How to Set Goals for your Pro Gaming Career (Beginner friendly guide)

You’re standing on a podium with a trophy in your hand. Standing beside you are your teammates: huge smiles fill their faces. You look at the crowd and they are ecstatic. They are so loud that your name is like a tsunami of sound.

You spin around, and in the huge screen behind you, you see your name under the words “World Champion.”

Unfortunately, it was all a dream. But on the other hand, it’s not far from reality. You know, as an amateur gamer, this is one of your ultimate goals: you want to be on top and win international competitions.

But how do you set goals for your pro gaming career? Goal setting is an important skill to learn for a successful life. Without goals, you’ll have no direction, and go nowhere. With a goal, you’ll always be able to orientate your actions so, one step at a time, you’ll achieve success.

But what should your goals be? How do you choose them? How will you set your goals so they are achievable and realistic?

There are numerous ways to set a goal for yourself for both short-term and long-term. But hitting your target is not that easy. It involves a lot of hard work and discipline. In this article, we’ll explore goal setting for your Professional gaming career. From understanding what goals are, to techniques you can use when creating goals, then back to how you can achieve each goal, we’ll touch on every aspect of goal setting so you can achieve success.

So what are goals?

Goals are your aspirations. A way of visualizing a positive future. Whether you know it or not, none of us are strangers to goal setting. We do it all the time and we don’t even know it. When we close our eyes, we imagine our life in the future – what kind of house we’d live in, what type of car we’d like to drive, which countries are we going to visit next. All of those questions are technically goals that we want to pursue and achieve.

But unfortunately, imagining the future is not enough to create a goal. The difference between setting a goal and pure imagination is our commitment to make it happen. It becomes a goal when we tell ourselves, “All right, I will work hard to achieve it.” A dream becomes a goal when you create a plan of action.

When we make that commitment to our goals, we transform an idea into something that we can work on. Naturally, the next step is creating a plan to achieve it. This is where people often get lost. They already created a goal, convinced themselves to commit, but weren’t able to sustain their commitment through sheer confusion of what action to take next.

When that happens, the goal becomes useless.

For example, one of your goals might be to be recruited by a professional gaming team. If you are not making plans on how to achieve it, it is not a goal but a daydream.

Now, to turn your dream into a goal, you’ll need to make a plan to figure out how to it. You’ll start playing more games. You’ll practice tirelessly so you can win more. You’ll exhaust all avenues to get the attention of a recruiter.

That is what we are talking about. In reality, a goal is an idea that we transform into a plan that we commit to achieving.

If you only remember one thing from this article remember this: A goal without a plan is just a dream.

So how do we break down our goals? Well, there are two basic goal types: short-term goals and long-term goals.

You also have tasks, which are even smaller than short-term goals. Let’s take a look at Long-term goals first.

Long-term goals

Long-term goals are those that take more time to achieve and are measured in years. These are commonly big goals that you need to commit to for a long time. As a gamer, most long-term goals include joining a professional team and winning international tournaments. Normally, to get to your long-term goals, you need to accomplish several short-term goals that serve as the ladder to success.

Long-term goals serve as your inspiration to work harder every day. Most people visualize their long-term goals to help them get through challenging times. They look at their goal as the prize they would get at the end. So giving up is not an option. It’s not even entertained in their mind. And whenever they achieve these long-term goals, they set another one to replace it so they won’t run out of motivation.

Goal setting is a never-ending process. Once one goal is complete a new one is set and sought after.

To explain this, let take the analogy of a road trip from New York to Las Vegas. In this example, the Long term goal is to reach Las Vegas and have a good time.

Short-term goals

Short-term goals are those that are achievable in the immediate future: between 2 weeks and 3 months. A short term goal could be getting to a certain in-game level, unlocking certain characters, or even playing a set number of games.

Your short term goals should feed into your long term goals.

Also, it’s important to set these short-term goals in order to gain small victories while you are trying to achieve your long-term goals. Whenever you accomplish these short-term goals, it gives you a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. That you have the ability to push through in achieving your other goals.

Now, let’s extend the road trip analogy. On your trip from New York to Las Vegas, the long term goal is to get to Las Vegas. So what’s the short term goal? The short term goal would be to get to the first stop off point after 8 hours of driving.

