The cost of playing games competitively

First off let me say this is not one of those advice pieces. I am not waddling in self pity and need cheering up etc.  
 
No, this is a legitimate point i am trying to make. 
 
I play a shit lot of Team Fortress 2. I mean a really large amount. Sometimes over 200 hours in 2 weeks. I i don't just play on 32 man public servers. I play this game in the competitive format. Which is 2 teams playing 6v6 with class limits. 
 
After almost a year of this i decided to take a look on how much i accomplished in game and in real life. In game i have improved greatly going up the division fairly quickly. However in real life i have no job and because i play the game so much i did not take an  opportunity of going out with a girl i really liked.  
 
(Yet again let me stress this thread is not aimed at that.) 
 
Anyway the point i wanted to make is : How on earth to people who make a living off playing games balance things ?  
 
I mean i am in no illusion that i could quit everything and earn a living of playing Team Fortrress 2. The game is not very big at the moment. But you see these players who play quake and counter strike and they talk about how this is their lively hood. 
 
Have any of you played games to a level where you could earn a living and if so how did you manage real life ? 

16 Comments
17 Comments
Edited by turbomonkey138

First off let me say this is not one of those advice pieces. I am not waddling in self pity and need cheering up etc.  
 
No, this is a legitimate point i am trying to make. 
 
I play a shit lot of Team Fortress 2. I mean a really large amount. Sometimes over 200 hours in 2 weeks. I i don't just play on 32 man public servers. I play this game in the competitive format. Which is 2 teams playing 6v6 with class limits. 
 
After almost a year of this i decided to take a look on how much i accomplished in game and in real life. In game i have improved greatly going up the division fairly quickly. However in real life i have no job and because i play the game so much i did not take an  opportunity of going out with a girl i really liked.  
 
(Yet again let me stress this thread is not aimed at that.) 
 
Anyway the point i wanted to make is : How on earth to people who make a living off playing games balance things ?  
 
I mean i am in no illusion that i could quit everything and earn a living of playing Team Fortrress 2. The game is not very big at the moment. But you see these players who play quake and counter strike and they talk about how this is their lively hood. 
 
Have any of you played games to a level where you could earn a living and if so how did you manage real life ? 

Edited by Jack268

I saw a dude who made $1500 per month from selling hats. He worked on it as a hobby 3 hours a day. You could do that if you need cash and if you're opportunistic. You just need to find some unusuals for a price lower than they're worth (This guy mentioned trading a normal hat for an event hat which he traded for an unusual which sold for $300). It's hard to find those opportunities, but when you learn to spot those deals it should become a lot easier. That way you could quit your job and live off playing TF2 a few hours a day. I'd do it if I weren't such a horrible businessman. 
 
And also, I could probably make a living leveling WoW characters for people, but meh, I hate that shit even though I used to be pretty good at it.

Posted by Yanngc33
@turbomonkey138: well if you want to make money off playing Team Fortress 2 competitively, you should try to get in an official league (MLG), there you'll get money off the sponsors but you have to be real good to get into that kind of stuff. 
 
As far as balancing goes, I try to stay off the videogames on weekdays, giving me only 1 or 2 hour play sessions. The weekend, I try to go out and see friends at least once (usually to parties) and spend the rest of the week end revising and playing about 20 hours during the entire weekend (this counts friday)  
Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx
@Yanngc33:
MLG does not support TF2
Edited by Jasta

I played Counter Strike 1.6 competitively when I was younger, not at money making level but I spent around 4-5 hours a day practicing and we played at least a few league games a night. We played in the Enemy Down Premier league when it still existed and played in a couple of SGL tournaments. We got sponsored by a server company aswell which was handy not having to pay server fee's every month with no job.

I was 15-16 when I started playing so didn't have anything but school work to worry about and most of my friends played as well so I wasn't missing out on anything really.

But 1.6 is nearing extinction, at least in its competitive form. 

Edited by yates
@Jasta said:
"

I played Counter Strike 1.6 competitively when I was younger, not at money making level but I spent around 4-5 hours a day practicing and we played at least a few league games a night. We played in the Enemy Down Premier league when it still existed and played in a couple of SGL tournaments. We got sponsored by a server company aswell which was handy not having to pay server fee's every month with no job.

