A lot. A whole lot.
Being a professional at any game means being the best in the world. In other words, it’s beating out the rest of the competition with skill and style.
For League of Legends, that means being better than 80 million monthly players.
That’s right…80 million.
The level of skill, knowledge, and dedication it takes to be the top 0.1% of 80 million players is absolutely ludicrous.
So how much time does it take to get this good?
The players of Team Liquid commented that they practice for a minimum of 50 hours a week. That’s the bare minimum, often playing for more. This is far more than most full-time jobs, so if you want to become a pro so you can have it easy, you’ve another thing coming.
Keep in mind, Team Liquid, while being the best team in North America, barely crack the top 10 globally. So if 50 hours a week is only enough for the top 10, think about how much is necessary for the rest.
It’s not uncommon to see players put in 15-hour days, 7 days per week. It’s grueling, but that’s what it takes to become a world champion.
The Korean Region
Korea is notorious for its military-like intense training regimes. As previously mentioned, 15-hour days are not an uncommon sight.
That said, it’s because of this mentality that Korea is widely regarded as the strongest region in the world, with three teams reaching the top 10 this year.
It’s not just League of Legends though, Starcraft II, DOTA, and Overwatch all get their share of ridiculous practice hours from the Koreans, and in general, they also hold the top spots in those games too.
The mentality is that if you play five games versus your opponent’s three games per day, then that’s 21 extra games per week, or 84 extra games per month. Over the course of years that makes a massive difference.
It’s Not Always That Extreme, Though
While the best of the best needs this level of practice to defend their position, there are plenty of pro teams out there with more balanced regimes similar to average working days.
8-hour days, 5-day weeks. Plenty of teams adopt this mantra to great success.
In fact, some of the best coaches in the world prefer this schedule, citing a quality over quantity approach. They also fear that the extreme hours can have negative effects on their player's gameplay.
There are no scrims (practice games between pro teams) during the offseason of the LCS.
During this time, players are free to spend their time doing as they wish, whether that’s play League solo or otherwise. Solo queuing is not enforced by any of the professional teams, however, plenty of players still choose to do this in order to avoid getting rusty.
Some players also use this time to stream. Playing League for fun with their audience, helping them establish their individual following and increase their stock as a player.