Professional Gamer

Professional Gamer

the Ryanator

Clemson, SC

Male, 23

I played two entirely different video games professionally for multiple years. That is, I traveled around the country often on a sponsor's dollar and competed in video game tournaments for money. I believe I can provide good insights into professional gaming. If you want to know more just ask!

I'm now lead developer at LiveNinja an internet startup that I will shamelessly promote here.

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93 Questions


Last Answer on February 12, 2015

Best Rated

What games did you play professionally and how much "training" was required before you were ready for tournament play?

Asked by j.b. in pdx almost 12 years ago

I played Shadowrun and Super Smash Brothers Brawl. With those games I started playing both of them right when they were released so I didn't have too much catching up to do. I played them both about 4-8 hours a day. With Brawl I started going to tournaments right away but, it took about a month for me to get good enough to do well at the tournaments. Shadowrun the tournaments were about a month after the games release and I was on tournament level at that point.

You seem pretty well-adjusted, but do you think hardcore gamers' social skills suffer from so much solitary game playing?

Asked by James1 almost 12 years ago

The competitive stuff is all multiplayer so you are always playing with other people. That still tends to be a somewhat isolated crowd from standard social interaction so social skills often do take a bit of a hit. As for gamers who do just play single player games hardcore I'd expect that would hurt social skills.

How common is it for a somewhat weaker gamer to beat a stronger one? Is it like baseball where even the Royals will often beat the Yankees, or more like chess where a 1400-rated player will NEVER beat a 1,700.

Asked by OKslugga almost 12 years ago

Pretty uncommon. This can vary a lot from game to game but, generally speaking the games and settings are selected to be as skill based as possible with very few random factors. So big upsets can happen but, whenever they do happen they are usually a fairly big deal within that games community.

Is there one guy who's generally acknowledged as the best all-around pro gamer?

Asked by durka almost 12 years ago

No, most games have a clear best player/team but, no one can really be the top of more than one game at a time so it is different from game to game. That and it is hard to compare different games so I can't really say who is better the best Starcraft player or the best Halo team.

Can a pro gamer parlay his skills into paid TEACHING positions, where you teach other aspiring gamers the tricks of the trade? Does that kind of thing exist?

Asked by upupdowndown... almost 12 years ago

This is actually quite common. To give you example here is a site where you can hire pro Starcraft 2 players to coach you Prices vary from $15-$300 an hour depending on how top of a player you want to coach you. I don't know many lessons these people actually sell but, it does exist and lessons do seem to be bought. Similar sites exist for most of the big games.

How much money can you earn from gaming tournaments? Any big wins to speak of? Also what were your favorite games as a kid?

Asked by elias almost 12 years ago

The best players at the biggest games are all millionaires. A good portion of their money is from sponsors. That said the money distribution is very top heavy, while the very best do make a lot of money the near the very best make a lot less money. I was never the very best and only made a few thousand dollars, but I was also able to compete in cool places around the country on sponsors dollars. As for any big wins, honestly not really. I won a lot of tournaments when I was playing Super Smash Brother Brawl but they were not huge tournaments. When I was a kid I was never allowed to play as many video games as I liked but I was a big fan of Goldeneye, MarioKart 64 and Halo 1. Also, soccer if we are not just talking about video games.

What's the longest playing session you've ever put in? Do you ever go to bed and see game images dancing in your brain?

Asked by lulz4life almost 12 years ago

I would guess about 8-10 hours, although that would be with a couple breaks in there for food and such. Also, yes, the game images in my mind before going to bed does happen.