Previous Article Next Article

Esports Pro. Easy life. Right?…

While being a pro esports player is the dream for many, for those choosing this path, it’s a serious commitment requiring real dedication.

To gain a greater understanding of the trials and tribulations faced by gamers attempting the leap from amateur to pro, our Global Director of Esports – Vicky Cheng met up with 2 bright young prospects in esports: Freddie ‘GrimyRannarr’ Pritchard and Kyle ‘Swaggy’ Wilson who shared their insights as professional players and content creators with us.

Kyle “Swaggy” Wilson

Hi Kyle, what would you say is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far in your eSports career?

The biggest difficulty I’ve found is progressing through the game without making contacts. Before I started making contacts with people I was stuck at the same level for a while, unfortunately, esports is also about who you know as well.

How did you overcome that specific challenge?

By forcing myself to be more social around people, allowing me to keep my options open and improve myself by learning and socializing with better players.

What would you say are the more general challenges that esports players face?

I feel the biggest day-to-day challenge is balancing everything in your life. Especially when you’re practising professional hours, getting time to go to the gym, eating well, seeing my girlfriend etc. It’s hard to balance and sacrifice some things over others.

How important is funding to teams at the amateur/semi-professional level?

Funding makes a difference because, without it, not every player can focus 100% on the game, a lot of other scenes have a lot of teams on a full-time salary and can fully focus on the game, and this is a massive advantage for teams to improve.

How difficult was it for you to balance a social life, education and work with pursuing a career in esports?

Yes. It is very hard when you first start out. When I started practising 6-8 hours a day it was very hard at first, but it becomes like a job, you figure it out and it becomes easier over time. I am able to manage my career, my social life, my girlfriend, gyming, and university and still have time to myself. Although at first, this was not the case.

To make a career in esports, you need to treat it as a voluntary job even before you get paid, is it hard to stay motivated?

No, I was never low on motivation, I always knew what my goals were, and where I wanted to be. I always pushed myself to get to where I wanted to be, and it allowed me to be where I am today.

Is motivation improved with financial reward?

Money never helped me with motivation, in-fact with some players, it does the opposite, they see the money and they get comfortable and stop trying as hard. This makes it so you need to surround yourself with the correct players, or you will play with players who just play for the money and not the love of the game.

Players have a lot of expectations and the playing times are so high, even for prospective amateur teams, so when you reach a certain goal, such as main or advanced, have you ever felt like you have lost any of the drive or passion you once might have had?

Once I first played advanced, it motivates you more, you look at the teams you’re around and you’re happy you’re there. But now I look at the teams around me and I know I’m better than them, and now pushing for Premier is a reasonable goal for me.

Do you think there can be more support in the esports industry and maybe more specifically the UK Counter-Strike scene for amateur/semi-professional level players to flourish?

I don’t see where the money will come from, unfortunately, I feel it’s already too late. It’s part of the reason why I am exploring international options.

How would you go about that support, would it be through funding or helping with opportunities?

At the “grassroots” level, there needs to be more funding, more tournaments, more reasons why people won’t quit and take a different job. Sometimes the fix is as simple as some funding to help keep people in the game, for some it’s unreasonable to continue playing.

Freddie “GrimyRannarr” Pritchard

Hi, Freddie looking in from an outside perspective what are the challenges that you face on a day to day basis?

I would by and large say that one of the hardest challenges was being able to keep a good balance between having work, social life and playing CS:GO.  One thing I had to come to terms with was that especially over summer there will be times where I have to sacrifice going out with mates because I will have practice or an official.  There are times that I struggle to balance CS:GO with other things in my life.  But, over time I have found it easier to manage my time and other things in my life aside from CS:GO.

Do you find you get much support for your esports career from the people around you?

I get a lot of support from people like my girlfriend, my old teammates, current teammates and people I have met along the way, but outside of esports, a lot of people don’t quite understand the industry and find it strange.  For instance, certain members of my family and some of my friends around me do not understand me making a career in esports.  But, surprisingly my school was super supportive about it.  I went to boarding school and because I lived there it could have proved a problem to play but the school provided me means to compete from my dorm room and I actually wouldn’t have been able to play properly if it wasn’t for them.

Is it difficult to work around other people’s schedules as you have 5 people in a team who all live their own lives?

I have found this is a huge challenge.  Playing competitive CS:GO is a team effort, it requires a commitment from everyone, which causes challenges with scheduling because you have 5 people in a team and need to work around all those schedules and this can be difficult when you want to practice loads but just can’t because of the time. Also because you are doing this as a voluntary job, losses feel so much harder.  If you are winning it feels great, but as soon as you lose it sticks with you and then as soon as one person loses motivation and doesn’t want to practice this has a knock-on effect on the whole team.

How do you keep a positive mentality in esports even though you face these challenges?

Certainly, there are some nights that may be after a pretty rough loss in an official, it does make me think is it worth it.  But in the end, motivation comes with a love of the game, and while I have a love for the game I will always have motivation.  If you keep it as a voluntary job and you are not playing for financial gain.  Your reward is the experience you can never buy, a couple of great friends.  I have met some truly amazing people through CS:GO and these are people I will be friends with for years to come regardless of if I play CS:GO anymore and that is what honestly makes it worth it.

What tips do you have for anyone wanting to enter the esports industry as a player or a content creator?

If you actually want to make it in esports, you really have to just put the effort in and there is no easy way around it for both content creation and as a player.  So if you do want to get into the industry, just prepare to actually work for what you want.  Also a good lesson for life, but what I have found is that you just want to try to make as many contacts as possible and keep on the good side of people because as a player you will get a lot more opportunities.  If you have a good reputation or you are on good terms with people and especially in the UK, I think that is absolutely central.

How does eSportskred help a player/ content creator in your position? 

Via the eSportskred app, I have been able to see my target audience on various social channels and gain an idea of the value of my social and streaming presence. This has helped me grow my stream and my other socials tremendously.

A key benefit will be for the teams to use eSportskred to collaborate with their players to create new sponsorship opportunities that benefit both the team and the players.

–The End–

Kyle (Swaggy): “Professional British CS:GO Player. Ex Chetz/Fierce/nerdRage”

Follow Swaggy at

Freddie (GrimyRannarr): “Amateur British CS:GO player for 15 Kings and content creator for Chetz Esports”

Follow Freddie at and

Do You Want To Know The Value of Your Social Influence?

Why Not Check Out Our eSportskred Solution?

Read Next