Often short term goals are fluid. They can change and you have to adapt and reorient toward your main goal again. For example, if a road toward Las Vegas was closed, you’d have to take a different road. And we might get to our short-term goal in 12 hours instead of 8.


Finally, we come to tasks. Tasks are your daily or immediate actions that feed into your short term goals.

They are too short to be considered goals. But they are just as vital to your success as any goal. They are the daily small actions that move you closer to your short term goals.

Let’s further the analogy of the road trip. If long term goals would be getting to Las Vegas, and short term goals are to get to the first stop off point, then tasks would be much smaller. Tasks would be corners, overtaking other cars, or stopping at red lights.

When planning your goals, tasks are often too small and numerous to plan in detail far into the future. Just as you don’t know every twist and turn you’ll need to take on a road trip so it is with your goals. You can plan the larger steps and the medium steps. But shorter steps, or tasks, only need to be planned for the immediate future.


Because plans often change. So there’s no point in planning the micro steps if the short term goals change.

In the closed road example above, if we’d planned out every small task before we knew of the closed road, we would have wasted time and probably confused ourselves with all the microtask management.

So tasks are important but don’t plan them all out into much depth too far into the future.


When you start taking your gaming career seriously, you’ll very often hear from other people, “What’s your end goal?”

It might sound a cliché, but understanding why goal setting is important is key to accomplishing great things in your life. If you know how important a dream is to you, then you’ll start setting your goals, start creating plans, and start putting them into action.

The following are some of the important reasons why you should set a goal in your gaming career.


When you have a written goal with details, steps, and a timeline, you’ve created a plan. This plan will help you understand the steps you need to take in order to achieve your goal. It represents all of your actions that will ultimately lead to your accomplishment.

For example, if you want to achieve a specific rank in your chosen multiplayer game by the end of the month, you’ll need to allot x number of games daily that you need to win. Break down your goals so you know exactly what action you must take every day. Then make sure you achieve these daily tasks.

By having a goal, you get into this familiar pattern: you envisioned an end result, you created a plan of action, then you set your mind into achieving it.

But then, after some time, your motivation to work hard starts to wane. This is where the power of setting a goal will kick in. It will pull you back to your end goal, and the reasons why you are trying to achieve your goal.

The reasons why you want to achieve your goal are just as important as the goal itself.

Taking a moment to visualize the goal and the reasons why you’re trying to complete your goal will help you focus. Because you’ve already visualized the end result, it will give you an assurance that your hard work will pay off in the end.


It’s normal that when you first set a goal, it seems almost impossible to achieve. How are you going to get to number 1 in the game tournament rankings if there are a lot of great gamers above you? The seemingly insurmountable can quickly pull you down into a pit of discouragement.

If you feel discouragement creeping up on you, don’t fret. It’s normal. But think of this: how did those who are currently enjoying the top spots get there?

It’s because they had a goal, they had a plan, and they broke that plan down into easily achievable daily steps.

When you have a goal, you must also have these small steps planed out get there. So getting to your end result is not that scary or confusing anymore. While your goal is to be rank number 1, you can have other short-term goals to follow like maintaining a specific win rate or playing x number of hours per week.

By breaking down intimidating goals into smaller, achievable steps, you can create a feeling of constant accomplishment. Since you have several smaller goals, it is easy for you to achieve them providing you with a consistent source of motivation.


Setting your own goals is one way of fueling your ambition. Remember that goals are not just a plan for the future. Goals are a source of inspiration so you can continue working hard toward your desired result.

The great thing about having goals is you also have a way of knowing whether you are progressing in life. Each goal is a marker by which you measure your success. Additionally, by achieving your goals, you’ll have a surge of self-confidence because you have achieved the ‘impossible.’  

For example, most pro-players weren’t born great. They spent titanic amounts of hours playing games. And over time developed a winning goal setting mentality. Winning and achieving their milestones gave them the confidence to play aggressively and get to the top tournament spots they occupy today. That’s why it’s important that when you set a goal, you also set smaller ones that can give you a sense of victory on a frequent basis.

If you have a nagging doubt that you won’t make it as a pro gamer it’s time to act.

It’s time to set some goals as the pros do.

Go grab a notebook, and pen in some of your goals. Getting your goal ideas down on paper will help free up mental space and give you room to really think whether the goals you’ve written down matter to you.

