch. This may sound counter-intuitive, but when people have less time to learn they often become more effective at learning.

Becoming more effective at learning is a lesser talked about skill in esports despite it being fundamental. Currently, in esports, there’s this old school view that “more is always better” and that a player who practices twenty hours a day will be better than a player who only practices twelve hours a day.

I would argue that the player who can practice for, say, eight hours but accomplish the same as one who practices sixteen is going to be far better off in terms of a longer and healthier career.

Back to the college example. There are single mom’s who work full time while raising their kids that are still able to get college degrees. How is that possible? They often become more effective with the limited time they do have for school.

This is where esport specific training can help out. I wrote a post on Meditation for Gamers and a post on the importance of Sleep for Gamers. These are just two examples of how training and improving healthy habits outside of your esports can improve performance inside of you esport.

Regarding learning, meditation and sleep can vastly improve your ability to learn and can also help you retain what you’ve learned.

If you’re scrambling around after each patch spending hours and hours trying to figure everything out but only sleeping for a few hours, you’re just wasting time and increasing your risks of injury.

So, before you go into matches or a practice session, have a plan in mind. When powerlifters go to the gym to train they have a very specific plan outlining every single movement they’re going to do and a reason behind why they’re going to do them. What are you trying to get out of this match? What is a weakness you have that you’re trying to improve?

*If you’re serious about wanting to learn how to, well, learn better, I recommend starting with The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin, which you can get on Amazon here (opens affiliate link).

START TRAINING LIKE AN ATHLETE FOR LEAGUE of LEGENDS

Most amateur athletes in traditional sports do not have the luxury of spending 16+ hours a day trying to get better at their sport. Heck, over here in Canada, where the government offers very little financial support for Olympic athletes, many of them hustle like entrepreneurs and can’t afford to only focus on their sport.

The benefits from having less time for training in a sport is that it forces an athlete to figure out how they can optimize their training. Many of you reading this have probably, at times, played LoL in an almost sleep-like state, just joining match after match and never tracking progress or identifying weaknesses.

There are players who have found ways to optimize their practice and reach Diamond level on just two games a day who were previously struggling to get into Gold while playing ten games a day. Granted, there was a lot of work put into those two games, both before and after.

In order to do this, you need to be focused. I’ve personally found that I have better focus at different parts of the day. Find out for yourself when you are most focused.

EXAMPLE SCHEDULE

As an athlete, you need to find out what works best for you. Sometimes you don’t have this comfort when you’re on a team as the environment doesn’t allow everyone to train in their own way, but I’m assuming you’re not quite there yet.

Athletes often have strict schedules, but also have a lot of motivation to stick to their schedule. If this is something lacking in your training then check out this example schedule for ideas on how you can implement some more structure into your training.

Again, this may not be what is best for you, but it can at least help you start thinking about how you would develop your own schedule.

Click here or image for .pdf

MORNING PHYSICAL ROUTINE

I’ve personally found that doing physical training in the morning ensures that it gets done. Often, excuses or lack of motivation can keep people from exercising as the day goes on. Additionally, I’ve found the morning to be when I have the most energy, especially after I’ve warmed up. If I train too late in the evening it can interrupt my sleep.

If esports are real sports and if gamers are athletes then start training like one.

This is an area where I see many lOl players go wrong. They still think “more is better” with regard to playing LoL and often neglect all other areas of competitive training. If you disagree with my initial statement about sports and athletes, I suggest you check out my post Should Pro Gaming be Considered a Real Sport?

In that post, I discuss some of the findings from Professor Ingo Froböse who has been studying esports and esports athletes at the German Sports University of Cologne for over five years now. I think you may be surprised to find out how demanding competitive gaming really is, especially at the elite level. And you may be shocked to realize just how unprepared esports athletes are both physically and mentally for their esport.

Now, similar to my discussion on how to learn better, training like an athlete may require you to learn how an athlete trains. Regarding esports, psychology and the mental side of things is very important. Professional esports teams are starting to recognize the value of hiring sports psychologists.

I’m a registered social worker with a master’s in social work. I’ve practiced psychotherapy and have been amazed at the amount of baggage the average person walks around with day to day. For an athlete, this can be extremely detrimental to performance. It can sometimes be the explanation for why a top-level player chokes during finals.

