For how long do pros practice?


I have started to ask myself this question ever since I got “seriously” in the FGC around a month ago, I used to play starcraft and I knew that usually those who are on top play 8 to 12 hours a day to refine mechanics and build orders (maybe a little less on SC2 but I’m sure on BW it was a ridiculous amount of time). I eventually gave up on it because it felt more like a job than a game.
Anyways, for now I’ve been playing for about 4 hours a day, 1h of practice, the rest online (unless I’m getting obliterated, I would then go for 2h of practice).
I’m not really planning on going pro anytime soon (or ever) but I would like to be able to atleast reach a competitive level to be able to go over to a local arcade that hosts sfiv tourneys quite often. And who know maybe go to EVO someday.


I remember reading an article a while back that said Filipino Champ was spending around 12 hours a day practicing MvC for evo 2013 recently, but that’s probably the extreme end of the spectrum. It all depends. People with well-known, wealthy sponsors such as Justin Wong with EG who gain enough money to eek out a living probably practice a hell of a lot, but fighting games as a whole aren’t a great source of income, so even most of the top players besides basically Diago have other jobs and responsibilities. Even people such as Valle, whose career is based on fighting games, are probably very busy outside of playing games, and your average tourney player probably is just a normal folk. 4 hours seems perfectly reasonable.


Daigo also has a job (As far as I know he’s working at a nursing home? Not really a job anyone would expect from a hero, right?). They aren’t stars. They cant really make a living with it. And how long do anyone want to do this gaming thing. There will be nothing left for pension. Do your school and college, take gaming as a hobby! Nothing more, professional gaming isn’t that worthwile


Just play the game, don’t worry about what others are doing.

I’m not trying to be rude but it’s the honest truth. I used to doubt my abilities mostly because playing online discouraged me and made me feel worse at the game than I really was. I just forced myself to go with the flow and try out something new. When I started going to locals, I wasn’t on the level as the other guys but I gave it an honest shot and got respect based off that. It may not be everywhere but from what I’ve seen, you get mad respect for giving it your all and trying over the guys who opt out of playing but trash the game at every chance. Everyone started somewhere and lead different lives. With your current time-frame of playing, you can be on the same level as the guys who grind it out for more than half of their day; it’ll just take yourself to analyze and prioritize aspects of your game that you’re lacking.


It really varies from person-to-person, but I’ll give you what I recall:

FilipinoChamp - Usually practices Marvel about 12 hours a day, but during “EVO season” goes for as long as 16. This includes training mode, matches, and analyzing matches.
Infiltration and Poongko - Something absurd like 20 hours a day, they seriously just keep playing and playing and playing.
Tokido - Amazingly, not all that much. He’s kind of a fighting game polymath, always placing top 8 in just about every game he enters, which I guess reflects his natural ability. I seriously doubt he practices endless hours of SF, Marvel, Tekken, Persona, BB, ST, etc. etc. every day, but probably the most decent amount into SF and Marvel since they’re the most widely-played (and thus have the biggest pots).
Yipes - 4 hours a day, mostly tightening up combos and setups.
PR Rog - At the height of his training he was on stream for about 8 hours at a time playing various games, mostly SF and Marvel.

4 hours a day with that kind of regimen is pretty good. When I’m actively competing I shoot for that, but due to work and stuff it’s cut down to 1-2 hours a day mostly.


IIRC, Wong did an interview on Alphaism a few years back basically explaining that he’s one of the laziest players and doesn’t play nearly as much as everyone would suspect.

Granted, his prior experience grants him the ability to play substantially less but that was my attempt to stay relevant to the topic, haha.


Oh I do understand what you mean, you’re not coming out as rude at all :).

It is mostly to have an idea on how to prioritize my time, did wonders with my Starcraft 2 skills “back then”. Hell, I’m having tons of fun just figuring out combos, that feeling you get when you actually land a newly learned combo during a match is great.


Yeah dude, fun is absolute paramount especially over winning. I remember when cr fierce was a new phenomenon to me and I anti-aired this jump happy shoto five times in a row. It’s minor at best but setting small, manageable goals will help you progress along nicely. When you get bored with the game is when most would shit on it and trade it in whereas you can keep yourself occupied exploring different avenues. Different characters, researching (match view and forum dwelling), watching your own replays, attending events, etc keeps it fresh. All of these avenues can be frustrating in their own right but when taken, will leave you in a state to learn even more. Even taking a refreshing week break could help as well. Lately with my new job I’ve hardly had anytime so it’s been all VF5FS or TTT2, so I play AE about 2 matches a week in comparison to 6-7 hours online at my prime. Two endless matches win or lose I stop. Whenever I come back to, it’s pretty enticing and not as frustrating as before so balance between playing and not playing may help. But I will add as a personal regiment, when I’m not playing or don’t feel like it, I’m either on here studying or watching bids as a balance measure too. Games are fun still but I can’t grind it out for 6+ hours anymore haha.


Respect for playing SC2 also, that shit is too difficult.


It’s not the amount of time you practice that determines your skill. It’s what you do in the time that you have to practice that determines your skill.
Obviously the amount of time played does improve your preformance, but it’s definetly not the biggest factor.

The majority pro players from all scences (fighting games, starcraft, FPS, ect.) have other responsibilites such as jobs, family and so on. For the majority of pros, it’s just a hobby they love, and are determined to get good at in their spare time.

4 hours a day is more than reasonable if you want to become proficiant at a fighting game. Some pros will play more than that a day, and some will play less. As long as you’re having fun with it, you’ll get better.

Good luck!


In my experience how good you get at FGs is directly related to the skill level of people you play regularly.

Quality over Quantity. Spending a night playing offline with a local group of good players is worth a month of online randoms. Probably more.


I agree with this…
I used to practice Marvel 2 for HOURS a day… especially in the summer with no school, I had that disc in the Dreamcast for like 8-10 hours per day…
First time I went to someone’s house to play real players (e.g. Sanford Kelly and a few others were there), I got my ass kicked… I’m like, wow there went all that time…
But I stopped practicing that much, down to like 1-2 hours a day, and at each session I got much better, much faster. Like 1 year, I had gone from being a scrub that always got OCV’d to actually getting wins one a few top players. It’s sort of like, if you always play the CPU, the only thing you’ll be as good as is the CPU…

Anyway, could be a situational thing, but I certainly agree with this.

That said…
If you have quality people to train with, and access to training with them for long sessions…
That’s probably the best way to go. :stuck_out_tongue:

Quality over quantity, but quality + quantity = priceless.


And if you’re playing against quality players that is also more of a social thing anyway so you’ll improve more and have more fun then if you were to play offline


to some extent it is about how long you practice but there are other HUGE factors. Take for example fchamps training regimen versus full schedules training regimen. champ is sponsored and plays hella every day. Full schedule works 40 hours a week and plays once MAYBE twice a week for 8ish hours with some small training in between so maybe 10-12 hrs total a week on avg.

even though champ plays more, he lost to 2 people who don’t play that much in green ace\full schedule.

what you practice and who you practice against also matter just as much as how often you generally sit in training mode.


I practice Marvel for hours a day, yet Im still very bad, FCHAMP I know gets upwards to 16+ training sessions.


You only need a couple of hours a day.