Once you’ve given your goals some thought, pick the top 5 you care about most, and make a plan for each.

Do this, and you’ll be well on your way to success.


Accountability is one of the greatest gifts goal setting can give you. Personal goals can only be completed by you. You can only achieve success by you taking action. So you are accountable for your success or failure.

The reality of life is this: not every goal will be achieved.

Along the way, you’ll make some bad decisions that will lead to failure. But that’s okay.


Because failure is the greatest teacher.

Since you are accountable for your own actions, you can always look back and evaluate what you can do differently next time. Accountability demands self-reflection. And it’s through self-reflection that you can discover more about your own strengths and weaknesses, and formulate better future plans.

So if you want to have a solid following online and your goal is to produce at least two videos a week and you weren’t able to do that, then you can look back and ask why you weren’t able to do it. Is it because you spent more time playing? Or you don’t have the technical skills to create them?

Also, it is a humbling experience to hold yourself accountable for your own failures when achieving your goals. And because of that, you can easily create other plans and refocus in new and exciting directions.

When you eventually look back at what you achieved, you’ll realize that because you held yourself accountable, you were able to change direction in your career and actually accomplished more than your initial goal.


When you set goals in your professional gaming career, you are gearing your life up to achieve success.

Contrary to what other people say, having goals doesn’t mean you’ll live a strict boring life.

On the contrary, since you have a way to measure your performance, you’ll have the advantage of knowing when you need to work hard, and when you’ve done enough. You’ll know, through measuring yourself to your goal’s plan, if you’re done for the day.

A consequence of this is you’ll have more time to try activities you’d normally not have the time to do.

You just have to look at pro soccer players as a great example of this. Alexis Sanchez of Manchester United plays the piano to a near professional standard. He’s got the time to do this because his level of soccer training is measured every day. And when his daily goal is complete, he stops. And the rest of his time is free, letting him explore what else life has to offer.

But how can this apply to professional gaming?

Well, let’s take the following example. If your goal is to play 4 hours a day and you achieve it, you can start playing other games instead. Or you can have friends over so you can play together.

But if you don’t have a goal, you’ll always have this feeling that what you’re doing is not enough.

STEP BY STEP: How To Set Goals as a Professional Gamer

At this point, you already know the importance of setting goals in your gaming career.

You should know that a goal, with a good plan, can literally make the difference between success and failure.

Now we are going to run through a simple 6 step process to set some goals and create a simple plan for your professional gaming career. All you need is a notebook, a pen, and a fresh mind.


The first step you need to take on your goal setting journey is to choose which goal to chase after.

Ok, first make sure that when you sit down to set your goals, you’ve had enough rest and you have a clear mind. If you are tired, or you have something that’s bothering you, it’s better to reschedule for another time. You need as much brain power as you can muster for this step.

If your fresh and ready to rock the world with your goals, then let’s start.

Close your eyes and think of something that you want to have in 3 years. Imagine who you are and where you are. Are you standing on a stage waving to your fans? Are you part of the number 1 pro gaming team in the world? Think of something that will put a smile on your face, something that will make you excited, something that will make a difference to you and your loved ones.

At this point, do not limit yourself. Don’t be afraid to dream big. The important part is you know what you want to achieve in the years to come.

Once your mind is full of your biggest dreams, move on to the next section.


On your notebook, write down what you just imagined. This is the important part. You need to write it down in a way that whenever you read it, it will make you excited.

Write your goals down as if you have already achieved them. For example write your goals and your vision like this: “I live in a beautiful 5 bedroom mansion house with 5 acres of land surrounding it.”

Notice I didn’t say, “I want a 5 bedroom mansion house…” The reason for this is because you have to feel the reason why you want to achieve a goal as if it’s already achieved.

I know that sounds odd, but sports stars such as Tiger Woods uses visualization like this all the time. Tiger will stand back before taking a shot and run through the shot as if he’s already achieved it successfully. He’ll see the ball landing, in his mind’s eye, exactly where he wants it to land.

You must practice living a goal in your head before you achieve it every day.

Language is important in writing down goals. You want it to be convincing and inspiring. You want your goals to be as clear as possible. And you want them to evoke an emotion whenever you are reading it.

