From hobby to career: stories of professional Esports players

Do you ever sit at home watching CS2 Major or LEC and LCS and wonder how the pro players became what they are today? There are many great pro players on the esports scene at the moment. Many of them started playing video games at a very early age, but each story is different. I chose to talk about the best, or at least, some of the best players in CS2, League of Legends, and VALORANT and their journey to greatness. Let’s dive in.

Stories of greatness

Without a doubt, the majority of video game lovers play games for fun and out of a hobby. In some rare cases, the hobby can become a very well-paid career. That’s what happened to s1mple, Faker, and TenZCS, League of Legends, and VALORANT best.

Faker and T1

Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok is considered the best in League of Legends. His story begins with a single parent who was sure his son would make it as a pro player. Since the inception of the esports industry eastern Asian countries have first recognized the potential of the industry and invested in it. Faker’s father nudged the Unkillable Demon King to start playing games. T1 midlaner began his journey with a MOBA game called CHAOS. After that, he switched to LoL, sometime in late 2011. It wasn’t long after that T1 (SKT1) contacted him to play in their second team.

Faker who had just started high school decided to pursue the gamer dream and drop out. The rest as they say is history. Only two years later, in 2013, he won his first World Championship, and now as we know he has four, along with countless domestic titles in LCK.

S1mple’s struggling journey

Another player considered (and probably is/was) the best in his game is Oleksandr ”s1mple” Kostyliev. Just like Faker, s1mple also started gaming early on. He started by playing Counter-Strike 1.6 inspired by his older brother who he used to watch play. As there was only one computer in the house, s1mple didn’t have the possibility to play whenever he wanted, but to wait his turn. Something I think many of us with a sibling can relate to.

S1mple started playing CS:GO as soon as it was released in 2012. He played the game for one year before he stepped into the competitive scene in a semi-pro tournament with the local team Lan Dodgers. After that, he signed for Courage Gaming and then HellRaisers who had many superstar players in the team. This led to one of the problems in his early career resulting in toxic behavior. That and the ban from his CS 1.6 days made him miss a couple of majors. However, in the end, as we know he became a well-respected AWPer and now has around 20 MVPs, Major, and other high-tier tournament titles under his name.

Race for best VALORANT player

Pro VALORANT players in most cases switched from CS:GO to the Riot’s FPS. The same thing goes for TenZ, who is considered one of the best in the game. Tyson “TenZ” Ngo started playing video games when he was only three years old. At the age of 15, he competed at his first LAN event which his mom first had to approve. Similar to Faker and his father, TenZ’s mother also saw the potential in gaming (even though it took some convincing).

After high school TenZ signed for Cloud9 and competed shortly for their CS:GO team. Some time he was a streamer for the org and then VALORANT beta came knocking on his door. TenZ became the first player to hit Radiant on VALORANT and that brought him a lot of recognition and respect. The fact that he is protanomaly colorblind didn’t stop him from making 40 kills on Breeze at VCT 2022: North America Stage 2 Challengers tournament. As VALORANT is still young we have yet to see what Tenz will do in the future. So far he already has two VCT titles and a couple of MVP awards.

Seven exciting years of A1 Adria League in the making!

Believe it or not, we have been through six years (2024 being the seventh one) and 12 exciting seasons of the A1 Adria League while two new ones are awaiting this year. We have come very far since the inception of the league and our first tournament. After many different games and a lot of format changes, we have arrived at today. Take a look at what made the A1 Adria League great, enjoy a trip down memory lane, and reminisce together with us.

From 2017 to today

Everything began with three games and at that time unknown teams. Today we are proud to have hosted some of the best European names in League of Legends, CS:GO, now CS2, and FIFA. Valiance&CO won the league in the first season with Nexa and Hunter who are now playing best European CS2 tournaments with G2 Esports. And that’s not all. That same season we also saw Sacre compete who would later go on to play in EU LCS.

