Pro Gamers Should Use Their Real Names 

Pro Gamers Should Use Their Real Names 

Here’s some helpful advice from me, a guy with a surface-level interest in esports, to you, the pro gamer: Use your real name instead of some gamer handle.

Me and my friends, Josh, Ricky, Steve and Gary playing games. Photo credit: AP

I’m sure that you have heard this before, from some jerk looking down his nose at you, but let me assure you that I do respect games and gamers. Yes, it does sound pretty silly when a Smash commentator has to say “Dr PeePee” many times in a serious voice…

… but that is not why I want you to abandon your handle. I want you to leave it behind because I want you to humiliate your opponents.

Imagine this: You, an Injustice 2 pro, are in the middle of a hotly contested match against your fiercest rival, the man known as xTraP, or some shit. You pull off an incredible victory, at which point the broadcaster, overcome by the moment, screams, “And it’s all over! xTraP has been defeated by Greg!”

Greg: That’s you. Why are you going by Greg in this Injustice 2 tournament? Because imagine how much it must sting to be xTraP and know that you just got wrecked by a guy named Greg.

Imagine how sad QuantumRa7 will be when he is felled by Brad. Krullxxx89 will be bereft when he loses to Steve. Will I4Q7 even be able to keep playing after she is defeated by Rachel?

I think you see my point.


  • Or you know… They dont want to be stalked and harassed. Knowing someones full name can easily lead to you finding out a lot more personal information about the person.

    • That ship has sailed. Anyone who’s anyone in professional gaming’s real name is only a google search away.

      …much like basically any other internet celebrity in the modern day, really.

      Personally I like the fact that everybody uses an alias in gaming culture, but realistically it’ll probably go away as the hobby continues to become more and more mainstream. I think this article was mostly a joke though.

      • I find Aliases much easier to remember too, especially when talking about Korean Starcraft players.
        I’m pretty bad at remembering peoples names in English, when the names are also from a language I don’t speak it becomes even harder.
        But if someone said something like Byun played Elazer, iAsonu, Neeb and Probe in some tournament, I’d know exactly who they were talking about, that it had players from all over the world, and I’d feel sad for the Aussie who ended up in such a tough group.

        Related: There are lots of Alex’s playing Starcraft, but there is only one Neeb.

  • spot on, but not so much for the humiliation aspect, it just brings more credibility to the “sport”

    Also it makes the whole esports thing less cringeworthy…

  • What a stupid article, people don’t use their names because of the amount of abuse that can occur online, which is only increased when you become a figure within a scene like pro gaming.

    • What a stupid article, people don’t use their names because of the amount of abuse that can occur online

      As said above, anyone who’s anyone in professional gaming’s real name is only a google search away.

    • Shrug. Doesn’t seem like that’s really the reason the handles are used, given that the real names are used around the pro events anyway.

      Watched an interview on ABC breakfast news a couple weeks ago with someone, [first name] ‘Shadowfax’ [surname]. They did not call her Shadowfax.

      At this point I’m guessing it’s a quirky little throwback to earlier times.

      • My theory is that players use their handles because that’s the name they become known under.

        When you start getting attention in high-level online multiplayer, it’s going to be under whatever handle you’re using at the time. If you’re known as GamerGuy773 when playing casually, why change it when doing the same thing professionally? After all, part of professional gaming is cashing in your personal brand.

        Funnily enough, the article mentions Injustice 2 and the fighting game scene is where there’s the most people playing under their real name. It probably has something to do with the arcade scene.

        • Hell, we still do that in meet-ups. It becomes a nickname rather than a handle. Context-sensitive.

        • Fair point. If they all used arcade scoreboard names there’d be a lot of people named SEX, ASS and AAA on the scene.

          Edit – It sure would be swell to not get every comment I ever leave stuck in moderation limbo for hours :/

  • Personally, if you’re entering a pro level like any other type of athlete you should use your real name, this isn’t just a thing for commentators and such but for viewers at home. All other professional sports require and only use real names so eSports should not be an exception particularly if they want to be taken seriously by the uninitiated.

  • Then people will whinge that casters can’t pronounce the many eastern European and Asian names correctly.

    Gamer tags are good, and helps uniquely identify every player, and every tourney usually goes Firstname “Gamer Tag” Lastname anyway.

    • Uhhh football(soccer) has lots of world names from every continent and presenters/fans/commentators have not difficulty saying their names, that includes teams from Japan/China/Korea so that just seems like laziness rather than a legitimate complaint. Also it’s not up to a player eSport/Sports to have a name easy pronounceable for a caster anyway, it’s up to the caster to learn how to say each and every single player’s name.

    • If the casters can’t take an hour to brush up on the local pronunciation of the players names, then they just aren’t doing their job

  • Does it really matter that much? Just like roses, the name is unimportant and it’s what it represents that’s important. People get just as hyped when they hear “Daigo” as they do “Punk”.

  • Or I think they should go the other way and go Full Pro Wrestling and about personalities and characters and grand parade themselves.

    The gamers are detached from the screen its hard to follow them since they lack personality or showman ship.

  • I said this once on a Kotaku article about some fighting tournament where a competitor had the handle ‘Luffy’ , and people downvoted the shit out of me.

  • Nah, it’s refreshing that they actually have unique and identifiable (while usually being one word) names and can have a fun persona associated with it.

  • To all the people complaining about it being used to track them down… errrr… so Steph Curry should start going by xXAngel_Fetus88Xx?

  • As long as the handle they use isn’t ridiculous and impossible to verbalise in a brief moment there should be no reason to use real names if they don’t want. I think going forward it would be wise if their real names were used alongside their handle (eg John “xxxZergKillerxxx” Smith) but still use their handles during gameplay commentary

  • How about musicians/rappers? Should all rappers and musicians also just use their regular names as well because it’s silly that a woman is called Lady Gaga or a guy is called 50 cent?

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