During my time as a professional gamer, I witnessed several of my fellow players retire from the industry. It prompted me to examine the reasons why so many professional LoL players retire and what we can do to address these issues. In this article, I will explore some of the most common reasons why professional LoL players retire, drawing from both my personal experience and that of my colleagues.
One of the main reasons why professional LoL players retire is due to burnout. The constant pressure to perform at a high level and the grueling schedule of competitions and travel can take a toll on a player’s mental and physical health. The esports industry is incredibly competitive, and players are expected to maintain peak performance year-round. This means long hours of practice, watching replays, and staying up-to-date with meta changes.
As a former professional LoL player, I experienced burnout firsthand. The constant grind of the industry can be overwhelming, and it can be difficult to take time off without feeling like you’re falling behind. Additionally, the pressure to perform well for sponsors, fans, and teammates can add to the stress of competing.
Burnout can manifest in many ways, including anxiety, depression, and physical symptoms such as fatigue and headaches. When these symptoms go untreated, it can lead to a player’s decision to retire. It’s essential for players to recognize the signs of burnout and take the necessary steps to prevent it, such as taking breaks, seeking professional help, and finding ways to manage stress.
Burnout is a prevalent issue in the esports industry, and it’s crucial for players and organizations to prioritize mental and physical health to prevent player burnout. By taking a more holistic approach to player management, we can ensure the longevity of players’ careers and the growth of the industry as a whole.
As players age, their priorities change, and this can make it challenging to balance the demands of professional gaming. When I first started playing professionally, my sole focus was on improving my skills and winning competitions. However, as I got older, my priorities began to shift, and I started to think more about my future outside of gaming.
One of the most significant changes in my life was the arrival of my daughter. Suddenly, I had new responsibilities that required my attention and time, and I found it increasingly difficult to balance my family life with the demands of professional gaming. Many other players I know have faced similar challenges as they got older, and some decided to retire to focus on other aspects of their lives.
Furthermore, as players age, they may find that the long hours of practice and competition take a more significant toll on their physical and mental health. The stress of playing at a high level, combined with the pressure to perform, can lead to burnout, which we discussed earlier.
Changing priorities is one of the most common reasons why professional LoL players retire. As we get older, our priorities shift, and we may find it more challenging to balance the demands of professional gaming with other aspects of our lives. It’s essential for players to consider their long-term goals and how professional gaming fits into those goals as they age.
One of the biggest challenges that I faced was the risk of developing repetitive strain injuries (RSIs). The hours that we spend sitting in front of a computer screen can put a lot of strain on our bodies, especially our wrists, fingers, and backs. And while we do our best to take breaks and stretch regularly, the truth is that the demands of professional gaming can make it difficult to find the time to do so.
RSIs are a common problem among gamers and can lead to a variety of issues, including carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and chronic pain. These injuries can make it difficult, if not impossible, to continue playing at a high level, and can be a significant factor in a player’s decision to retire.
Personally, I struggled with wrist injuries throughout my career. Despite being diligent about stretching and taking breaks, the long hours of gaming took their toll on my body. Eventually, I had to make the difficult decision to retire in order to focus on my health and prevent further damage to my wrists.
While there are steps that players can take to prevent RSIs, such as ergonomic equipment and regular breaks, the reality is that the demands of professional gaming can make it difficult to prioritize self-care. This is an issue that the industry as a whole needs to address, and I hope that we will see more support for player health and wellness in the future.
Lack of Support
We invest a significant amount of our time and energy into honing our skills and becoming the best players we can be. However, when it comes to support from our industry, we often feel like we’re left to fend for ourselves. This can be a significant factor in why many professional LoL players decide to retire.
Firstly, sponsorships are crucial to the financial stability of professional LoL players. Without the support of sponsors, players are left to rely solely on their tournament winnings, which can be unpredictable and not always enough to sustain a comfortable lifestyle. Additionally, sponsorship deals can often be challenging to come by, with only a select few players able to secure lucrative deals with major companies.
Lack of health care
Another area of concern is the lack of health care support for professional players. Due to the long hours of sitting required for gaming, many players are at risk of developing repetitive strain injuries, which can be debilitating and even career-ending. While some teams do provide access to physical therapy and other treatments, these resources are not always available or accessible to all players.
Finally, mental health support is another area where professional LoL players often feel let down. The demands of the industry can be overwhelming, with high stakes, constant pressure to perform, and intense scrutiny from fans and the media. All of these factors can take a significant toll on players’ mental health, leading to burnout, anxiety, and depression. Unfortunately, mental health support is often not a priority for teams or the industry at large, leaving players to deal with these issues on their own.