There’s also the physical side of training like an athlete. Is physical training absolutely necessary for esports? Clearly no, as many pros neglect physical training but excel in their esport. But esports is still in its infancy stage and has a lot to learn with sport specific training.

ESPORTS INJURY Jung “Mvp” Jong Hyun: “Because of the pains in my spine, sometimes my arm will go numb. My shoulders feel terrible. Sometimes, I can’t even pick up the mouse”

The truth is, esports careers can be short-lived. Some say the average pro career is less than 2 years for LoLCS:GO and other FPS pros seem to last a little longer, but it’s still kind of rare to find someone approaching 30 years of age.

Could a lack of physical preparedness explain this? Possibly. For a more in-depth discussion on gaming injuries, check out my post Pro Gaming Injuries – What Gamers Need to Know.

ESPORTS INJURY Lee “Flash” Young Ho: “At the beginning, my arm was stiff and I was not able to hold my mouse. It even hurt me a little, but I am doing my hardest to recover”

Humans aren’t meant to use a computer for hours on end. If, after reading this, you still decide that exercising isn’t for you, at least try to move more often. Ten to fifteen minutes of walking around per every hour of sitting is a fantastic protocol, but you actually have to do it.

In case those esports injuries made you panic you can check out some esport specific training tips on the Athleitks section and the Cyber Athletiks Youtube channel.

TRAINING SESSION

Spend two to three hours in training. The point of this is to rank up in soloq and to win at all costs. You need to be extremely focused and motivated during this time.

But remember, have intentions with this training. What are you trying to accomplish? What’s your weakness? What have you reflected on from previous matches that you are trying to change in how you approach various situations? Why have you lost before and what are you going to do differently?

BREAK

Have something to eat and then go for a walk. Walking won’t just help you refresh your mind, it also helps with digestion. So always plan your walks after eating. Don’t just take my word for it, here’s some proof regarding short walks after eating, and here are some additional benefits. Due to the sedentary nature of esports and competitive gaming, frequency trumps duration for exercising and it will boost performance, not just health.

Also, you don’t have to venture outside every time you walk. Over here in Canada, going for a walk in the winter requires way too much preparation to do it frequently throughout the day. I’ve often just done laps around my apartment while listening to a podcast (it gets less weird the more you do it).

In the Recommended Gear section, I discuss the benefits of using a weight vest as well for cardio, and this may be a tool you find helpful.

Don’t neglect breaks. What you’re doing is work. Esports require an immense amount of mental focus. Students that try and sit in a library studying for eight or more soon find out that they’re wasting time.

I want to point out that this doesn’t need to be the only time you get up and move around. Just walking to get some water after each match and reflecting on it will be beneficial.

STUDY

Upon returning, study your morning training. I would recommend plays.tv, it’s a great and easy way to watch replays. You can even do some of this while you’re eating.

Your progress needs to be tracked and you need to work on breaking through plateaus. Don’t be afraid to take notes on what works well and what doesn’t. Even if you never read these notes again (like me in University) the simple act of writing them down helps you retain the information and reflect on it more effectively.

TRAINING SESSION WITH GOALS

Another two to three hours. This should be your primary training session where you really go all in. Motivation and focus need to be on point, so experiment with how you can achieve this. Perhaps the simple food break with a walk revitalizes you, or maybe you need to throw in additional movements or meditation.

By this point, you’ve hopefully spent time reflecting on what you did in the morning. Were there mistakes you made that could have been avoided? Are there skills you feel have been mastered that don’t really need more practice?

Really think about what you want to accomplish in this training session and play to win.

BREAK

Eat, walk, review and reflect.

During the break continue reflecting on your games. Don’t just focus on what went wrong or the mistakes you made. Think about what went well and what you’ve been improving on.

LAID BACK TRAINING

The evening is when you can have a more laid back and fun type of training. As it’s getting later in the day, your mental capacities and ability to perform at a high level will be naturally declining.

Try running some drills with friends or playing other sides of a matchup.

This would be like a basketball player who’s playing some fun pick-up games.

This is a great time to try out risky plays and to try and push your limits. You don’t need to be as focused and you don’t need to have the pressure of winning. This also helps you keep the passion for the game and remind yourself why you enjoy competing in it. It’s a great opportunity to relax and unwind as well.

SLEEP HYGIENE

In my sleep post, I discuss the importance of a nightly routine which is often referred to as “sleep hygiene”.