Similar to the initial season, the second one was remarkable as well. That is when we changed the name of the league from VIP Adria League to A1 Adria League, added two new games, Clash Royale and Hearthstone, went mobile, and introduced a new tournament format.

The year 2018 and seasons 3 and 4 introduced Dota in the A1 Adria League and we have seen a tremendous rise in the prize pool between these two seasons. While Team uNIQUE took home 1000 euros, the winners of the 4th season in CS:GO ex-BLUEJAYS won 5000 euros.

CS:GO and FIFA in their prime

Moving forward to next year, Dota 2 and Hearthstone were replaced with Brawl Stars, a game that is still immensely popular and one of our featured games today. Many players who are still competing in 2024 in A1AL made their debuts in season 5 such as Tarik Novo, Esad Memic, brstimir in FIFA, and 4glory and Blink in CS:GO. Now as we know, Tarik Novo has six titles behind him and is expected to win even more.

As we know everything has an end except League of Legends, and in that matter, this MOBA made its return in 2021 with seasons 7 and 8 when Split Riders and Metamoon triumphed. While Tarik started his reign in FIFA. That year we unfortunately didn’t have LAN at the end of the year but we survived COVID better than we hoped as we had almost 30.000 watched hours with more than 200.000 live views.

The return of the LAN

The year 2022 brought back the LAN event and besides that, the finish of the jubilee 10th season of the A1 Adria League watched over 100,000 unique viewers. We introduced new games and a mini-tournament format where the additional games were played for one or two weekends instead of the whole season. Such was PUBG where Entropiq took the title, League of Legends, F1, and VALORANT who made its debut.

We didn’t stop at seven games and last year we had a total of nine different games and competitions. With CS:GO (now CS2), FIFA23 (now EAFC24), and Brawl Stars as main games, we introduced for the first time Fortnite, Trackmania and Rainbow Six Siege. Additionally, League of Legends, PUBG, and VALORANT stayed in the league as mini-tournaments.

Season 12 last November had an amazing LAN finish where the titles went out to Tarik Novo in EAFC24, Salada de Frutas in Brawl Stars, Zero Tenacity in CS2, and SHAQ came victorious in EAFC24 Mobile. Apart from the games, we hosted many different events as a part of Reboot InfoGamer powered by A1 with more than 50 hours of entertainment and a prize pool of more than 17,000 euros.

We already mentioned that this season the prize pool will be a whopping 40,000 euros and that the competition will be as exciting as ever with the first qualifiers starting at the beginning of June.

Get ready and sign up!

Check out what happened in the third A1AL qualifiers week!

The third week since the beginning of the 12th A1 Adria League season is already behind us. Many interesting matches were played, and excitement wasn’t absent. We even crowned the first champion in this A1AL season in League of Legends. Read on to learn more about FIFA23, FIFA Mobile, CS: GO, and LoL tournament results.

Shaq wins the second FIFA Mobile qualifiers

Unlike the first qualifier in FIFA Mobile, our new A1 Adria League tournament, the second didn’t see many surprises and upsets. At the top of the leaderboard are currently Kayozz, the winner of the first qualifier, and Shaq. These two players bested their opponents on their side of the bracket and made it to the finals. There, Shaq managed to snatch a victory from Kayozz and claim 120 points.

This puts him in the second place, while Kayozz remains the first with 200 points. He obtained 80 points in second place in the second FIFA Mobile qualifier. Ivand and Nerko are sharing the third spot with 90 points overall.

There is still time to earn more points and secure the group stage by signing up for the third qualifier set on September 22nd. You can do it HERE!

Third FIFA23 qualifier without a winner!

In the third FIFA23 qualifier, Teo “Sibirski_Plavac” Radman was the one who reached the finals and won 100 points. However, we found out another player was playing on his account and climbing in his place. Harun “Hara” Parla, a known FIFA player in the region, was boosting Teo, leading to both players being disqualified from the league.

Since these two players are now out of the league, the leaderboard in FIFA23 looks a bit different. Novo and Marac are still at the top with 140 points each. Haris, who made it to the finals in the third qualifier, has 90 points, followed by Esad Memic and Brstimir with 80 and 70 points, respectively.

