Have you ever wondered why a professional esports player retires? Is that because their skills are not as good as before and their reflection is much slower? And an even bigger question that many of us have: what a pro gamer would do after they retired? After they have spent their whole young ages competing and entertaining us with many don’t have a university degree, what would they do afterward for a living? Will live streaming or working on a youtube channel be enough to support their life? In this article, we will bring you the answer to these two questions that you may have for quite a long time.

First thing first, about the first question, well, the truth is that not all pro gamers retire because their skills are not as sharp as they were. Yes, biologically speaking, we and our reflection will get slower with age, but not in the 20s-30s, which is the age that many pro gamers retire. A 44-year-old man will have the same reactions as an 18-year-old girl (which is 10% slower than an 18-year-old boy). There are a lot of pro gamers retire for slow reflection, but the majority of them retire due to multiple other reasons.

One of the most common reasons for the retirement of a pro gamer is that this profession can no longer provide a reliable income. If you actually do some research, you will find out that pro gamers are actually paid quite the same as us. The high paid pro gamers only take less than 5% of the total pro gamers competing. These pro gamers are really famous and they take all the headlines of gaming newspapers and websites. That is why we are tricked into thinking all pro gamers are extremely well-paid, but the ugly truth is that they are not that well paid. So, if you are thinking of becoming a pro gamer simply because you think that profession will bring you a lot of money, we highly recommend you to think again.

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Top pro gamers like Faker who earn a lot are actually really few

The second reason for retirement is that the game they play becomes less popular and publishers of the game no longer run competitions for it or promote it. This means those pro players of the game are left in a diminishing community with terrible prizes. Also, being a pro player is super stressful, especially when you are in a diminishing community of the game that becomes less and less famous.

StarCraft 2 esports would have been terminated by now if not for the care from Blizzard

The third reason is that being a pro gamer takes a lot of time. An average pro gamer will have to spend 10-12 hours a day just to practice the game, work on the strategies, even live stream for the fans too. And all of these activities normally happen in a gaming house – a place where you stay and work with 10 other dudes daily. Besides 10-12 hours working time a day, they still have to take like 1h for exercising their body, normally in a gym.

When you get to your 30s, seeing all your friends getting married and having kids, chances are that you might not want to keep living with 10 other dudes with the schedule of 10-12 hours working a day. So, in conclusion for the first question, yes there are pro players who retire due to reflection being slow, but the majority of pro gamers retire due to numerous other reasons, and the 3 reasons we listed above are not everything.

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Life of a pro gamer in a gaming house is stressful

And the second question? Well, there are many ways for a pro gamer to make a living after they have retired. First of all, they totally can come back to school/university to get a proper degree. It is extremely normal to go finish school/university in your late 20s, even your 30s nowadays. Some even can finish their degree while still competing at a high level. One bright example of this is Finn "karrigan" Andersen. This guy has finished his master degree and he is still playing CS:GO for team FeZe Clan. But there are other pro gamers who work in a completely unrelated field after retiring from being a professional esports player, with their degrees of course.

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Finn "karrigan" Andersen

But that is not the viable options for retired pro gamers. Some have successfully saved enough for the rest of their life after their pro gamer careers. However, not many pro gamers can do that. Plus, imagine the boredom after the professional esports career. You have all the money you need, but nothing much to do. That can be fun and entertaining for a while, but then you still need something to do and care about.

Clinton "Fear" Loomis - a DOTA2 pro gamer - has saved up nearly 2.5 millions dollar for his retirement

That is the reason why many pro gamers stick with gaming or esports industry after they have retired from being a pro gamer. They can be a coach for a pro team, or even owning one. (like TSM owner). For retired pro players who don’t want to have too much pressure, they can be a caster or analyzer of the game they have played. For those who still want to work for gaming/esports industry but want to keep a certain distance from gamer community, they can take a position the development team for the game as a designer, community manager, esports specialist…

They could even join their esports organization or a totally new one roles namely community management, journalism, leadership … But the majority of retired pro gamers still want to play the game with viewership from the fans, so they become a streamer/content creator for the game they have played or for new games coming out when they have retired.

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Andy "Reginald" Dinh is a famous retired pro gamer who is currently the CEO of TSM esports organization


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Michael "Shroud" Grzesiek - a former CS:GO pro gamer is a currently the most well-known Apex Legends streamer

So, in conclusion, there are a lot of job opportunities for a retired professional esports player after he stepped down from his role. Either staying with gaming/esports industry in another role or not, after all, pro gamers are just humans. If we can change from jobs to jobs in different fields, they can too. So, if you are truly considering to become a pro gamer, don’t worry much about what you would do after the career, as long as you have a true passion and the patience to follow it.