I was 15-16 when I started playing so didn't have anything but school work to worry about and most of my friends played as well so I wasn't missing out on anything really.

But 1.6 is nearing extinction, at least in its competitive form. 

"
I played CS too for about 4/5 years too (from about CS 1.3 onwards.) Got to a pretty decent level and played in all of those leagues you mentioned at one point or another. To be honest I regret playing the game so much, tons of shit I probably missed out on because I wanted to do nothing but play CS in my spare time.
 
I think anyone looking to go down the pro gamer route is absolutely crazy. Unless you are just naturally gifted, the sheer amount of time you need to invest to be at a decent level to compete is ridiculous.
Posted by ErrorOperator
@Yanngc33:  The only way to earn money playing TF2 is by attending lans, the biggest TF2 League , ETF2L, have hardware prizes and ESL has dropped TF2 as an EMS game!
Posted by Xeiphyer

The difference is that they make a living playing them.
 
When you have sponsors to pay you to play, you don't need a job because that is your job. Still, I imagine their lives are pretty unhealthy and not balanced very well.

Posted by MementoMori

lol :)

Posted by EpicSteve
@Xeiphyer said:
" The difference is that they make a living playing them.  When you have sponsors to pay you to play, you don't need a job because that is your job. Still, I imagine their lives are pretty unhealthy and not balanced very well. "
this
Posted by iam3green

they just make their life. they play video games all day and then do what ever. they have sponsors for things so they pay them to play. i don't play competitively but still pretty funny that there are people that find a  way. there are some people that can make a living off of wow. they get paid to level people up or sell gold. Chinese farming is horrible from what i have heard from reading stuff. they live in a small apartment with like 5 computers in one room and stay up like 18 hours just doing stuff and then eat crappy food. 
 
@Jack268 said:

" I saw a dude who made $1500 per month from selling hats. He worked on it as a hobby 3 hours a day. You could do that if you need cash and if you're opportunistic. You just need to find some unusuals for a price lower than they're worth (This guy mentioned trading a normal hat for an event hat which he traded for an unusual which sold for $300). It's hard to find those opportunities, but when you learn to spot those deals it should become a lot easier. That way you could quit your job and live off playing TF2 a few hours a day. I'd do it if I weren't such a horrible businessman.  And also, I could probably make a living leveling WoW characters for people, but meh, I hate that shit even though I used to be pretty good at it. "

pretty crazy stuff. i didn't know people could do that kind of stuff.
Posted by OldManLight

I want someone to pay me to play singleplayer games. Best deal evar.

Posted by StaticFalconar
@OldManLight said:
" I want someone to pay me to play singleplayer games. Best deal evar. "
Well gold farming in WOW is like single player. 
Posted by Fajita_Jim

I won a few local Quake DM tourneys for a few hundred and some swag each in my day, but nothing anywhere near enough to quit work. Not that I would, playing games for a living has to get stale. Hell, I even get board of games as-is and don't play for a month of two at a time. Eating sleeping and shitting games does not sound like fun.

Posted by el_tajij
@turbomonkey138:  If you specialize or want to be an expert in anything, it's gonna take over your life dude. Especially in this day and age with so many people who have so much access to video games, the internet, education - whatever field it is you choose. I used to play music a whole bunch - practicing with my band for 6 hours, 3-4 times a week plus playing shows and recording on top of that. That destroyed a few relationships like you say and strained a lot of stuff in my personal life. But the bar is so high, it's difficult to do anything other than spend your time practicing at your chosen field if you want to be up there with the best. I'm probably gonna be back in that pattern starting this summer when I graduate from University.
 
Same with professional video gaming. If you want to be up there with the best, you got to be willing to put in a shitload of practice - be physically fit (to improve reaction and thinking times) - and network with the right people to make sure you're playing the right matches against the right people, in front of the right people. It's not easy, for sure.
Posted by Jeust

My experiences in that department amount to being on the top 100 of a popular mmo game. And by my experience it was pretty stressful and unhealthy. Someone can prove me that it is possible to live a healthy life and being a professional in the gaming business, still I find it pretty hard, especially nowadays, where people are pushed to unbelievable limits to reach their goals. 

Posted by turbomonkey138
@MementoMori said:
" lol :) "
who is this shit noob :)