The last FIFA23 qualifier will be played on September 23rd. Sign up for it HERE!

Underdogs Salamander and Megnatos made it to CS: GO group stage!

Out of 36 teams, only two could secure the group stage in the last CS: GO qualifier. Those teams were Salamander and Megnatos, who bested some familiar CS: GO players in the region and wider. They are the last two teams to make it to the group stage and join 4 qualified and 2 invited ones.

GhoulsW made another appearance but couldn’t get past ZGOINGON in the quarter-finals with HOLMES-, aidKiT, and choiv7 in their roster. However, this team didn’t make it far from there. They lost in the next round to Megnatos. Some of the names worth mentioning that also couldn’t secure groups are cerber-, deb0, v1w, and vAloN9, who we know from Kosovo organization X, and gejmzilla, who returned to A1 Adria League after a couple of seasons. Unfortunately, he will have to wait for the next one.

DZANGLERI are the new LoL champions!

Out of 16 teams, DZANGLERI made it to the end and won the first mini-tournament of the 12th A1 Adria League season, League of Legends. Another title goes into the hands of DZANGLERI, who also came on top in the ninth A1AL season. Panj also took another trophy home after showing up in many A1AL seasons.

The champions defeated VoidEsport in the finals 2:0 and rightfully claimed the throne and the 750 euros prize.

Close to winning were HARMONY and Stara Garda, previous champions in the A1 Adria League in this tournament. Both teams made it to the semifinals but weren’t successful. They battled against one another in the match for third place, where Stara Garda celebrated with a 1:0 score.

More new games and mini-tournaments are coming, so make sure to check our social media accounts and follow us for the latest news!

Upcoming League of Legends Tournament Set to Thrill Fans!

League of Legends enthusiasts, mark your calendars! The A1 Adria League is back with another thrilling esports event, and this time it’s a one-day tournament set to take place on September 7th at 18:00. As part of the twelfth season (S12) of the A1 Adria League, this League of Legends competition promises to be action-packed and full of excitement.

The tournament boasts a generous prize pool of 750 euros, making it a highly competitive battleground for teams looking to prove their skills and claim the top spot. With stakes this high, you can expect some intense matches and jaw-dropping plays from the participating teams.

To be a part of this epic showdown, all you need to do is sign up. Head over to the tournament’s registration page and secure your spot. Gather your team, strategize, and get ready to face off against some of the region’s fiercest competitors.

League of Legends Tournament – September 7th

Whether you’re a dedicated esports fan or a player looking to make your mark in the League of Legends scene, this tournament is an opportunity you won’t want to miss. So, gear up, sharpen your skills, and get ready to be a part of the A1 Adria League’s exciting S12 journey.

Stay tuned for more updates and make sure to tune in on September 7th at 18:00 to witness some of the best League of Legends action in the region. It’s going to be a day filled with epic battles and unforgettable moments!



We’re kicking off A1 Gaming Weekends with League of Legends

The A1 Adria League is excited to unveil the next installment of the A1 Gaming Weekends, a series of tournaments encompassing various popular games. We are pleased to present the inaugural tournament of this series, featuring the widely acclaimed multiplayer online battle arena game, League of Legends (LoL), specifically targeting the EUNE region.

A1 Gaming Weekend League of Legends Details

Game & Region: League of Legends on the EUNE server.

Time & Date: On July the 16th, 17:00 CEST

Check-in Period: Teams are required to check-in 45 minutes before the tournament start time. Prompt check-in is crucial to ensure smooth proceedings.

Team Size: The tournament will follow a 5vs5 format, with each team allowed to have two substitutes. It is essential for participants to have their substitutes ready to step in if needed.

Entry Fee: We are delighted to announce that the A1 Gaming Weekends’ first LoL tournament is free to enter. We aim to provide an accessible and inclusive environment for players of all backgrounds to compete.

