what gaming chairs do the pros use? To reach the top, pro esports players train full-time, racing their minds to max levels. To excel, they need effective sitting support. In 2020, most elite esports players, streamers, and teams use PC computing chairs. Learn which gaming or task chairs today’s top esports pros use to boost performance.
Esports as a spectator sport emerged in the late 1990s. Today, it’s a billion-dollar industry. Millions follow streaming mega-stars like Ninja, PewDiePie, and Shroud. Tens of millions watch global tournaments streamed live. In those, the world’s most skilled players play the games everybody loves at the highest professional level.
Esports championship prize pools are already larger than those for winning Wimbledon or PGA Majors. More people watch esports finals than NBA or World Series broadcasts.
For organizers, it’s an effective way to gain massive exposure with very low production costs. A stadium esports event needs lighting, music, a set for the players, and big screens for fans. Most of the action takes place on computer screens. With hyped-up commentators, fast gaming action, and quick-cuts to players, it makes for gripping, dynamic TV.
Lost in all the hype are the chairs pros use at these tournaments. These are often the same chairs they use back at home base, for full-time training.
Relevance of knowing what the pros use
This article answers which gaming chairs top esports professionals use. But first, this section clarifies why that’s relevant for general computer users.
Demands placed on pro esports players
Playing scrims for so long each day is taxing. Esports success demands world-class fine motor skills. The best players stand out with elite speed, precision, aim, and hand-eye-coordination. Top games demand as many as 400 actions per minute. That means a blur of warp-speed decisions and clicks.
A University of Cologne study studied the effects of such high mental strain. It found that pro esports play produces similar levels of cortisol as race car drivers. Cortisol is a stress hormone. At higher levels, it raises pulses to as much as 160 to 180 beats per minute. That’s the same level as a fast 5-mile run.
The long hours and intense stress burn players out. Most pro players start in their teens and retire in their mid-20’s.
Cheap chairs cause problems
In the early days of esports, players sat on cheap office chairs. As esports tournaments grew in popularity, more players spent more time at computers. The problem with office chairs is that they force users to sit in fixed positions. Over long periods of sitting, that promotes poor posture and back problems.
Gaming chairs address those issues. Stock features include adjustable features, tall backrests, thick padding, and posture support pillows. But there are levels to gaming chairs.
Cheaper chairs use inferior padding that flattens out under heavy sitting loads. In contrast, pro computing chairs hold up under full-time sitting loads. What’s more, they offer more adjustable options to keep players fresh while they game.
Pro chairs boost performance
Human bodies work best when in motion. No matter what kind of chair you use, sitting for long periods is unhealthy. But for office workers and pro esports players, long periods of sitting are necessary.
Pro gaming chairs help to lessen the strain. The high backrest, thick padding, and support cushions support a healthy, aligned posture. Adjustable armrests and seat angles help to switch up active muscles in use while you sit.
The quality of padding and richness of features sets pro gaming chairs apart from cheap ones. Elite chairs help pro players game at peak performance levels for longer periods. Over time, this has a positive effect on player wellness, motivation, and productivity.
Definition of a pro-quality gaming chair
Pro chairs start with steel frames layered with cold foam padding. Cold foam is the premier padding choice in the furniture industry. It offers the best resistance and durability. When you sit, it gives slightly to take the shape of your body. When you stand, it pops back into the original shape.
Even if hard-core gamers sit in pro chairs 10 hours a day, the padding will retain its original shape for years. On top of this foundation are some important extra features:
- 4D adjustable armrests: these provide support for arms and wrists with the greatest range of adjustability.
- Seat angle tilt-lock: lets you adjust and lock the seat at angles, independent of the backrest. This gives a lot more options to switch up the back muscles at work supporting your back.
- Cold cure foam padding: the premium padding choice in the seating industry. Cold foam padding is firm, resilaint, and able ot keep its original shape for years.
- Breathable cover material: pro chairs are breathable enough to stay cool, even under the hottest conditions. That ensures the chair remains comfortable for long periods of sitting.
- Warranty: pro-level chair warranties should cover at least two years of full-time sitting loads. Otherwise, it’s hard to justify paying $300+.
Computing chairs used by top streamers
In the mid-2010s, live streaming video gameplay became popular. The trend started on the Twitch platform and later spread to Youtube, Facebook, and others. As popular as gaming is, watching others live stream gameplay with commentary may be bigger.