If you’ve been incorporating more movement from this example routine, your body is going to be much more ready for sleep compared to just sitting all day.

I personally find that having a stretching routine before bed does wonders for recovery and for getting me relaxed and ready to fall asleep. Here’s a post on some of what I consider to be the best stretches for competitive gamers. Additionally, my post on top supplements for gamers discusses ZMA, a supplement that can help improve your quality of sleep.

EXPERIMENT WITH YOUR PRACTICE TIMES

Don’t always soloq at the same time. If you’re trying to climb the ladder, there may be particular times during the day that make that easier for you. It might mean going to bed early and waking up early. It might mean going to bed late and waking up late, depending on your location.

By experimenting with different times of day or night in your region, you may be able to find a time that makes climbing the ladder a little easier.

DEVELOP A PERSONALITY AND REPUTATION IN LEAGUE of LEGENDS

You have to put your “print” on the game, every game, especially if you’re playing with top players. Even something as simple as Stewie2k who became known as the aggressive onliner who jumped through smokes for CS:GO.

Think about your favourite gamers, why do you like them? Is it just about their skill? Would you watch them on stream even if they were silent the whole time? If so, would you still watch a robot who had skill?

The point I’m trying to make is that there is probably a lot more to why you like your favourite esports athletes other than their ingame skill. Perhaps they always give funny interviews. Or maybe they’re a genuinely nice person on stream. Heck, maybe you like the trash talking “jock” type of player. Whatever the reason, there’s still a reason beyond them just being good.

NETWORK & BUILD A FOLLOWING IN LEAGUE of LEGENDS

Networking in esports can be difficult, but it has big potential for boosting your career. The problem is, networking is almost always done best in person. And to be frank, at least in North America, you are going to struggle if you aren’t physically in Los Angeles. It’s like with people who want to become actors that “chase their” dream by moving to Hollywood and hustling to get auditions.

Am I saying you have to live in LA? No, but if you have the opportunity or means to do so, it would certainly work in your favour. The thing is, especially in LoL, so many big events and ongoing ones like the Championship Series are in LA. Becoming a regular at events and tournaments is probably the best way to network with people who have the resources to help you become pro.

Now, if LA is completely off the table, consider online tournaments. Your best off sticking to official Riot Games sponsored tournaments as these tournaments are likely to be streamed over Twitch where other players will get to see you compete in action. You can find some of those tournaments over at battlefy.com. Additionally, recruiters or scouts may be watching these tournaments and you’ll benefit if they start to recognize you.

There is, of course, social media. Building your own personal fan base is what sponsors are interested in. If you can build a following on platforms like Twitch, Reddit or Instagram, you’ll become more appealing to organizations. Twitter is also a great way to become part of the community as it’s easy to interact with anyone, and eventually, you’ll start to be recognized and remembered the more you interact and communicate with people.

Local tournaments, as discussed above, are also a great way to network and become part of the community. Every successful person has a mentor, and you may be able to find yours at one of these easy to attend events.

START STREAMING LEAGUE of LEGENDS

This is a great way to help develop a personality. A lot of people are intimidated by streaming and for good reason. Streaming opens you up to the world. Even my first youtube video was very uncomfortable for me to make, I couldn’t stop thinking about who is going to be watching it.

But like most things, it will get easier with time and practice. Streaming is also a great way to start getting comfortable with an audience. Being a professional gamer means the additional stress of performing in front of others. This “performance” is a skill in itself.

It’s ok if you only have a few viewers for months on end. No one is going to notice you if they can’t find you. It could be a couple of years before you even have a respectable audience. This is online marketing 101, it takes time and patience, that’s why most people never make money online, they give up after they didn’t become a millionaire in two months.

BECOME A TEAM PLAYER IN LEAGUE of LEGENDS

LoL can be a team-based game and you need to communicate. Over in my Recommended Gear ‘Knowledge’ section, I have some book recommendations for learning how to communicate better. One of which is “Say What You Mean” by Joseph Goldstein. This book is often reviewed as the book for developing better interpersonal communication. Every LoL player should read this book if they’re serious about being competitive.

Learning how to communicate better also helps reduce player tension and problems between team members. Disputes are often caused by misunderstanding and inabilities to communicate what one really means. This inability to truly communicate causes frustration within ourselves and for others. And don’t think I’m saying this because LoL has so many young professionals, most full-grown adults are terrible at communicating as well.