In addition to writing your goals down, you can also use photos to represent your goals. You can print photos of the previous winning teams and the prizes they got. You can also print the perks they are receiving and put it in your notebook so you can see them whenever you read your goals.

Visualizing the end result is massively important in achieving your goals.


Aside from the end result that you want to achieve, you should also write why you want to achieve it.

Ask yourself deep down, why do you want to be a professional gamer? Is it about the money? Fame? Or about inspiring other people? Remember that no one will judge your “Why’s” other than yourself. So you need to write your reasons why you are working hard to achieve your goals.

Your “Why’s” will keep you moving forward whenever you are doubting your capabilities to achieve your goals.

Here an example:

  • Goal: I’m the number one League of legends player in the world
    • Why 1: I have lots of money
    • Why 2: I take care of my family
    • Why 3: I’m famous
    • Why 4: I have legions of fans that love me.  


Sometimes, you might feel like you want to keep your goals a secret. But this would be a mistake.

If possible, you should share goals with other people. Friends, family, your neighbor, it doesn’t really matter. You just need to tell people.

But why?

Well publicly committing to your goal will add a little extra pressure to complete it. You can also ask them to hold you accountable for your progress.

Sometimes, you might feel discouraged when the people you choose to tell fail to support you. It happens to a lot of pro-gamers. After all, a lot of parents are older and may not have had a childhood that included games. And even if they did, pro gaming has only really taken off in the past 10 years.

Find someone who can fully support you. Look at your friends and other family members. Find someone who understands what you’re trying to achieve.

Support will make the difference especially when you are experiencing difficult times.


So now that you have your goals written down, it’s time to do one of the most challenging parts: You need to create a plan.

Start by doing a bit of research. Other people before you have achieved the goals you seek. How did they do it? What did they do to achieve their own goals? Write down all the ideas you discover.

Now, it’s time to work backward from your main goal so you can create smaller goals. If your plan is to become a number one pro gamer in 3 years time, first set goals, for the end of each of the 3 years.

For example, maybe by the end of the first year, you’ll create a goal of participating in your first gaming tournament.

Once you’ve created your yearly goals, break the first year down even further into 4 quarterly goals. Only do this for the first year. Remember, plans can quickly change so there’s no point in planning in great detail too far ahead.

The number of weeks in a year, 52, can be conveniently divided by 4. So you have 4, 13 week long quarters.

The layout of each quarter should look something like this:

Week 1Planning
Week 2Action Goal 1
Week 3Action
Week 4ActionGoal 2
Week 5 Action
Week 6ActionGoal 3
Week 7Action
Week 8ActionGoal 4
Week 9Action
Week 10ActionGoal 5
Week 11Action
Week 12Retrospective
Week 13Holiday

The above table shows how a quarterly goal should be broken down. The first week should be dedicated to planning. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take any action. But you should set aside a good junk of the week to planning out your main goals for the coming 10 weeks. During this time you can also start setting out the daily todo’s you’ll need to complete for your first bi-weekly goal. I’ll explain this next.

Next, you have 10 weeks of action. This is where you take the actions necessary to complete the main goal for the quarter. You should set bi-weekly mini-goals to help you achieve the quarterly goal. You should have 5 bi-weekly goals for a total of 10 weeks. The reason why bi-weekly mini goals works are because you can, after the first week, asses yourself to see how you are progressing. Then you can see if you are on track to complete your bi-weekly goal.

In the 12th week, you have a retrospective week. Here, you can look back at how you did in the previous 10 weeks. Did you achieve your goal for the quarter? If yes, great. What did you do right? What could you have done better? Did you find the level of work hard? Did you get bored?

Make sure you ask the difficult questions that’ll help you move forward into the next quarter so you are more aware of yourself.

Finally, in week 13, you have a holiday week. Here you take time away from your work to recharge your batteries and give yourself time to mull over everything you’ve done and learned. It’s also your reward for all the hard work you’ve put in over the last quarter.  

Once you’re back from your holiday, the whole process starts again.

Remember: Your plan is a living, breathing, ever-evolving beast. You’ll need to revisit it weekly, and constantly update it. This is the nature of achieving goals and creating plans: Nothing ever goes to plan perfectly, so try to stay flexible and update your plan every week.


