eSports: Luke Roberts of DiamondLobby On The 5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In eSports

An Interview With Tyler Gallagher

Tyler Gallagher
Jun 28 · 9 min read

Focus on content creation — any career in eSports competition is short. If you’re extremely lucky you’ll get 10 years at the top. If you’re a regular pro, you’ll likely get 2–5 years of top level competition (again depending on the game). Money runs out fast, I’ve seen enough pros retire and go broke to know that you need to prepare for retirement maybe even before you’ve even made it to the pro scene.

he eSports market size is now more than a billion dollars. Teens and even children as young as 6 can now earn hundreds of thousands of dollars competing in eSports. What does one have to do to succeed as a player in eSports? What are the challenges and opportunities that pro gamers face? What does the eSports lifestyle look like? How is it similar to traditional athletics, and how is it different?

In this interview series, called 5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In eSports, we are interviewing professional gamers, eSports coaches, esports tournament organizers, and executives from gaming companies who share lessons from their experience about the “5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In eSports.”

As part of this series, we had the pleasure to interview Luke Roberts.

Luke is a gaming industry veteran that recently founded DiamondLobby.com. Luke has worked with numerous large clients in the gaming space, including eSports leagues and tournaments, with a focus on ensuring long-term success. These days, he focuses solely on enjoying games and creating content about them.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to ‘get to know you’. Can you tell us a bit about your background and your backstory?

ure! I’ve been gaming for as long as I can remember — I guess most people in the gaming space say that though. My background is originally in marketing and I was lucky enough to work for an agency that had numerous clients in the gaming industry, which I eventually went on to manage. My focus was always on content; ensuring that eSports players and competitions had long-term growth and success in them, rather than just a quick career that quickly fizzles out with reduced reaction times — age gets the better of us all in this department. These days I run DiamondLobby, which has the long-term goal of becoming the number one site for helping people get better at multiplayer games.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this particular career path?

I applied for a marketing job that I liked the look of and I managed to get it — nothing too crazy unfortunately! I had no idea they had gaming clients or that it would be the perfect fit for me though, nor that it would lead me to being in the industry for my entire professional career so far.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you first started? What lesson did you take out of that?

Oh boy. This is an easy one. There was once a time where I had to ship something out to a client that was getting a little agitated as we were behind schedule. As I was rushing around to help them as fast as I can, I sent the worst typo of my life and told the client that I would ‘sh*t’ it out as soon as I could, rather than ‘ship’.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life or your work?

My favorite quote is “pressure makes diamonds”. Super simple, but it applies to both work and gaming. Pressure is hard to deal with but if you use it to your advantage, something great can come out the other side.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting new projects you are working on now?

I only work on DiamondLobby right now, but some of the things we’re working on are really creative and definitely falls outside the realm of what a typical gaming blog would be doing. We’ve employed artists to work on a range of unique tasks that aim to pique the interest of a wider audience, or to spark positive change, or to…I’m saying too much — this stuff is top secret!

What would you tell a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your career? What advice would you give?

I don’t think I would have advice that a young person could follow in terms of emulating what I’ve done, but I get lots of interest from young folk that want to work for my site. My advice would be to create content for yourself. Whether it’s a blog, a Twitch channel, a YouTube channel or whatever else, create content and do so consistently — but only do it for you. Whether anyone is watching or not, assume that no-one is. If you create stuff that you want to see over and over again, eventually people will take notice.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Probably not as much as I’d like to be honest. The only thing I can really do is hire when I have the power to do so, pay a fair wage and encourage staff to work on their own projects too so that they have the potential to do something even bigger and better, and continue to grow.

The truth is that none of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person that made a profound difference in your life to whom you are grateful? Can you share a story?

There are lots of people I’d love to shout out but I’m under pretty strict NDAs unfortunately. I think everyone has that one person they can thank more than anyone else though — for me that would have to be my wife, or God.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Many of our readers may be familiar with gaming, but they haven’t been exposed to the culture of professional gaming. What does the eSports lifestyle look like? What is life like for a professional gamer?

