Relationships: one of the many sacrifices made in esports

▲ Khaldor (left) acknowledges his work in esports impacts his ability to form relationships.


Part one of my conversation with Thomas "Khaldor" Kilian where he discusses his ability to tell stories on-stage while dealing with criticism off of it can be found here.


Dedicating your life to mastering a craft requires an internal understanding that sacrifices need to be made if your intention is to be the best you can be.


Relationships with friends, one’s own health and the ability to dedicate enough time and energy to enter the dating world are some of the very common facets of everyday life that are occasionally put on the backburner when you work in an industry as volatile as esports.


Long hours, working weekends and traveling around the world can and do impact those who work “traditional” jobs but esports can take it to extremes at times.


Thomas “Khaldor” Kilian is no stranger to the impact that devoting more than 15 years of his life to esports has had on his ability to find love, enjoy a night out with friends and form intimate relationships with peers around him.


His current schedule requires traveling across the globe every couple months to commentate professional Heroes of the Storm tournament and, when not on the road, his weekends revolve around live broadcasts of the Heroes Global Championship (HGC) circuit.


As great as it sounds to travel the world and have these opportunities, it’s very short-sighted to not consider what is lost in all this work.


“I still have a very good relationship with my dad; I have my friends back home in Germany as well but when it comes to significant others, it has definitely been a problem for sure. It is probably one of the toughest things in esports is that people don't see that you give up most of your social life,” said Khaldor whose tone takes a notable change from his naturally upbeat demeanor.


His thick German accent begins to form words at a slower pace than before, as the selection of the words that follow while discussing this personal topic seem to suggest he’s doing a great deal of self-reflecting in the process.


The picture he’s able to paint with his words begs you to put aside his nearly 90,000 followers on social media, cool on-camera persona he radiates and smile he is sometimes forced to have and look at him as a human being.


“I work when other people have their off time. When other people are at work I have free time, so it is very difficult to make a social life work. Even going out on the weekends is insanely difficult because with the time schedule that we have I normally have to wake up at five or six in the morning so I can't really go out the day before,” said Khaldor. “If you have a normal job you can pull that off every now and then where you could say, ‘Okay, I'm not going to sleep tonight,’ and you could still perform. But the problem is we work in front of a camera so we have to perform. We don't have any downtime during that time frame so we have to have to be absolutely at 100%. Usually, drinking alcohol affects your voice so it is one of the reasons that, even if we are at an offline event where everybody grabs a couple of beers, I usually don't do that because I know how it affects my voice and I have to perform the next day. I also have to look the part so I can't just appear half hungover for work.”


▲ Working on camera and traveling the world sometimes isn't all it's cracked up to be.


The last thing Khaldor will ever do is ask for sympathy, it’s not who he is. His personality is as strong off camera as it is when the lights are on. That being said, you can almost see a chink in his armor  when he talks about how much his career has impacted his dating life, something most take for granted.


“Your social life gets cut down immediately in that also translates directly to the dating scene. In Korea, when I had a girlfriend, it was immediately clear that at some point I was going to leave. The question wasn't if, it was when. Then it is the question of, ‘Is this relationship that you have really grown to the extent to where you could ask yourself and one another if you are willing to go together?’ said Khaldor. “I lived in Korea and before that I lived in Berlin for one year and before that I lived in Australia for a year and afterward I lived in Germany again for two years then I moved to the US. So I have never been anywhere for longer than two to three years and that makes it really difficult especially with that added strain of having completely different time windows for your social life.”


Although he is used to his nomadic lifestyle on the road, his voice takes a sharp, harsh turn upwards when asked if this is how he wants to live long term.


“No, it honestly annoys me. You are very much in the public eye so that gives you certain advantages when you meet people within the scene but, at the same time, I would much prefer having a steady relationship that is long-term. It's very difficult to meet someone in general with the job that I have and get to know new people on that level,” said Khaldor. “There is also, of course, the question of, ‘Do I have to move at some point?’ It is definitely something that I think about. It is not something that keeps me up at night but I would lie if I said I definitely didn't want that to change at some point.”

Sort by:

Comments :0

Insert Image

Add Quotation

Add Translate Suggestion

Language select