As they say, the first step is always the hardest. But don’t delay it. Once you’ve finished breaking down the goal, and created a plan, start. Take action. This will give you a sense of achievement, therefore, adding motivation in achieving your goal.

Do not overthink your first step. It is the most crucial part when working on your goal. The most common mistake other people make is setting a goal only to completely forget about it. Or they delay working on it until they don’t have the drive anymore.

This is the enemy of all goals: procrastination.

So to avoid procrastination, do something right away that will contribute to your goal.

Finally, when you’ve completed the last step, do it all over again for your other goals. You will later realize that it gets easier over time to set goals. Don’t be afraid to envision a grand future as a professional gamer.

If others achieved it, you can too.


There are many ways of setting a goal. Before you dive into creating your goals for your gaming career, here are some of the techniques that you can use. You can choose one that suits your personal style or modify and combine each to fit your needs.


It’s not surprising that a common approach to setting a goal is visualization. If you’ve attended some workshops on goal setting, you’ll always hear the words, “picture yourself in this situation.”

It’s important to see yourself clearly in your end goal. To see yourself living your goal. That’s why it’s the first step in goal setting. You need to be able to see every detail before you ever reach success. In this way, you can properly describe the end goal.

For most people, they also use photos that remind them of their goal. It is a common practice by several great businessmen to have a visualization board where they can put their personal and business goals. You can also adapt this. Surround yourself with a visual reminder of your end goal. This will constantly remind you to work harder so you can be closer to your dream result.

So what you can do is start looking for photos of game trophies, tournament prizes, and even posters of the top teams and display them prominently in your room so every time you see them, you can tell yourself to strive harder every day.


If you’re the type of person who wants to be surrounded with people, and who wants to do this journey with another person, then you can look for an accountability buddy. Basically, you are looking for someone with the same goals as you. Then, you can go through the planning together, pointing out steps that you can do together.

Think of an accountability buddy like gym buddy. You help each other stay focused. You live through the experience together and keep each other accountable. So if one of you starts to slack, the other is there to tell you that you need to work harder.

First, you should tell your buddy about everything that you want to achieve. At the same time, you also know your partner’s aspiration. Then your accountability buddy will make sure that you are hitting your goals. He will constantly remind you of the things you need to accomplish. At the same time, you also have that responsibility to him.

You can ask a friend who also wants to be a professional gamer to be your accountability buddy. Then you can play games together. You can also analyze each other’s game so you can point out the things you can improve.

Also, having someone to look after can develop your maturity and leadership skills. These are important things that you need in order to be successful in the pro gaming field.


Rapid planning method is a way to create goals developed by world-renowned life coach Tony Robbins. This is a simple way of defining your outcomes, purpose and your smaller goals.

The R stands for Results. This is your main goal. You need to know what it is that you really want to achieve. In this method, you need to define it clearly. Also, you need to define the time it will take you to achieve it.

For example, you can write: In three-months time, I will be in the top 1000 global rank for my game.

This is a very straightforward result with defined time. You need to write it as clear as possible.

The next letter, P, is the purpose. Here, you need to write the top 3-5 reasons why you want to achieve this goal. In this method, this is the most important part of the planning. This part will give you the reasons why to achieve your results.

For example, you can use the following:

1. I want to be in the top 1000 global rank because I will feel more confident with my skills when I am playing.

2. I want to be in the top 1000 global rank because it will make me more motivated to achieve higher ranks later on.

3. I want to be in the top 1000 global rank because I want to prove that I can make it to my friends and my parents.

All of these evoke emotion.

Lastly is the letter M and it stands for Massive Action. This time, you’ll break your goals into action steps. You‘ll need to ask yourself, what are the things that I need to do in order to be in the top 1000 in global rank?

You will need to write down as many steps as you can think of. This is important. Do not edit yourself. As a practice, once you have written down as many steps as you can, take a small break so your brain can have the time to process what you just wrote. Then after an hour or two, get back to your planning and determine the top 5-10 steps that will contribute to your goal.

RPM has been used in other industries as well and it produced great results. That’s why this is highly recommended to be used when setting your own goals.


The world of pro-gaming is highly competitive. Everyone is out to beat everybody else. That’s why even those that are already on top are working hard to keep their spot.

