Grueling Grind: How Long Do Esports Players Actually Practice?

As someone who once thought a few solid hours in front of a gaming console was ‘serious play,’ my first encounter with professional esports was a reality check. Imagine it: you’re in a room pulsating with the energy of a grand finals match, the screen flickers with expert movements that come from hours of relentless practice. This, my friends, is no ordinary gaming session. It’s like trying to play chess while skydiving – demanding, intense, and adrenaline-fueled.

In the middle of this heart-thumping action, I wondered: How many hours do these esports gladiators practice to dance their fingers on controllers like Beethoven on a piano? It’s questions like these that birthed the idea for this article.

In this gaming epic, we’ll be unlocking the grind of professional esports players. Think of this guide as your exclusive side-quest, revealing:

  • The mysterious ‘practice duration’ of esports athletes,
  • Their daily routines and schedules, which are more intense than a heated boss battle,
  • The impact of these long practice durations on their performance, as crucial as the perfect gear for your character,
  • The health implications of such a demanding routine,
  • The rules and regulations around practice hours in the esports industry, and
  • How this all compares to traditional sports training regimes.

Strap in and grab your energy drinks because we’ll also delve into the unique exercises they do during practice, uncovering the high-octane world of esports like never before.

Ready to respawn your knowledge on esports? Let’s dive in like it’s the final showdown!

What is the typical daily routine of an esports player?

Just as a carefully planned speedrun relies on a flawless sequence of moves, so does the daily routine of an esports player. From dawn till dusk, these digital athletes embody a relentless pursuit of perfection that can seem as complex as a 100% completion speedrun of “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild”.

As a general rule of thumb, pro gamers tend to exercise for between 6-14 hours a day.

Wake-up and Warm-up

Esports athletes typically start their day early, just like traditional athletes. An early start can be likened to booting up your favorite console; it’s when you get your system running, checking for updates, and prepping for the gaming session ahead. Esports players often begin with physical exercises to get the blood pumping and the body awakened, followed by a nutritious breakfast to fuel their day. Remember, a well-fueled player is like a fully charged controller; it can power through marathon gaming sessions without fizzling out.

Practice and Training

After their morning routines, players generally dive straight into the heart of their day: practice. Much like a persistent gamer working to topple a difficult boss fight, they practice their game for hours, focusing on improving their skills, learning new strategies, and reviewing past performances for any areas of improvement. This could take up anywhere from 6 to 10 hours a day, with short breaks in between to prevent burnout – after all, even the toughest of boss fights need strategic pauses to assess the battlefield and recalibrate strategies.

However, it’s worth pointing out that this amount of practice time can be much higher. During my time researching the article, I noted that some pros could practice for well over 14 hours a day. However, I’m pretty positive that would be extremely detrimental to their health. Plus, this level of gaming is usually not sustained throughout a working week.

Instead, the gamer may practice for the following number of hours:

DayNumber of hours practiced
Wednesday 16
Thursday 14
Saturday 0

In the above table, there’s a total of 60 hours of practice a week. If that sounds like a huge amount, that’s because it is. But keep in mind that the number of hours practised will change depending on the time of year and if a tournament is coming up.

Rest and Recreation

After a hard day’s work, esports players often unwind with different relaxation activities. Just as you might change the game to avoid repetition and fatigue, they might switch gears by watching movies, reading, or even playing different games casually. A balanced meal often accompanies this downtime, ensuring the player gets all the necessary nutrients to recover and recharge. Like a save point in a tricky level, this moment of respite is crucial to the overall journey, providing a much-needed breather before the next onslaught.

Sleep and Recovery

Sleep, in the esports world, is like hitting the respawn button after a grueling gaming session. It’s when the body and mind repair, grow, and rejuvenate. Esports athletes, despite the common stereotypes, prioritize good sleep habits, with most targeting 7 to 9 hours per night.

Does the practice duration vary between different esports games?

Consider the difference between a quick, adrenaline-fueled deathmatch in “Call of Duty” and a lengthy, strategy-driven campaign in “Civilization”. Both require different skills, focus levels, and consequently, training regimes.

Game-Specific Training

Different esports games, much like different gaming genres, demand different amounts of time and focus. For instance, players of first-person shooters like “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” or “Overwatch” may focus on honing quick reflexes and accuracy, often requiring shorter but more intense practice sessions. Conversely, complex strategy games like “Dota 2” or “League of Legends” might demand longer sessions focusing on game knowledge, strategy development, and team coordination.

Balancing Act

In reality, practice duration in esports is a delicate dance of efficiency and effectiveness. Just as you wouldn’t spend hours grinding levels in an RPG if your character’s strength isn’t increasing, professional gamers aim to maximize their skill growth without wasting time or risking burnout. It’s not uncommon for players to vary their practice duration based on their current performance, upcoming tournaments, and personal health.

How does the practice duration impact esports players’ performance?

The impact of practice duration on an esports player’s performance is a lot like the effects of leveling up in an MMORPG. Just as grinding can significantly increase a character’s power and skills, extended practice can boost a player’s abilities and game knowledge significantly. But as with any game, there’s a twist.