Several of today’s top streamers are former esports pros. Others are charismatic gamers living out their passions. Most are independent. That means the chairs they choose are often based on personal preference.
PewDiePie: Clutch Throttle Series
PewDiePie is Youtube’s biggest star. He has over 100 million Youtube subscribers. He streams video game commentaries. Gamers watch him playing games while discussing various topics.
Clutch Chairs Throttle Series
What gaming chair does PewDiePie use? It’s a custom design Clutch Chairs Throttle Series.
The Throttle Series supports up to 330 pounds. It has roomy dimensions, even for larger bodies. Features are pro-level:
- Functionality: 4D adjustable armrests; recline to 180°; 12° tilt-lock.
- Comfort: high-density cold cure foam padding; neck and lumbar pillows.
- Warranty: 3-year warranty on parts, lifetime warranty on the steel frame.
Lean more about this model in our detailed Cluth Chairz Throttle Series review.
Ninja: Maxnomic Pro
His most popular act is streaming Fortnight. He’s also known for streaming commentary over Halo and PUBG.
Maxnomic Pro Gaming Chair
Ninja uses a custom Maxnomic Pro gaming chair. The Maxnomic Pro is a racing-style chair with bladed edges on the seat for a slim fit. Features are a notch above the Throttle Series. Maxnomic Pro chairs also have an 85° backrest incline and finger imprinted armrests.
- Functionality: 4D adjustable armrests; backrest adjusts from 83°(forward tilt) to 139°; 12° tilt-lock.
- Comfort: high-density cold cure foam padding; neck and lumbar pillows.
- Warranty: 2-year warranty.
Ninja is Maxnomic’s highest-profile ambassador. But many other popular streamers also use Maxnomic chairs. Maxnomic’s streaming ambassadors also include Tfue, Kaypea, Timthetatman, and Towelliee.
A big reason is that Maxnomic is the only high-end gaming chair brand that sells custom chair designs. For an extra fee, you can choose your color scheme and also get embroidered logos on the front and back of your chair.
Lean more about this model in our detailed Maxnomic gaming chair brand review.
The next two gaming chairs used by pros are ergonomic task chairs. That name implies that these chairs are for all seated tasks, not only computing. Task chairs offer more advanced back support than gaming chairs but cost a lot more.
Shroud: Herman Miller Aeron
Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek is the third most popular streamer in the world. This 25-year-old Canadian made his mark on the Twitch platform. There, he gained over 7 million followers. Like Ninja, he recently moved over to Microsoft’s Mixer streaming service.
Shroud is a former Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player with pro team Cloud9. In 2017, he decided to focus on streaming full-time. He doesn’t have a gaming chair sponsor, so he uses what he feels like. His former chair of choice was a Maxnomic Pro. In 2019, he switched over to an Aeron ergonomic task chair by Herman Miller. Check his Youtube chair testimonial:
Aeron Chair by Herman Miller
Before gaming chairs, ergonomic task chairs were the go-to for seated back support. The Herman Miller Aeron debuted in 1994 as the world’s first ergonomic task chair. Today, it is still among the top-selling task chairs on the market.
The Aeron chair is the most expensive on this list, but also the most full-featured. A high backrest and 3D adjustable armrests support good posture. There’s no neck pillow, but the lumbar support is very advanced. It even comes with intelligent mesh across the seat and backrest that adjusts to the micromovements of your body as you sit.
- Seat: adjust the height; limit the tilt range; adjust the tilt tension.
- Backrest: forward tilt option; height and depth adjustable PostureFit lumbar support.
- Armrests: 3D adjustable.
- Warranty: 12 years.
Shroud raves about his Aeron, as do most who try one. But not everyone can afford to spend more than $1000 on a chair. This is where gaming chairs come in. Compared to ergonomic task chairs, gaming chairs have similar features — for a much lower price.
But if you have the cash to splash out on the very best, the Aeron chair should be your top choice.
Learn more about the Aeron chair in our review of the Best Ergonomic Chairs for Your Back.
Tfue: Maxnomic Office Comfort
Tfue is a former pro player with FaZe Clan and one of the highest-earning “Fortnite” players of all-time. In his career, he won over $500,000 playing the game. When Ninja closed up his Twitter account and moved over to Mixer, Tfue became the Twitch streamer with the most followers. At present, Tfue’s Twitch account has over eight million followers.
