With eSports becoming a sport in its own right, many professional eSports gamers have become athletes of sorts, with fan bases and reputations to uphold much like more traditional athletes.
With this in mind, we are going to be taking a look at the history of some of the most famous professional gamers to see how they got their start in the eSports world and what made them such legends in their craft.
Lee Sang Hyeok a.k.a. Faker
It’s impossible to discuss the most infamous pro-gamers without mentioning Faker. Hailing from South Korea, Faker is considered to be one of the greatest League of Legends players of all time.
Beginning his career back in 2013 at age 17, Faker is one of only two players to have won the League of Legends World Championships three times, doing so in 2013, 2015, and 2016.
His skills are thought to have earned him more than one million dollars since he entered the world of professional gaming.
Jian Zi-Hao a.k.a. Uzi
Chinese gamer Uzi is another legendary League of Legends player, known for his impressive mechanical skills in the game, as well as being one of the best players in the world of the character Vayne.
Uzi entered professional gaming in 2012 at the young age of 15 and his strategic skills led to his eSports organization (Royal Never Give Up or RNG) winning various tournaments.
Despite his success in the game- being one of the best players of the game in China- Uzi has since retired from the competitive League of Legends.
Lee Young Ho a.k.a. Flash
Another professional eSports player hailing from South Korea, Lee Young Ho began playing StarCraft: Brood War in 2007- at the young age of 14 – and played StarCraft II competitively from 2011 to 2015.
Flash was known for starting off his career in excellent fashion, quickly racking up wins, and becoming the youngest player to win a premier gaming tournament in Korea when he won the Bacchus OnGameNet Starleague.
This record has yet to be broken, but his career only continued to feature hugely impressive achievements, such as winning five out of seven premier tournaments within the 2009 to 2010 season.
Lee Jae-dong a.k.a. Jaedong
South Korean player Jaedong is another world-renowned professional eSports player who began his career in 2006 as part of the Korean gaming team Hwaseung OZ.
His abilities soon came to the fore as he went on to win his first premier game tournament- the Seoul International eSports Festival – less than two years after he debuted.
Jaedong’s pro-gaming career lasted six years and in that time, he set various records and became known as one of the greatest StarCraft players of all time.
Patrik Lindberg a.k.a. F0rest
Swedish pro-gamer f0rest began his career in 2005 when he competed in the World eSports Games in South Korea with his fellow Swedish team Begrip Gaming.
Playing the video game series Counter Strike, Begrip eliminated their competition, even the reigning champions.
Lindberg went on to drop out of high school after the win and became known as one of the best Counter-Strike players in the world, winning various awards in his career.
He also became known for playing on the well-known eSports organization Fnatic. F0rest is still a prevalent player today, now being a part of the eSports organization Dignitas.
Song Kyung-Ho a.k.a. Smeb
Another League of Legends professional, Smeb began his career in 2012 at the age of 17.
He joined the Hanwha Life eSports organization in Seoul when it was first formed in 2014 (the group was then known as the Tigers) and quickly rose through the ranks, placing second place in the League of Legends World Championship in 2015.
He gained various other accolades during his career too, being named the 2016 MVP of the LCK season and also being considered in the top tier of League of Legends players worldwide.
Smeb is another player who is now retired from competitive League of Legends, but his legacy is certainly a memorable one.
Christopher Alesun, a.k.a. GeT_RiGhT
Alesund is another Swedish pro-gamer whose skills at Counter-Strike made him one of the most prominent eSports Counter-Strike players in the world at the peak of his career.
Alesund has played for various reputable eSports organizations- such as Dignitas and Ninjas in Pajamas – and was also part of the aforementioned Swedish team Begrip Gaming and SK Gaming, a particularly well-known group.
He also managed to win second place in World Cyber Games and whilst he no longer competes professionally, he still streams regularly on Twitch.
Song Eui-Jin a.k.a. Rookie
Another young League of Legends prodigy, Song Eui- Jin- or Rookie- started playing the game back in 2011 when he was just 14 years old.
At age 16, he signed with KT Rolster Arrows and quickly began to impress with his skills.
His age- as well as the ages of some of the other players on the team – meant that he could not play in the 2014 World Championships, but he and his team were still able to finish in first place at the Champions Summer event in the same year.
Rookie is currently part of the Macanese eSports organization Victory Five and is still very much considered to be one of the best League of Legends players in eSports.
These are just a few of some of the most famous eSports athletes from across various gaming spheres, as well as a few of their individual histories.
There are tons of other players that have managed to make a name for themselves in the field of eSports.
As eSports and the video game community continues to grow exponentially, there is no doubt that there will be plenty more eSports gamers who will appear over the next few years and go on to make history in the world of professional gaming!