By Libo “Xenocider” Chang of Evil Geniuses
Oftentimes in life you are faced with difficult decisions in deciding how to allocate your time. For me, it is easier to manage my time between school and StarCraft because I value the importance of both. I have a lot of passion for StarCraft, but I also realize that in the society we currently live in I can’t rely on pro gaming to provide for myself in the distant future. Therefore, I take school seriously because without school and a proper education it would be significantly harder for me to find a good job later on. I feel as if the reason most people struggle in balancing their time is that they do not stop and think about why they are splitting their time in the first place. With gaming and school, I recommend everyone truly take a second and re-evaluate: “Do I really care about school?” “What are the consequences associated with blowing off school in favor of playing more games now?” “Do I actually significantly benefit from the 1 or so extra hours I get from not taking school seriously?” then you can find motivation to work hard in both, and if you can’t 100% succeed in both, then at least you can say you did your best. In my case, I think it would be easier to get all A’s in school and a 2400 on the SAT if I were to only focus on school, but I have to sacrifice that in order to perform well as a player at EG. At the end of the day, even though I’m not the best in either, I’m satisfied because I try my hardest in both.
Aside from actual school and StarCraft, I have made a lot of sacrifices in regards to my social life and from my beauty sleep, but you probably can’t tell. I find it hard to make friends because I don’t have any hobbies or clubs that I enjoy apart from StarCraft. Having enriched conversations with other people or just finding time to spend with people that share similar interests is very difficult. I do have a few friends that also play video games, but asides from them I’m very low-key at my school. My family life was also very poor for a long time and every single time I ate dinner with my parents we would argue about my future, why gaming was bad, etc. For that reason, life was made even more stressful. I think the best example of our relationship at the time would be when I won WCG America; I came home and told my parents that I won a trip to China and they did not really care at all. However, I think our situation has improved recently and the hardest part is past us. I do understand my parents, they were raised in China and only a few decades ago moved to the U.S., it is very hard for them to grasp what I am doing.
I think every pro gamer needs to make sacrifices, whether that is a girlfriend, friends, family, or a hobby. The amount of time a pro gamer needs to invest to be the best at what they do exceeds even real professional sports, and comes at 1/100 the pay. At least for me I think the people I’ve met and the experiences I’ve had completely pay off the extra work I’ve had to put in, and I’m glad that I made the decision to become a pro gamer.