How the industry can improve in supporting its players
Professional gaming is a rapidly growing industry, and it’s important for organizations to provide adequate support for their players. While there have been efforts to improve the situation, more needs to be done in terms of sponsorships, health care, and mental health support.
Firstly, sponsorships are crucial for professional players, as it provides them with financial stability and helps them focus on their game. However, it’s important for organizations to ensure that the sponsorships are sustainable and long-lasting. It’s not uncommon for sponsorships to come and go, leaving players uncertain about their future. To address this, organizations can consider securing long-term sponsorships or providing additional financial support to players during off-seasons or when sponsorships end.
Secondly, health care is often overlooked in the gaming industry, and players may not have access to the same level of health care as traditional athletes. The industry needs to prioritize the health of its players by providing them with access to medical professionals who understand the specific health concerns related to gaming. Additionally, organizations can provide ergonomic chairs, desks, and other equipment to minimize the risk of repetitive strain injuries.
Finally, mental health support is crucial for players who face constant pressure to perform at a high level. It’s important for organizations to provide access to mental health resources, such as counseling and therapy, to help players cope with the stress and pressure of professional gaming. Additionally, organizations can create a supportive team environment that encourages players to speak openly about their mental health struggles without fear of judgment or repercussions.
The gaming industry needs to prioritize the well-being of its players by providing them with adequate support in terms of sponsorships, health care, and mental health resources. It’s important to recognize that professional gaming is a highly competitive and demanding industry, and players need support to help them achieve their best performance without compromising their health and well-being.
Professional League of Legends players may earn a substantial income, but the financial stability of the industry can be uncertain, which can be a significant factor in a player’s decision to retire. Esports teams may not always have the same level of financial security as traditional sports teams, making it difficult to guarantee consistent player salaries and benefits.
Esports teams and organizations need to work towards providing more financial stability to their players. One potential solution is to establish a minimum salary and benefits package that all players receive, similar to the standards set in traditional sports leagues. This would provide players with more financial security and stability, which in turn could lead to more longevity in their careers.
Additionally, teams and organizations could work to establish more revenue streams beyond sponsorships and tournament winnings. This could include merchandise sales, streaming revenue, and even investments in the industry as a whole.
Improving the financial stability of the industry is crucial in ensuring that professional League of Legends players can continue to pursue their careers without the added stress of financial uncertainty. By providing more financial security, the industry can support players in achieving their goals and reaching their full potential.
The potential solutions to improve the financial security of professional LoL players
One of the biggest challenges facing professional LoL players is the financial uncertainty of the industry. Unlike traditional sports, which have a long history and established revenue streams, esports is still a relatively new and rapidly evolving industry. As a result, players may struggle to secure long-term financial stability.
One potential solution to this problem is for teams and leagues to provide better financial incentives and support for players. This could take the form of higher salaries, performance-based bonuses, and revenue-sharing arrangements. Additionally, teams and leagues could offer retirement benefits and financial planning services to help players plan for the future.
Another potential solution is for players to have more control over their own revenue streams. For example, players could negotiate their own sponsorship deals and receive a larger share of revenue from merchandise sales. This would give players more control over their financial futures and help to reduce the financial uncertainty of the industry.
The key to improving the financial security of professional LoL players is to establish a more stable and predictable revenue model for the industry as a whole. This could involve greater investment from traditional sports leagues and sponsors, as well as more consistent and transparent revenue-sharing arrangements. By creating a more stable and sustainable financial environment, the industry can help to ensure that professional LoL players have the support and stability they need to succeed over the long term.
Will anything change soon?
In conclusion, the decision to retire from professional League of Legends can be influenced by a multitude of factors. Burnout, changing priorities, injury, lack of support, and financial instability are all significant reasons why players may choose to step away from the game. As an ex-professional player myself, I understand the challenges that come with this line of work and the difficult decisions that players must make.
It’s crucial for the industry to address these issues and provide support for players both during and after their careers. This includes measures to prevent burnout, better health care, mental health support, and financial stability. The industry must recognize the importance of investing in its players’ well-being to ensure their long-term success and sustainability.
As the esports industry continues to grow and evolve, it’s important to keep these factors in mind to ensure that professional players can thrive and have fulfilling careers in the industry. While the decision to retire is never easy, it’s essential that players have the necessary support and resources to make the best choices for their futures.