Format: The tournament will be conducted in a Single Elimination format. Teams will face off against each other, with the victors advancing to subsequent rounds while the defeated teams exit the competition. This intense format promises thrilling clashes and fierce battles throughout the event.

Prize Pool: Participants will have the opportunity to secure 250€ for the first place.

Registration Link: To register your team and secure a spot in this tournament, please visit the following link:

Join Us for the A1 Gaming Weekends: LoL Tournament on EUNE Server

The A1 Adria League invites all passionate League of Legends players in the EUNE region to join us for an exhilarating showdown in our first A1 Gaming Weekends tournament. This is an excellent opportunity for teams to showcase their skills, test their mettle against worthy adversaries, and vie for the prestigious hardware prizes at stake.

Gather your team, register, and prepare for an adrenaline-fueled battle in the Summoner’s Rift. Stay tuned for further updates and announcements on our official website,

Together, let’s embark on an unforgettable gaming journey and embrace the spirit of competition in the A1 Gaming Weekends.

Harmony finally wins the trophy in the A1 Adria League!

On Thursday, April 6th, the first mini-tournament in the 11th season of the A1 Adria League was played. Through this one day, we have seen more than 20 teams compete for the top prize and a trophy in League of Legends. The battle was fierce and we saw some great and exciting games. In the end, the team who climbed all the way to the top and became the champion was Harmony.

Harmony dominated the tournament

After many brilliant performances from Harmony in A1 Adria League, the prize for this team has finally arrived. Harmony is a well-known name in A1AL, and we have seen them compete in the previous two seasons as well. The title was always near, but Harmony couldn’t get it. Twice they reached the grand finals, and twice they were on the verge of winning the whole thing. This year it finally happened, and it was deservedly.

Needless to say, the North Macedonian team was a force to be reckoned with in this tournament. Their first two matches didn’t even last 30 minutes, and their opponents kept surrendering even before losing an inhibitor! Up until the finals Harmony was stomping their opponents in the Bo1 match. In the grand finals, they took on team Elitni Odredi, but they weren’t a problem either, as Harmony became a champion with a 2:0 score.

As a winner Harmony received a 600€ prize, while the runner-up took home 300€. We also had a battle for third place and a 100€ prize between Panda Claus’ Party and SPIRITUAL ZERO – REFORMED, where the latter got the win.

The first mini-tournament is successfully over, but there is no reason to fret, as we have more of these coming soon. The next up is the VALORANT tournament, which will be played next week, April 13th. For Riot’s FPS game, you can sign up HERE!


Battle for Glory: A1 Adria League’s League of Legends Tournament

Are you a League of Legends player looking for a chance to compete and potentially win big? Look no further than the A1 Adria League’s Season 11 one-day League of Legends tournament! This exciting event is open to all League of Legends players from the region and features a total prize pool of 1000 euros.

Taking place on April 6th, the tournament will be played in a single elimination bracket format, ensuring that every match is intense and competitive. With no qualifiers required, this is your chance to showcase your skills and potentially take home the top prize of 600 euros. Second and third-place finishers will also receive prizes of 300 and 100 euros, respectively. The matches will be Bo1 with the finals being Bo3 series.

Registration is free and open, so what are you waiting for? Sign up now at the link below and get ready to compete against some of the best League of Legends players in the region. This is a great opportunity for amateur players to test their skills and potentially make a name for themselves in the League of Legends community.


Whether you’re an experienced player or just starting out, this tournament promises to be an exciting event that you won’t want to miss. With a chance to win big and compete against some of the top players in the region, there’s never been a better time to join the action and showcase your skills on the League of Legends stage.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to be a part of the A1 Adria League’s one-day League of Legends tournament. Register now and get ready to battle it out for your share of the 1000 euro prize pool!



Stara Garda is the new A1AL LoL champion!

Once again the tournament in League of Legends appeared in the A1 Adria League. After a very exciting qualifier, four teams took their spot in the playoffs. The League of Legends playoffs were played last week and we got the champion for the tenth A1AL in the most popular MOBA game. Stara Garda was the best team in the competition and took the title.

