The life of a professional esports player isn't exactly an easy one. From investing hours practicing with the team to continually having to put on your game face during regular scrim matches, it can be grueling on the body and mind.
And this is one of the reasons why we see a lot of them just dropping out of the professional scene that they are so passionate about and take on a new career in streaming. From inconsistent performances to mental and physical burnout, the reasons for a professional player leaving the competitive stage are many.
In our list, we will talk about five former professional esports personalities who decided to quit the competitive stage and take up full-time streaming as their new career choice.
Five pros who quit to pursue streaming full-time
1. Michael "Imaqtpie" SantanaImage Credits: HyperX
After the 2014 LCS Summer Split, the prolific League of Legends ADC for Dignitas, Imaqtpie, decided to quit professional LOL and invest more time in live streaming, as that is what he loved doing the most.
Known for his incredible Corki pick, Imaqtpie's presence in professional League of Legends dates back to its nascent years. Before Dignitas, Imaqtpie was in a squad called Rock Solid along with Joe "Voyboy" Esfahani, William "Scarra" Li, and commentator-turned-coach Joshua "Jatt" Leesman.
Imaqtpie is one of the most popular Twitch streamers at the moment, and boasts over 2.7 million followers.
2. Michael “Shroud” GrzesiekImage Credits: The Loadout
Even after enjoying quite a lucrative and successful time in Cloud9's CS: GO roster, Shroud decided to call it quits from the whole professional stage in 2018, and decided to take up full-time streaming instead.
The 'aim god' is by far one of the most successful FPS streamers in the world, and after Mixer went under, he made a triumphant return to Twitch, where he has an incredible follower count of 7.8 million.
There was a lot of speculation about him going pro in Valorant, or making YouTube his new streaming home, but Shroud eventually came back 'home' to Twitch.
3. Tyler "Ninja" BlevinsImage Credits: Ninja
Since his Halo 3 days back in 2009, Ninja has had a very eventful playing career in video games. He started as a Halo 3 professional and then moved onto games like H1Z1, PUBG, and Fortnite Battle Royale for Luminosity Gaming.
However, Ninja did stream on the side, and with Fortnite’s increasing popularity, he raised his total number of subscribers. The American soon decided to leave the pro scene behind and take to streaming full time.
He has broken Twitch viewership records multiple times. After the fall of Mixer, it would seem that Ninja will not be going back to gaming, but rather sticking to creating content for YouTube.
4. Tyler "Skadoodle" LathamImage Credits: TheScore Esports
Much like Shroud, Skadoodle, too, was a part of the Cloud9 CS: GO roster, and they both quit the professional stage in 2018 to take up streaming as a career.
That very year, Skadoodle was also named the MVP of the ELEAGUE Boston Major, right after C9 upset FaZe Clan during the grand finals. The squad came back from an 11-15 situation in the third map, Inferno, to win the competition 22-19.
Skadoodle demonstrated what was the most phenomenal performance in his entire career as an AWPer, and topped the server with 26 kills.
After taking up streaming, he is back on the professional stage again, and is now a part of the T1 Valorant roster.
5. Zach "Sneaky" ScuderiSneaky cosplaying as Pool Party Caitlyn (Image credits: Sneaky)
By the end of League of Legends Season 9 and the beginning of Season 10, one of Cloud9'sCloud9's most celebrated ADC carry's, Sneaky, decided to call it quits with the organization after being benched, and he did not want to fight to get his spot back.
He soon started to invest a lot of his time doing what he loved the most, and that was streaming a variety of video games, including Call of Duty: Warzone, along with coming up with some of the most incredible cosplays.
However, he is still an avid fan of League of Legends, and you can see him streaming the game quite often.