ATTEND LOCAL LEAGUE of LEGENDS TOURNAMENTS

Competing in tournaments is a skill in itself. There’s going to be a different kind of pressure and you’re going to need to play for extended periods of time while consistently performing well.

Having more tournament experience under your belt will make you more appealing to teams looking for new players. The last thing you want recruiters or scouts thinking is, “but can they do that on stage?”.

The same goes for powerlifting actually. Lots of people post their biggest lifts on Instagram or Youtube, but when it comes time to compete in a tournament, they choke, because they haven’t practiced the skill of official competition enough.

If you’ve never competed in a LAN tournament you need to go register for the next available one that you can attend. This will help you identify what you need to work on at becoming a better competitor. I wrote a post with some tips when entering your first competitive tournament, you can check it out here.

FACE THE FACTS FOR BECOMING A LoL PRO

In my post How To Become A Pro Gamer – What No One Ever Tells You I discuss some of the darker realities of being a pro gamer, or at least aspects of pro gaming that many young gamers don’t consider.

For a great inside look at the trials and tribulations of being a pro gamer, check out “Free to Play“, a documentary that follows three Dota 2 players: “Fear”, “hyhy” and “Dendi”.

Once you are a professional gamer getting paid by both an organization and sponsors, there are numerous expectations placed on you. Being a professional anything inherently means there are certain expectations placed on you and that you will have to make sacrifices.

Being a professional gamer requires an immense amount of dedication. Pro gamers competing in esports want to be the best, and if that doesn’t describe you, then you won’t last long.

At the time of writing this post (April 2019) LoL has an estimated 115 million players. Granted, many of these users aren’t “competitive” in the true sense, but there’s still a lot of players dreaming about making it to the pro scene and winning some big tournament money one day.

There are roughly a thousand professional LoL players. That means, roughly, 1 out of every 100,000 players will become pro. That’s significantly less than a 1% chance. But think of it like the lottery, you can’t win if you don’t play. And even if you don’t become a professional LoL player in the “true” sense, there’s still plenty of money to be won.

HOW MUCH DO PRO LEAGUE of LEGENDS PLAYERS MAKE?

If you are trying to be a pro LoL player then you’re probably wondering if it’s even worth it. Here are some of the top earnings for pro LoL players. Keep in mind, this is purely tournament winnings:

Just in case you aren’t aware, although LoL is one of the “bigger players” it’s not the biggest. This chart represents the total awarded money to date for top 5 esports:

 

Esportsearnings.com (April 2019)

CONSIDER VARSITY ESPORTS FOR CS:GO

Varsity esports has been exploding over the last few years. The National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) was officially formed in July 2016. When they first formed, there were only 7 colleges/universities that had esports programs.

Over 100 institutions now have varsity esports teams. More and more schools in the US are contemplating how they can create their own teams and enter the esports industry. Hiring your own coach doesn’t seem so silly now does it? Especially if it could help land you a sport on a collegiate esports team for LoL.

I also wrote a whole post on Scholarships for Gamers – Can Esports Pay for College? I go in depth more on the emerging varsity esports scene and why varsity esports may be a better option for gamers who are trying to become a pro.

CONSIDER LIFE AFTER ESPORTS AND LEAGUE of LEGENDS

Esports and LoL won’t fulfill you forever. As you continue to grow older and develop as a person you’re going to find that esports don’t fulfill you and your life in the same way that it does now. I’m not saying you’ll get bored of gaming, I’m merely pointing out that you are going to find yourself searching for other ways to find meaning in your life that aren’t esports. For a great book on how athletes can focus on what really matters in life while trying to be the best, check out Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court by John Wooden which I have in my Recommended Gear‘Knowledge’ section.

LEARN FROM BIOFROST AND FATAL1TY

The typical guide, article or video on “how to become a pro gamer” often insinuates that one must give up everything and focus entirely on their esport. This is just plain false and this kind of thinking isn’t found in the more traditional sports world (well, not to the same extreme).

Sure, there will be sacrifices. When I started this website I sacrificed a lot of my recreational time that would have otherwise been spent gaming or being outdoors. But if you sacrifice everything, you’re not really doing yourself any favours. Humans try to live fulfilling lives and we often operate best the more fulfilled we are.

