INTERVIEW: The Life Of A Pro Gamer – How To Make Millions Playing Video Games

October 6, 2017

video games

Ah… Playing video games for money – the Holy Grail of almost any guy’s life. It’s the kind of job most of us dudes (and some chicks as well) would immediately ditch our existing careers and shift to doing just that – playing video games.

Some of us already have pretty cool jobs, I mean, writing about these cool topics for a living is a pretty good deal, but one thing is certain though – I would shift to playing video games as a vocation in an instant.

And that’s what Ryan Hart did. Ryan knows what it is like to make loads of money pressing buttons on his controller.

This lucky dude is an expert in fighting games and is currently one of the most successful players in the history of eSports. And for his favorite game and the one he specialized in? Street Fighter!

Ryan won his first tournament back in 1996 and soon got a sponsorship deal to play games for money. Ever since that faithful year of 1996, Ryan has been traveling across the globe and competing in gaming tournaments both as a solo player and with his eSports team. As a multi-time champion, he’s holding national, European, and world titles.

Folks over at AskMen have recently been talking to Ryan and caught a little glimpse into the life of a pro gamer.

So, all of you who have been wondering if it’s actually possible to make money from playing video games and hitting those buttons, here’s Ryan explaining everything you need to know about becoming a pro gamer.

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A Typical Day Is 8-10 Hours Of Hard Game Playing

Ryan: “I wake up, get showered, have breakfast, then load up the console. I’ve probably been thinking about strategies the night before and I’ll have a small list of things to practice to improve the quality of my gameplay ­– whether that’s defense or a specific strategy I may have lost to previously. It’s all about progress. After lunch I play for another few hours, by which time people are getting home from work so you can go online and play against people, putting some of the stuff and strategies you’ve been working on to the test, then making further notes based on that progress.”

Psychology And Mind Games Are Half The Battle

Ryan: “I’ve always been into understanding how people’s minds work. In Street Fighter, for instance, when you get to the top level of understanding how the game works – knowing the hundreds of different moves, knowing the differences in speed – it’s about strategy and seeing a gap in an opponent’s defense. But how do see that gap? How do you know when an opponent is at their most vulnerable? You can understand what someone’s thinking from the choices they make in the game. It’s about seeing opportunities, using different mentalities – being aggressive, patient, and creative. Being able to look inside someone’s mind, see what’s there and outsmart them is what makes fighting games appealing to me.”

And There’s Big Money To Be Made

Ryan: “When you get sponsored, you can create a contract that suits both you and your sponsor’s requirements. You might get a monthly salary, plus travel and accommodation. The top pro gamers globally earn seven figures a year – they’re walking around like celebrities. That’s not necessarily including winnings from tournaments and events. Intel and [eSports league] ESL have announced $1 million as the grand slam prize for their Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament. In this series a team can get $100,000 just for stopping a specific team from winning, and could still go on to win the whole event as well. That’s nothing to do with winning it yourself, but you’ve already got six figures… and could still go on to win the whole event as well. There are big, big bucks. [The game] Dota 2 has an event called The International which has seen some of the largest prize pools in the business and currently cumulatively totals $50 million.”

Ryan’s Advice For All Those Who Think About Becoming A Pro Gamer

According to him, the trick is to gradually earn your place in the big leagues, and to never start out trying to be the best gamer in the world.

If you want to get into gaming seriously, it shouldn’t be a desperate quest to become the very best. It should be an enjoyable journey. You can chase success when you get to a certain point. But first, just find out what you enjoy and take it from there. Look at the intricacies of the game you want to get good at. Look at the players who are winning, the players that are losing, and make sense of what they’re doing. Join forums, become a part of the community. Ask questions and learn that way. For the most part, just have fun,” says Ryan.

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