How hard is it to go pro?


I’ve heard various figures being tossed around, from hundreds to thousands of hours of practice. I know Daigo has a pretty grueling training regime, from what I’ve read at least.

I used to play Guilty Gear semi-competitively and I was decent (I think!) but I had lousy sparring partners and back in those days, no YT or SRK to learn from.

I know it seems great on the outside - do what you love for a living, play fighting games! But how do the pros live and get there?

Have Googled some but well, this is the biggest fighting game forum on the Net so there is bound to be good info here. :slight_smile:



Don’t shoot for “going pro”. If you love fighting games just find your local scene and play/level up with them. Travel to a major every so often. Don’t count on living off of tournament winnings, I don’t think anyone lives off of just those.

Besides, there isn’t really a “pro scene” vs. a “semi-pro/amateur scene” in the FGC. This ain’t Dota or CSGO. The upper echelon isn’t populated by people backed by big name sponsors who live cushy lives just streaming and playing video games. Squash that fantasy while you can.


I’d imagine you would have to both have an affinity for fighting games, and a serious competitive drive. Then you would need a lifestyle that could work around your training/competing schedule. Playing fighting games for a living should probably be the last thing on you mind. If you’re that driven for money, then you should probably put that towards a high-paying college degree or starting a business, but that’s just my opinion.


It was more of a just wondering thing, something that has always been in the back of my mind.


I got into the “pro” scene in England whilst in college about 10 years ago when it was a lot younger, but essentially you need 3 things:

  1. Friends or others to play with on a regular basis that are of a high quality, this is a lot different to online randoms and you will find you wont lose your passion for the game as quickly after just a few games.
  2. Access to local-ish tournaments that are run on a frequent basis.
  3. The ability to admit that you are average at best… if you can commit 4 hours a day, then another person can commit 8 and so on. I generally came top 4 in smash bros but couldnt even break top 16 of marvel vs capcom.

  1. I think this is what I lacked in the past. I had competition but it wasn’t really good. Is it any better online?

  2. My country is too small to have that many competitions. :frowning: I was thinking online could make up for it but maybe it can’t…

  3. I guess 8 hours a day spent playing fighting games is really too much, now that I think of it. :slight_smile:

How was your experience in the pro circuit? Did you like it? Win much?


Chances are if you need “good competition” then you aren’t THAT great yourself. In this day and age there are plenty of YouTube videos detailing strategies, and there are vids of the best players in the world playing that you can emulate. So basically if you have the talent you should be good enough to reach top 64 or whatever in most tournies. From there though you will need to get better people to play against.

8 hours a day is less than what your average “pro” player plays every day when they are starting out and getting good at these games. Guys that have been at it for years can play less and still be quite good, but the initial time sink needed to get good QUICK requires a shitload of time put in. Simply put, if you are a beginner and are putting less than 4 hours a day in, there is basically no way you can get up to world class strength… Even if you are a prodigy.

The best way to play fighting games for the majority of people is to try and maximize your time involved in training and take pleasure in personal goals accomplished like mastering a character at a decent level ro just getting better yourself.

Simply putting in lots of time is no guarantee of success though. There are people out there that play 12 plus hours a day and are barely mediocre players.


Again, there is no such thing as a “pro circuit”. There are just tournaments of varying sizes that are open entry. If your idea of “going pro” is just attending tournaments then it isn’t nearly as big of a deal as you are making it out to be.

What country do you live in?



My time spent playing fighting games was more than a few years ago…maybe 6 to 8, I can’t be sure now. I did go to a couple of local tourneys. I trained in the age without Youtube or videos or any of that stuff, so it was much harder. Never played online so I have no real idea how good or bad I am. I beat some of the people that Singapore sent to represent it in other countries, though (like Super Battle Opera) Of course, I got beat a lot more.

I kind of enjoy the training, but I also kind of enjoy doing other things as well.


Some reasons why the FGC tournament scene is not professional:

-Most tournaments are grassroots with amateur production quality
-Most tournaments are open entry instead of invitational, which makes events less prestigious
-Most tournaments don’t have large cash prizes (compare DOTA/LoL with prizes in the millions while only 3-5k for most FG tournaments)
-It’s rumored that most teams don’t pay their players a salary, and the few that do don’t give a monthly salary that is livable; that is paying a player enough money so that they can quit their day job and live solely off of FGs.

Being a top player, I guess is more of attainable goal, but then again, it also depends what you describe a top player to be. If it’s someone who can get top 8 at a premier event, for a game like SF5 that’s going to be very difficult, especially where you live in Asia, which has more than enough top players to prevent you from getting top 8 at an event if they all show up to it.

Personally, I recommend putting the same time trying to become a top player into being an artist or musician. Nowadays, it’s far more easier to put out your work for people to consume, and if your work is decent enough, chances are you will develop a niche or small following which will give you minor fame and even some money. For example, there are indie game developers, 3D and illustration artists that I’ve seen on Patreon making 2,000 - 6,000 USD per month for their efforts. I used to like reading Megatokyo back in the day but even I admit that Fred’s art is not very good, yet he’s managed to live off his comic and art for more than 15 years.