We interview the Welshman who plays Call of Duty professionally…
How did you get into gaming?
I was born into gaming – having two older brother basically got me interested straight away. I came across the competitive side of gaming from my brother as well. He showed me the first Call of Duty XP on Modern Warfare 3, and when Black Ops II came out introducing league play, I got hooked on competitive and started to compete and find my first team.
Please tell us about your background in esports specifically and how you went from amateur to pro.
At the start of Advanced Warfare I attended my first event and obtained a top 16 placing. Since then I got into the money at every event I attended. I wasn’t able to get a team for stage one of the Call of Duty World League (CWL) because of my age, but before the season we were put on a salary. And after qualifying for the league, the salary doubled and then I considered myself a pro.
Give us an overview of your role within your team and the game you play professionally.
In my team I’m the guy who’ll be trying and doing the slaying and objective work/assisting the objecting players. It’s the start of the new game (Infinite Warfare), so picking roles is difficult to state just yet. But I mainly switch between the AR & SMG depending on what’s needed.
What is a typical day like in your role? Talk us through what you do.
Basically, before having to get online and practice, I normally try and spend time with people who are close to me (friends and other friend – wink wink), then around 6pm we’ll get on to scrim, play tournaments or wager. After that normally I will go to the gym.
How much do you train on average/what does your practice schedule look like? What are the hours like in your role overall?
Normally the hours of practice are 5pm – 6pm until 11am – 2am. Sometimes later.
What three pieces of advice would you give to aspiring pro players?
- Make sure you put the time and effort in to improving. Not just playing the game, making sure you’re realising where your team are going wrong and the best way to improve.
- When practicing, make sure not to moan. I know how stressful it can be to play and keep a cool mind. But if your team have to focus on telling you to stop moaning, it will be more difficult for you to succeed.
- Make sure to go into every game with the confidence of winning. When coming up against players who are proven and are distinguished in the scene, it is important to have confidence because if you go into the game thinking you’re going to lose, you most likely will.
How can people get into this kind of role? What kind of skillset does it require?
To get into this, you’ll need a lot of time and effort. And yes obviously you’ll need to have the mental strength and ability to understand the game, as well as reaction time and hand-eye coordination etc. But I feel what’s most important is keeping yourself happy and in shape out of game, that way you’ll be more willing to improve in game.
What would you say to the parents and teachers of aspiring pro gamers, and those who perhaps aren’t convinced that pro gaming can offer a viable career path?
This is a viable career path to those who are willing to work hard. Esports is constantly growing and is only going to get bigger with time – and obviously that means more money will be in the games.
Each year the amount of money able to win is increasing. The best way to convince a parent is to start earning. Even if it’s just online tournaments, when you show them results, it will make them see the potential.
What are the perks and challenges of your job?
You’re able to have a lot of free time to do many things and see people when not playing. I’m able to earn a living off doing something I love and am passionate about.
The negatives: Even though I have a lot of free time, the free time is usually around unsociable hours and is quite difficult at times to see friends. I had to stop playing my chosen sport because I could never make training sessions or games sadly.