There’s a common saying in this industry: “Work hard like there’s someone working 24 hours a day to take it away from you.”

That’s why, as an aspiring professional gamer, you need to work hard to achieve your gaming goals. The following are some of the things you can do to successfully achieve your goals.


To belong to the top 5% of the players, you need to have a tremendous amount of discipline. You need to create a schedule or a timeline for all your goals and you need to stick to what you have planned.

Always remember, there are many hobbyists who are playing 10-16 hours per day for free. And these people want to be professional gamers too.

Also, if you read up on professional gamers’ lifestyles, you’ll see that they have very rigid daily schedules for training.

If you want to be pro gamer, you’ve got embrace the hard work that comes with it.


Join as many online communities as possible. This is where you can get information and inspiration from other players. Here, you can read their ideas on how to make your gameplay better. You can also discover what others have been doing in order to achieve their goals.

You need to interact with other players as well so you can start building your reputation in the community. Most pro players have a huge fan following and they are greatly respected in the gaming world. They achieved that status because they were very helpful to others, often sharing gameplay hints, tips, and insights.


Watching gameplay should be part of your schedule. You should watch what the other professional players are doing so you know their techniques and strategies. By doing so, you’ll start to spot effective counter-strategies that you can use in the future.

You should also record your own gameplay to watch later. This will help you analyze your own strengths and weaknesses. By assessing your previous performances, you’ll make yourself aware of areas that need improving. Analyzing yourself in this way is important because there are times when you’ll think you’re performing well, but actually, you’re not. Self-analysis is a great way to avoid this.  


This is another important thing that you should do to achieve your goals. You need to find a dedicated team that you’ll play with to achieve your goals. It’s difficult to get to the top if you are playing solo.

That’s why it’s important that you are connected in the gaming community. Because, most often than not, you can find your teammates there. It’s okay if you don’t find them right away. Finding the right people that will compliment you, your skills, and your goals will take time.


I can’t stress this enough point enough: You need to constantly practice.

And constant means a minimum number of hours per day. Consistency is the key to improving your gameplay. The more hours you put into honing your skills, the more successful you’ll be. It’s as simple as that.

Also, constant practicing allows you to try out other in-game heroes or modes. This is important because it gives you an insight into each hero and scenario. So if you ever encounter that particular hero as your opponent, you’ll know all their strengths and weaknesses like cooldown times, skills damage, and skills effects.

This is the reason why the Chinese are dominating the online gaming industry. Most players came from China and Korea because their training is intense. They are required to play at least 10-12 hours each day.

So if you want to be as great as them, you need to practice as hard if not harder than them. And once you are as good as them, it’s time to increase the difficulty, challenge yourself, and practice even harder.


This is the reason why you should break down your goals into smaller ones because every time you achieve something, you need to celebrate it. You need to give yourself a prize. It can be a can of your favorite drink or a small computer accessory that you’ve always wanted to buy. Your reward can be anything.

Celebrating victories, and rewarding yourself, will give you more motivation to work harder. It is also a perfect time to share your happiness with others so they can see how important it is for you to achieve your gaming career goals.


Setting a goal is an important part of your journey towards becoming a professional gamer. It should be one of the first few things you do when you decide to become a pro.

Setting goals may look intimidating, but it’s not. Instead, the process of goal setting and planning should inspire you by clarifying the path forward.

There are also many online sites that can help you in setting your goals. If you want more inspiration, you can watch several youtube videos of pro gamers as they talk about how they started out as a pro gamer. You’ll see the power of goal-setting because they’ll discuss what goals they created in the beginning, and how they worked hard to achieve them.

Remember that setting goals, making plans, and taking action, are key to any success you’ll achieve.


Is it possible for me to become the #1 player in my game of choice? Yes, it is possible. Remember that even those that are in the top 10 started the same way as you, as an amateur. With a tremendous amount of discipline and commitment, it is possible that you’ll be in the top soon.

Is there a way to let recruiters know that I want to be a professional gamer? The best way to let those recruiters know that you want to go pro is to make sure that you have a high rank in your game and you have a huge following.

How much will I make as a professional gamer? The average salary of a professional gamer is around $3,000 to $5,000 per month. It goes higher depending on the sponsorship deals, and tournament prize money.

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

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