Getting paid to play computer games for a living sounds like the cushiest job in the world. All you need to do everyday is wake up, start up the machine, and get to work.
Personal hygiene is also optional.
But there's a great deal more to making a living from gaming than meets the eye, as told by Eric Sia, a 21-year-old professional gamer from Subang Jaya
In 2014, Sia decided to become a professional gamer while he was studying for O-Levels. It was a really difficult decision to make, to say the least.
"I decided to become a professional gamer in 2014 while I was still studying for O-Levels. It was a really tough decision to make, as I had to sacrifice my studies and the money spent on my education," he told us.
However, he took the step of faith and the rest, as he says, is history. The 21-year-old is now gaming professionally with Kuala Lumpur Hunters, a local eSports team specialising in the game League Of Legends.
"I started gaming when I was 13 years old, Dota was the first game I was hooked on. But my buddies and I eventually grew tired of it and decided to move on to League of Legends," Sia said.
At first, Sia's friends and family reacted to his career choice with surprise. But that all changed when his team won a major competition.
Sia said, "My friends were surprised when they heard of my career choice of being a professional gamer, it was something really uncommon in our culture. As for my family, they weren't very supportive at first. But it all changed after my team became champions at last year's TLC Winter Season."
The life of a professional gamer isn't all about fame and fortune though, it requires uncommon discipline and perseverance. To maintain his high standards, Sia trains up to 15 hours a day.
"I wake up at 11 in the morning to wash up, prepare and play solo queue (individual training) until dinner time, which is around 7pm. After dinner, I’ll play scrims (sparring and team training) with my coach until approximately 11pm. My 'office hours' ends after midnight. However, I will usually take a short break and continue my own training session until 4AM," Sia said.
His hard work has paid off as Kuala Lumpur Hunters currently stand at 3rd place in the Garena Premier League (GPL)
Founded in 2012, Garena Premier League (GPL) is a professional League of Legends league with teams in Southeast Asia. There are currently 16 teams in the league.
Sia regards the current standing of the team as his biggest achievements to date. "When the team first started, things were pretty shaky but we managed to pull through and improved after playing together for such a long period of time."
Ultimately, Sia is really grateful to live out his dream out as a professional gamer and thanks the captain of the team for recognising his talent
"The person who brought me to Kuala Lumpur Hunters is the current captain of the team, Poon 'OzoraVeki' Kok Sing. I thank him for recognising the talent I have for the game. Also, I am very happy to game for a living because not everyone can pursue a career as a professional gamer like myself and the rest of Kuala Lumpur Hunters," he said.
Follow Sia and his team here as they embark on a journey to dominate the eSports scene in Malaysia
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