How To Balance Video Games And Life. Professional Tips.
Computer games are dynamic and immersive, so it is very easy to imagine the life of a professional gamer. So, what helps e-Athletes and teams, in general, to keep to a daily routine that allows them to save great results in games? In our article, we will tell you about the habits that are worth thinking about for beginners and advanced eAthletes to maintain their emotional and physical condition. We will also quote famous eSports athletes, such as Lynnie “artStar” Noquez from Team Dignitas (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive) and Liyu “Cody” Sun from 100 Thieves (League of Legends).
They said that daily team training takes from 6 to 8 hours and is always supplemented by several hours of individual training. Noquez tells about her usual daily routine.
“I wake up about 11 am and respond to work-related messages. I finish at 1 pm, make breakfast with my partner, and sometimes we go out for a snack with his family. In the afternoon, I do household stuff – do the shopping, clean up, cook dinner, check my computer for issues. And if all that is already done, then I spend my free time with my parents and mates. At about 5 pm I finish all the activities and start individual training at Counter-Strike. I play in random groups in the lobby or stream on Twitch. At around 7 pm the team practice with Dignitas begins. In the middle, we’re taking a brief break for dinner and finish at 11 pm. Immediately after the session, I go to sleep, the next day I have the same routine. To be honest, it’s the same five days per week!”
Other players may practice in the afternoon, not in the evening, but their schedule is about the same — you should spend as much time playing as possible, considering real-life.
What is training? Although the training of eAthlets differs, there are a number of common points that can be identified.
Games like League of Legends or Dota 2, require constant training. This means that you need to play constantly, just like regular users, practicing it again and again.
Riot Games, the development company of the League of Legends, in 2017 added the long-awaited training mode. However, Cody Sun from the “100 Thieves” team claims that the high-class players have already learned the mechanics so well, such as “last-hit” or “blink” that they do not need many hours of training. In fact, they regularly warm up by fighting with teams they meet in tournaments every season. Such games are coordinated by the management of both teams and are held in between the tournaments. They are called derby. Sometimes they are even being promoted by the marketing department, and some games are recorded. And that may be a good option for newcomers to check their level of playing and progress. Unfortunately, there may be some hardware and software problems, but you may use online tools like this one to optimize computer space and even edit your videos. Our game recordings are carefully studied by all the team to find any opportunities for improvement or to record moments when there is not enough coordinated work in the team.
In single training, they simply enter the lobby like normal users. Cody warmly reminisces about his first successes, when he was admitted as a famous amateur player, for which and against which he competed. He remembers how he started his career as an eAthlete, as well as his excitement about fighting with advanced opponents he’s always followed, such as Shan “Chaox” Huang.
“I always try to be nice to newcomers, — says Cody, recalling the times when he practiced alone in a competitive game and was evaluated by his teammates. — Because I was in their shoes.”
Cyber athletes often emphasize the importance of exercise as part of their daily routine. Some players, such as Eli “Elk” Gallagher from the HU Storm (Overwatch) team, discovered fitness after they started practicing at the keyboard.
I never went to the gym until I joined the team,” says Gallagher. – I went to P.E. in high school, nothing more. When I joined Philadelphia Fusion, I offered Tucker Roberts, the owner, to hire a personal fitness coach for the team. I said that even if I use the gym alone, it would be an advantage for me as a player.”
Elk says, visiting the gym, located in the building where the team gathers, has begun to pay off. “We were provided with block trainers, different dumbbells. We installed a bench for the press and a platform for traction. A lot of simple equipment, which turned out to be just great.”
Exercises for flexibility are equally important. They help avoid injuries to the wrists, neck, and shoulders, which are exposed to stress while sitting at the computer for a long time.
“To avoid problems with the wrists and shoulders or back pain, I do a few simple stretching exercises that we were taught at the sports complex by the coaches working with the team. This is a great option because you do not need any special equipment or a lot of free space. I can exercise right at the table, in between game sessions, and even between rounds if necessary.”
Always eager to learn from his colleagues and predecessors, Cody says he takes on a lot of things, including how to do exercises, which he finds in the literature, or when watching interviews with esports stars.
“Other professionals often mention this too,” he says of the importance of the regime. – They tell from their schedule what they usually do. Sometimes I watch the interview and suddenly hear about a workout in the morning, for example. And I think – yeah, it’s a useful thing, it sets the right mental mood and all that…”
Having a Rest Is Vital
Cody San tries to keep to his sleeping schedule and not to forget about social life and positive mood, instead of spending every day in endless playthroughs.
“I believe that most of the good players in our field are those who know how to choose the best daily routine for themselves to be as effective as possible: to train, to exercise, to eat well, to live a fulfilling life,” he says.
Sun believes the eSports culture has grown significantly, even over the past 2-3 years. Games and training are now more comprehensive. “It’s very difficult to sleep just six hours a day and practice all the time. I feel that now our common approach is that we need to keep to a healthy lifestyle and stay in a positive mind. This is the only way the training will be effective”.
While Cody Sun admits that the position of “playing 24/7 ladder to get the rating” is still fairly common in competitive play, he is confident that professional gamers who practice a more integrated approach to life will be more successful than those who continue to play until the first rays of the sun.
“It takes discipline to keep up with your sleeping schedule, it’s harder than just playing as long as you can,— says San. — You might think that if that guy’s training until 3:00 am, it means he’s putting more effort into it than the guy who finishes at 12:00 or even 11:30. But if a person has a better daily routine, it means he has a higher discipline, and therefore a better quality of life and skill in the game.”
Sometimes you have to make yourself detached from your game to, for example, just watch someone else play in the League of Legends, as in the case of Cody San. “When you watch others play, you keep learning, but you feel less stressed,” he says.
The life of a professional gamer is not as easy and relaxed as you might imagine. “I think one of the hardest things about eSports is being able to relax because it happened so that work is our hobby and it may be difficult to separate work and personal life from other relaxing activities that people usually do,” says Gallagher.