Pro Gamers Should Use Their Real Names

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

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.


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.

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  • Cher’s real name is Cherilyn Sarkisian.
  • Katy Perry’s real name is Katy Hudson.
  • Meg Ryan’s real name is Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra.
  • Woody Allen’s real name is Allen Konigsberg.
  • Joaquin Phoenix’s real name is Joaquin Rafael Bottom.
  • Tina Fey’s real name is Elizabeth Stamatina Fey.
  • Portia De Rossi’s real name is Amanda Lee Rogers.
  • George Michael’s real name; Georgios Panayiotou.
  • Whoopi Goldberg’s real name is Caryn Johnson.

I mean should I go on? Because there is a long history of celebrities using names that ‘sound’ better or names they feel will otherwise open doors.

For a pro-gamer it makes perfect sense to me that their preferred handle might become the name by which they are most recognized. And honestly if I had to make a bet on who would win in a Street Fighter Deathmatch and my choices were “hadoken420" and “Bob Smith” you can bet your ass I’m going to assume hadoken420 is the better player.