From my experience I would say that the average person has no idea how much work actually goes into being a professional gamer, especially these days. Yes, playing games is enjoyable, but all top teams put incredible amounts of time and energy into practise and content creation. It’s a high pressure environment too, where lots of arguments and finger pointing can happen both mid-game and after a game has finished. There aren’t many off days, especially for those just below the Pro level that are desperate to make it there. If you look at the Challengers division within Call of Duty, which is just below the Call of Duty League, they have a tournament almost every single weekend for a year.

The trend I’ve noticed in recent years is that the lifestyle of a gamer is progressing more towards that of regular sporting stars — this is true for regime, nutrition and more. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this, but I hope they place a bigger emphasis on drug testing, too.

What are the unique opportunities that pro gamers have?

I can only go off what I know within the content creation side of things but the unique opportunity that pro gamers have with regards to being a pro is the platform they’re on. If a regular person started a Twitch stream for the first time, you’d probably have one viewer — yourself with the stream open on your phone. If a pro gamer starts their first ever Twitch stream, they’ll immediately pull in large viewing figures — potentially enough to make a solid living from with no real effort needed. There’s a big demand to watch top players playing any game and a loyal audience will even stick with them if they transition to playing different games.

What are the unique challenges that pro gamers face?

The biggest challenge in my eyes is an extremely simple one: sleep schedule. Sleep is so important (I’m a little obsessed with learning about it to be honest) and gamers will naturally struggle to ever have a good schedule due to tournament times, time zone differences if they have online games against those in different parts of the world, or time zone adjustments if they’ve traveled to a LAN.

How is professional gaming similar to traditional athletics? Can you explain with a story or an example?

I would probably say the biggest similarity comes with the fall outs. In an office environment, you don’t get people having shouting matches on a daily basis. In gaming and eSports, you’re going to have heated debates frequently, and this is something that happens in regular sports too — blaming others for mistakes or trying to get them to do something they’re currently not doing well enough. Again looking at Challengers in Call of Duty, their teams seem to break up every other week due to fallouts and other issues.

How is it different? Can you explain with a story or example?

An obvious one — you can’t do professional sports from the comfort of your own home. Pro gamers prefer LAN environments and rightfully so, but we saw with COVID that the gaming world can still go on (and even grow) with everyone staying inside.

With traditional sports, young people get recruited by talent scouts who work for professional teams. Is it similar with eSports?

I don’t have any knowledge on the scouting side, but gaming is great in the way that usually if you’re the best at something, you’ll be spotted — whether you’re topping leaderboards or pulling in large viewerships from streaming.

If a young person reading this wants to become a professional, paid gamer on an eSports team,, where do they start? What are the steps they need to take to get picked up by a team?

This varies from game to game. I’m a big Age of Empires 2 fan, which has a bit of a cult eSport following — that might surprise a lot of people that played this game as a kid and forgot it existed. In Age, the in-game ranking system is so good that if you’re ranked highly enough, you’ll make it into the big tournaments and get team offers that way. In Call of Duty, you’d need to play Challenger events, grind GBs (Gamebattles) or similar, and hope your team could progress highly enough for you to get spotted by bigger and better organisations. I could list other examples but it really does vary — the number one tip is obvious though; just keep playing and getting your name out there.

Ok. Here is the main question of our discussion. Can you please share “5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In eSports”? If you can, kindly share a story or example for each.

Focus on content creation — any career in eSports competition is short. If you’re extremely lucky you’ll get 10 years at the top. If you’re a regular pro, you’ll likely get 2–5 years of top level competition (again depending on the game). Money runs out fast, I’ve seen enough pros retire and go broke to know that you need to prepare for retirement maybe even before you’ve even made it to the pro scene.

I don’t think I really have 4 other tips that aren’t obvious or going to be shared by other people; work hard, be consistent, always be learning, etc.

Wonderful. We are nearly done. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-)

Oh there are tonnes of people! From Call of Duty, it would be Scump (the King) for sure. From Age, I’d like to meet DauT, he’s a funny and wise player. Outside of gaming, I’d say Jeff Bezos. I’d thank him for all the free Twitch Primes I’ve given away!

How can our readers further follow your work online?

DiamondLobby.com is my only focus right now. I actually deleted almost all personal social media accounts and similar to ensure I could give it my all.

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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