Unless your esport fulfills every facet of your life, you’re going to run into problems if you do nothing else except game. In fact, I would argue that your performance will suffer as your mental and physical health will start to decline. The more you are able to stay productive in other areas of your life while still being competitive, the better off you’ll be. But figuring out how to do that is ultimately on you.

A great resource for learning how to become pro is to learn from those who have done it really well.

BIOFROST – MOBA

The typical guide, article or video on “how to become a pro gamer” often insinuates that one must give up everything and focus entirely on their esport. This is just plain false and this kind of thinking isn’t found in the more traditional sports world (well, not to the same extreme).

Sure, there will be sacrifices. When I started this website I sacrificed a lot of my recreational time that would have been spent gaming. But if you sacrifice everything, you’re not really doing yourself any favours. Humans try to live fulfilling lives and we often operate best the more fulfilled we are.

Unless LoL fulfills every facet of your life, you’re going to run into problems if you do nothing else except play LoL. In fact, I would argue that your performance will suffer as your mental and physical health will start to decline.

The more you are able to stay productive in other areas of your life while still being competitive and climbing the ranks, the better off you’ll be. But figuring out how to do that is ultimately on you.

In case you think I’m just dreaming this stuff up I want to discuss a real-life example that can be found in the story of Vincent “Biofrost” Wang. Biofrost was a rookie support player that made his debut on TSM and went on to place first at the LCS and compete at worlds in 2016.

While Biofrost was climbing ranks, he continued with University, completing two years before dropping out to become professional. He remained social and saw value in sustaining the friendships he had. Biofrost juggled multiple responsibilities while still climbing the ranks of LoL and breaking into the professional scene.

This allowed Biofrost to be so much more than a “one trick pony”. He effectively juggled multiple responsibilities with social skills, academic skills and more. He had the ability to focus on one thing, stop, then focus on another thing and achieve success in multiple areas.

Who do you think is more attractive to an organization, team or sponsor? The person who’s always lived with their parents and spends sixteen hours a day playing LoL, or the person who has been able to achieve success both inside and outside of LoL?

FATAL1TY – FPS

Nowadays, you don’t see players switching between games very often. Some streamers like Shroud have been successful, but they’re typically the exception.

Some of you may not be aware of one of the greatest esports athletes of all time, Fatal1ty. Fatal1ty was a professional gamer before professional gaming was “cool”. He turned pro in 1999 at the age of 18.

Fatal1ty won several world championships and won or placed extremely well in many more tournaments. Here’s a list of some of the games Fatal1ty competed in:

  • Quake
  • Quake 2
  • Quake 3
  • Aliens versus Predator 2
  • Return to Castle Wolfenstein
  • Call of Duty 2
  • Counter-Strike: Source
  • Unreal Tournament 2003
  • Doom 3
  • Painkiller
  • Quake 4
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

For a more in-depth look at Fatl1ty’s legacy, check out the ‘Thorin’s Thoughts’ video below on him. You can also check the MTV’S True Life on Fatal1ty by clicking here. It gives a good look into how serious Fatal1ty takes his training and the professional side of gaming. Show some support to an OG and go subscribe to his Youtube channel. He’s still active and fragging in many different titles.

Fatal1ty was extremely dedicated to esports. He took it seriously and everything he did outside of gaming was done with the intention of boosting ingame performance. What strikes me, given his young age, is how “professional” he was with being a professional gamer. If you didn’t know he was gaming you’d think he was an athlete in any other type of sport.

Keep in mind, Fatal1ty succeeded during a time when esports was still relatively underground. There was no twitch or social media or sponsors actively looking for gamers (or even fancy gaming chairs).

FINAL THOUGHTS

So there you have it. This post focused primarily on what players can do outside of LoL in order to improve inside of LoL and increase their chances of becoming pro. In fact, that’s what Cyber Athletiks is all about—Esport Specific Training. Every sport has a specific way to train for it and esports should be no different. If you’re finding yourself stuck or plateauing even though you are increasing the amount of time you’re playing LoL, then consider implementing the above tips.

But if you liked these type of tips then check out my post How to Become a Pro Gamer – ULTIMATE Guide where I go a little deeper into this sort of stuff.

 

gl;hf

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Stuart Cameron

I'm the owner of Cyber Athletiks. I live in Canada and began competitive gaming near the dawn of esports. I've loved watching the scene grow to where it's at today.

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