League of Legends is massive. With over 40 million people watching players compete for a share of over $2m in the World Championships, it’s little wonder that many fans would love to play it for a living. However, only a small minority get to experience what it’s like to be a League of Legends professional. So, if you’re just starting out, how can you break through?
Pro players Rasmus 'Caps' Winther, Martin 'Wunder' Hansen, Elias 'Upset' Lipp and Matyáš 'Carzzy' Orság have got some top tips for you as they reveal the steps players need to take to follow their dream of becoming a LoL pro.
Grind, grind and grind!
It seems almost too obvious but the more you play and practice the more likely you're going to get better - a sentiment Caps agrees with.
But the world-class midlaner says it's also important to practice how to play within a team environment.
He told us: "Depending on who you are, your journey is going to be different from mine. At the end of the day, getting here just came from me playing a lot of League of Legends.
"I just played solo queue after solo queue after solo queue. At some point, when I got to high elo, I made a team with people I met online and some of my friends. I learnt how to play as a team from that. I then tried out different teams, I just kept climbing solo queue and trying my hardest to get noticed in that sense which eventually led to Fnatic giving me an offer."
Don't be toxic
There's nothing less enjoyable than having toxic teammates but it can also be detrimental to your career if you're the one doing the flaming.
Not only can you have your account banned by Riot which means you'll have less time to practice, but you can also pick up a bad reputation in high elos which means teams will be less likely to work with you.
Origen's ADC Upset stresses the point of staying professional and building good relationships in the scene.
He told us: "I would like to say behave professionally in solo queue, be nice to people and try to build relations but when I was younger, I wasn’t the best example of somebody who was being really professional. It’s mainly just about being very good and having pro players recognise that and being able to be high on the ladder. Try to impress people and have something to say in the scene.
"It’s never good to be toxic or rude, especially in a team environment it’s terrible. I understand Solo Queue can be quite frustrating but you should always make an effort to behave well and don’t be rude to other people."
Learn how to lose
In order to win big tournaments and become the best, players will also have to deal with losing - something Wunder has learnt over the years from underperforming early on in his career and failing to win Worlds against FPX last year.
He told us: "Take the losses – I played in Challenger Series for nearly two years before I was old enough to go pro. I lost a lot – even in my first season of LCS was really rough for me so I had a lot of downsides. Just don’t listen to everything people say negatively on social media and don’t let it get to you. Keep focusing on what you want to do and what you want to achieve and you’ll get better eventually at some point."
Advice from a rookie
With roughly 50 players participating in the LEC each year, the dream of getting to the big stage seems almost unattainable - something players like Carzzy would have felt last season.
But now, the 18-year-old is the starting ADC for Mad Lions after winning EU Masters with BIG last year. The LEC rookie has his own advice for aspiriring League of Legends pros.
He said: "If you dream about getting to the LEC, you should just stop flaming everyone, watch more pro streams and watch a lot of professional matches. Focus on more macro, I wouldn’t say mechanicals is that important – game knowledge is probably the most important thing. Just focus and tryhard!"