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Quartz/ Dave Gershgorn
ShahZaM, an esports player on compLexity, works out at his apartment gym.
ANALYSIS

Esports teams are starting to train more like traditional athletes

Member exclusive by Dave Gershgorn for The rise of esports

Wake up, sneak in a workout before grabbing lunch with teammates, stretch before practice, run through plays, scrimmage another team, and get to sleep.

This isn’t the routine of a soccer player or aspiring Olympian, but the template for a new generation of esports players—professional gamers who compete for huge sums of money, sometimes in front of sold-out arenas.

Esport training and tournament competition can lead to long, intense schedules, which means pros have to maintain peak reaction times, fast-twitch muscles, and good decision-making for hours on end. Most of the money is made in prizes, which means that if you don’t win, you don’t get paid beyond a modest base salary. Players are under immense pressure: Losing a $500,000 tournament because you were tired isn’t an option.

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