North’s Markus 'Kjaerbye' Kjærbye

How do CS:GO pros like to spend their free time?

© RedBull.com / Freaks 4U Gaming

They may spend a lot of their time fragging foes online, but we wanted to find out what the top CS:GO pros get up to when their PCs are shut down for the day.

Becoming one of the best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players in the world not only requires skill and practice, but a fair dollop of dedication too. Rigorous team training, stacked scrim schedules and regular tournaments around the world keep them fragging away the hours, but that’s the sort of time commitment that’s needed to go home with the game’s biggest prize pools.
Still, if you just do that day in, day out then life becomes one monotonous slog. Time off from the game to pursue other hobbies, to study or to simply relax is much needed. To get the full picture, we asked some top CS:GO pros how they like to spend their time when they’re not looking down AWP scopes or juggling defusal kits.
Naturally, sitting at a computer for hours upon hours each day doesn’t necessarily encourage the most active lifestyle, so a lot of players make sure they get to the gym a few times a week to ensure they stay fit.
“Lately I've been going to the gym and I feel like that's a good getaway from CS because it helps you stay focused better, helps you perform better,“ says Tarik 'tarik' Celik. “I think going to the gym is really important, so I'm glad I made that a hobby of mine.”
Will 'RUSH' Wierzba of Cloud9 speaks about how they’ve made exercise another team activity. They each have a membership to the same gym and will often ride the same Uber together to a workout. “I mean I wasn't always the most consistent at the gym, but recently I've been making sure I go five days a week. I think it's important to stay active outside the game; it helps a lot with your mental state, so I think it's important”.
Other players, meanwhile, enjoy far tamer activities, where they can prioritise socialising, taking a load off and having some carefree fun. “I just love to relax, get away from the game and be with family, friends, go to the gym sometimes, watch some sports, and once in a while go out, when there's time for it, and have a beer,” says Markus 'Kjaerbye' Kjærbye.
Jacky 'Stewie2K' Yip of SK Gaming has a few similar pastimes, but likes to mix a little more excitement in there too. “I just like to hang out with my friends, try to party a little bit, but not too much.” A sensible level of partying, then. If such a thing exists.
There were also a significant number of pet owners within our pool of CS:GO interviewees, too. Nathan 'NBK' Schmitt, Dan 'apEX' Madesclaire and Alexandre 'bodyy' Pianaro all have dogs that take up their time when they’re away from the game. A lot of these players also enjoy spending time at the beach, an activity we’re sure those pups are a big fan of too.
What else? Well, Daniel 'mertz' Mertz, Kenny 'kennyS' Schrub and Dan 'apEX' Madesclaire are the football fans of the group, whiling away the hours either watching or playing the beautiful game. With the World Cup looming let’s hope it doesn’t impact their CS practice too much. On the other hand, NBK likes to keep his mind sharp by playing a lot of poker. Perhaps one day he’ll add a World Series of Poker bracelet to his trophy case.
It seems CS:GO players live very busy and varied lives, then. If you’re asking us who has the right idea, though, it’d be Timothy 'autimatic' Ta: “I like to play golf, I like to walk on the beach… I like to sleep, and that's it.” Ah, you can’t dispute the simple pleasures.