Levelling Up

Extended practice sessions allow players to delve deep into game mechanics, study strategies, and fine-tune their skills. It’s like finally mastering that elusive combo move in a fighting game; with each repetition, their performance gets better. By spending long hours in training, players can analyze and understand the meta, identify and exploit the strengths and weaknesses of different characters, and improve their reaction times and decision-making skills.

The Law of Diminishing Returns

But just like a game of “Tetris” gets harder and harder as your screen fills up, extended practice can have diminishing returns over time. As practice hours increase, performance improvements can start to taper off. A player might even experience a decrease in performance due to mental fatigue, stress, or physical issues such as repetitive strain injuries.

Striking the Balance

The key is to strike a balance. Just like managing your resources in a tough RTS game, esports players must manage their time between intensive training and restful recovery. This can mean breaking up practice sessions into manageable chunks, interspersed with periods of rest, physical exercise, and other non-gaming activities.

How do esports players balance their personal life and intense practice hours?

Finding balance in an esports player’s life can be as tricky as juggling between the offensive and defensive in a heated MOBA match. But with some thoughtful strategies, it’s entirely doable.

Scheduling and Prioritizing

Esports players often use schedules to ensure they allot enough time for both practice and personal life. Much like strategically planning out your city in “SimCity”, they lay out their daily and weekly routines, prioritizing tasks and ensuring that no aspect of their life is neglected. They ensure that practice times, mealtimes, exercise, relaxation, and socializing all have a designated slot in their schedule.

Work-Life Integration

Some esports players adopt a concept of work-life integration, rather than work-life balance. Instead of treating personal life and gaming as two separate entities, they find ways to integrate both. This is like finding that sweet spot in “Guitar Hero” where you’re hitting the right notes while still thoroughly enjoying the rhythm. They might invite friends and family to their tournaments, share their gaming experiences on social media, or stream their practice sessions, all to keep their personal life intertwined with their esports career.

What are the health implications of long practice hours for esports players?

Playing esports for long hours can be a double-edged sword, similar to a powerful but risky move in a fighting game. On one hand, you get the benefits of improved skills and potential career growth. On the other hand, there are potential health risks to consider.

Physical Health Implications

Long hours spent in front of the screen can lead to a range of physical health issues. Repetitive motion injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome, can occur from frequent, repetitive movements. Sitting for extended periods can also contribute to poor posture and various musculoskeletal problems. It’s like ignoring the warning signs of a depleting health bar in a heated battle; without proper measures, these issues can severely hamper a player’s career.

Mental Health Implications

The mental health implications can be as stealthy as a rogue sneaking in “World of Warcraft”. The pressure to perform, coupled with long, isolated hours of practice, can lead to stress, anxiety, and even depression. Additionally, the blue light emitted by screens can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to further mental health concerns.

Health Management Strategies

The good news is, these potential pitfalls can be avoided with some proactive health management strategies. It’s a lot like having an efficient healer in your “Overwatch” team; it’s all about prevention and prompt action.


Just as we’re reaching the final stage in our esports marathon, let’s take a moment to pause the game and review the key insights we’ve gained on our journey:

  • An esports player’s routine is as meticulously structured as a speedrun, with components like warm-ups, practice, rest, recreation, and sleep.
  • Practice duration in esports can vary depending on the game, much like the varying lengths of different gaming genres.
  • Long practice sessions can significantly boost a player’s abilities, but it’s vital to avoid the point of diminishing returns, where further practice becomes counterproductive.
  • Balancing personal life and esports is achievable with thoughtful strategies, much like strategizing your way to victory in a complex RTS game.
  • Long practice hours can lead to physical and mental health implications, but these can be mitigated with proactive health management strategies.
  • The esports profession, just like a video game, presents its challenges but with the right strategy, the ‘health bar’ can remain green, ensuring an enjoyable journey in this competitive field.

So, we’ve reached the end of this level. Ready to level up and take the next step in your esports journey? Jump into our “What Next?” section!

What Next?

We always want to leave you, the reader, with some practical and actionable steps you can take after digesting our article. Here are five things you can do to apply the insights from this piece:

  1. Plan Your Routine: Just as an esports pro would, plan out your daily routine. Ensure it includes not only gaming but also physical exercise, proper meals, relaxation time, and sufficient sleep.
  2. Customize Your Practice: Tailor your practice duration according to your chosen game. Whether it’s a fast-paced FPS or a strategic MOBA, make sure your practice sessions reflect its demands.
  3. Watch for Signs of Overtraining: Pay attention to your performance. If you see it plateauing or declining, it may be time to take a break or adjust your practice duration.
  4. Integrate Gaming and Personal Life: Try to intertwine your gaming activities with your personal life. Share your experiences with friends and family, involve them in your gaming activities, or explore social gaming options.
  5. Prioritize Your Health: Lastly, don’t forget to look after your physical and mental health. Regular exercise, breaks, socializing, and seeking professional help if needed are all part of a successful esports career.

Remember, in gaming as in life, the journey is just as important as the destination. Now, it’s time to hit that respawn button and jump back into the game. Level up and good luck!


Nick Sinclair

Nick Sinclair, a gaming aficionado since the Commodore 64 era, studied Creative Computer Games Design in university before founding his own gaming company. Discovering a passion for content creation, Nick now helps gamers squeeze every drop of fun out of their favorite gaming hardware

Recent Posts