Stara Garda on top

The four top teams in this season League of Legends competition were HARMONY, Fantastic eSports, Whatever Esports, and the new champions. The bracket brought us two semifinals where we saw Stara Garda compete against team Whatever Esports, while HARMONY took on the Fantastic team.

LoL playoffs bracket

As expected, the teams that advanced to the upper bracket’s finals were Stara Garda and HARMONY. The latter we know very well in A1AL as they also made it to the grand finals in our eighth season. However, Garda took down their opponents with a 2:0 win and sent HARMONY to the lower bracket. There HARMONY waited for either Whatever or Fantastic Esports. HARMONY came out victorious in the lower bracket’s final and went on to face Garda again. This time there was no time for mistakes as the prize was waiting.

The scenery was the same. Stara Garda demolished HARMONY once again with the same score of 2:0. This team actually didn’t lose a single game in the playoffs, which showed how dominant their performance was. The roster made out of Coatpustmain, Velja, MarrowOoze, Lelouch, and Shone took home the title and the 700€ prize.


League of Legends playoffs are just around the corner!

League of Legends made its appearance in yet another season of the A1 Adria League. Much like last season LoL format contains qualifications and playoffs, where the top four teams will compete. The top four contenders for this season are Fantastic eSports, HARMONY, Stara Garda, and Pedantic esports.

Who will lift the trophy?

More than 50 teams registered for this season’s qualifier in League of Legends. Unfortunately, there was a bracket limit, so we saw the overall of 32 teams compete for only four spots in the playoff stage. There were a lot of surprises in these qualifications, and we have seen some familiar names compete for the next stage and a chance to be the best team in the region.

On one side of the bracket, it was L9 Exodia and HARMONY who were fighting for the semifinals and a ticket to the playoff stage. In their Bo3 duel, it was HARMONY, the eighth-season finalist, who was stronger. They took the win with a 2:0 score. Pedantic esports did the same with their opponents, also ending the deciding match with a 2:0 win.

The biggest surprise in the past LoL qualifier was Fantastic eSports who dominated the competition, eliminating two very familiar names in the region. They defeated Diamant Esports, who we know from EBL, and 49% winrate who were also in the top four in the eighth season. Diamant Esports not making it to the playoffs is the biggest upset of the season, seeing that in EBL Summer Split they were the third-best team.

The fourth contender for the title is team Stara Garda who defeated team TEMTG with a 2:0 score.

The finals, i.e. playoffs in the League of Legends competition in the tenth A1 Adria League season are scheduled for Saturday, October 15th. The matches begin at 2 PM and the bracket will be double elimination, so there is little space for mistakes. The winner will take a 700€ prize!



Sign up for the League of Legends qualifiers!

It’s time we get back to the Summoner’s Rift. League of Legends qualifiers for Season 10 of the A1 Adria League are coming closer. Start watching Worlds and getting ready to claim that prize money and trophy.

A1 Adria League Season 10 League of Legends Qualifiers

League of Legends will consist of two phases in the tenth season. The first phase is an open qualifier in which all the teams from the region will have the opportunity to secure the playoff. Only the Top 4 teams will advance to the playoffs. The qualifier will be played in a single-elimination format with all matches being in the Bo1 series while deciding matches will be played in the Bo3 series. This way only the best teams will advance and have a chance to compete for the 1000€ prize pool. Already 36 teams have signed up for the qualifiers so make sure to claim your spot in time and don’t wait for the last moment. The qualifier will take place on the 8th of October.


The playoffs will be played exactly one week later on the 15th of October when we’ll find out who will claim the trophy! The schedule is made in a way that doesn’t interfere with the League of Legends World Championship. The play-In phase of the Worlds starts on the 29th of September and matches are played late at night since teams are competing in the United States. See you on the Rift! If you need additional motivation to hype you up, try listening to the League of Legends Worlds Anthem. More info can be found on the competition page.