We Talkin’ Bout Practice?!

How Much Does it Take?

With the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice Major coming up in two weeks, how much time do professional esports players invest in their craft to prepare? Reviewing the steam profiles of each professional player prior to last year’s major, we will analyze the time spent by all of the teams that qualified for PGL Major Kraków 2017 to understand how many hours players really spend preparing for a major.

​In 2017, 16 teams gathered from different parts of the world to compete in the PGL Major. Among those teams were FaZe, Cloud9, Gambit, Astralis, and more. Sporting a $500,000 first place prize, these teams would take practicing very seriously, as half of a million dollars is a pretty big number.

The Results

So, how much time did each team really put in? Who grinded the hardest? Did it pay off in their placement? Looking at number of hours played by each player over a two week period, the average for all 16 teams was 68.26 hours, meaning the teams were practicing around 34 hours per week, pretty much the same number of hours a full time job would bring. Out of all of the competing teams though, one stands out from the rest. Gambit players averaged a whopping 136.38 hours over a two week period, over double the time spent by the other teams. That’s almost 70 hours a week for their players, and it definitely showed.

​Gambit finished the Group Stage of the event 3-0, and carried their momentum through the semis and finals, winning the major and $500,000 for first place. They toppled CS:GO beasts like Astralis and fnatic in the process. Is this performance directly related to the number of hours the guys put in before the tournament? Or was it just their time and their tournament? Being a professional athlete in any sport requires an astronomical amount of practice and most pro players have lifetime hours in CS:GO that top 10,000. I firmly believe that practice makes perfect, and judging by the dominant performance Gambit gave in 2017, putting the hours in will give you the results you desire. As Iverson said, “We talkin’ bout practice!”

Kyle Hunter

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