Maxnomic Office Comfort (OFC)
Like Ninja, Tfue uses a custom Maxnomic chair. But Ninja uses the Pro version, which is a smaller chair with narrower dimensions. Tfue uses the larger, roomier Maxnomic Office Comfort chair. It has the same features as the Pro version, except for the lumbar support.
Instead of a traditional lumbar pillow, OFC chairs use an internal lumbar system. This works like a pneumatic lumbar insert on luxury car seats. Turn a dial on the side of the chair to increase or decrease lumbar support depth.
Lean more about this model in our detailed Maxnomic OFC gaming chair review.
TSM Myth: Vertagear Triiger 350
Ali “TSM Myth” Kabbani is the captain the Team Solo Mid (TSM) Fortnite team. He also runs a sweet side hustle as an indie streamer. On Twitch, his 4.5 million followers is second only to Tfue’s 8+ million.
Vertagear partnered with Team SoloMid (TSM) in 2017. Then, they released a special edition TSM chair based on the Vertagear SL2000. That’s a comfortable but basic chair. It only has 2D armrests and no other substantial features.
TSM chairs are no longer available for sale on Vertagear.com, but other TSM players still use them in streams.
Vertagear Triiger 350 task chair
As explained in his bedroom studio tour, Myth now uses a Vertagear Triiger 350 as his streaming chair. He also keeps is old TSM SL2000 chair around for use in another room.
The Vertagear Triiger is an ergonomic task chair. It’s a pricey chair costing $799.99. But that’s around $400 less than what a Herman Miller Aeron costs. For the money, the Triiger 350 offers features that rival those on the Aeron chair.
- Seat: adjust the height and depth.
- Lumbar support: adjust the height and depth.
- Backrest: 33° recline range with 22 lockable positions.
- Armrests: 2D adjustable.
- Warranty: 10 years.
DrDisrespect: Sidiz T80 task chair
Herschel “DrDisRespect” Beahm is an American streamer. He has over 3.7 million followers on Twitch and 1.34 million subscribers on Youtube. Styled like an 80s glam rocker, he streams play of games like Blackout, Apex Legends, H1Z1 and Fortnite.
Sidiz T80 Ergonomic chair
The Sidiz T80 is an ergonomic task chair. It resembles Shroud’s Aeron chair but costs around $300 less. Here’s a clip of DrDisrespect raving about its comfort:
The Sidiz T80 has tons of impressive features. These include:
- Memory Foam and Antibacterial High Elastic Sponge padding
- Adjustable lumbar support
- 3D adjustable armrests
- 10-year warranty
The Sidiz T80 is a great choice for those who prefer task chairs over PC gaming chairs. According to Dr. Disrespect, it’s more comfortable than his old Maxnomic Pro.
What’s more, it’s a few hundred dollars cheaper than the Herman Miller Aeron. It cuts a few features compared to the Aeron chair, but still offers great value for money.
Learn more about this ergonomic task chair in our detailed Sidiz T80 Task Chair Review.
Gaming chair partners: top esports teams
Pro esports teams need the highest caliber of seated support. Players spend huge amounts of time in intense gaming marathons on the world’s stage. To thrive in competition, the best equipment provides an edge.
When gaming chairs first appeared on the scene back in 2006, DXRacer and AKRAcing were the dominant partners of the world’s top esports teams. In 2014, Maxnomic swooped in with superior chairs and an aggressive marketing strategy. They ruled as the dominant chair partner for top streamers, teams, and tournaments.
Thus, this section shows Secretlab’s top three partners. Two other slots go to show other chair sponsors of top teams.
Team Liquid: Secretlab Titan & Omega
Chicago Bulls, 1991-1998. San Francisco 49ers, 1981-1994. Edmonton Oilers, 1984-1990. These were some of the most dominant sports dynasties in history.
In the short history of esports, Team Liquid is the most famous and successful team. They top the all-time earnings rankings, winning over $34 million since their debut in 2000. Team Liquid started in 2000 as a Dutch StarCraft: Brood War clan. Today, they have over 80 players competing for all major esports titles. These days, Team Liquid squads excel in DOTA 2, League of Legends, CS:GO, Fortnite, and more.
Secretlab Titan and Omega chairs
These are Secretlab’s flagship gaming chairs. The Omega is a compact, slim-fitting chair with a traditional lumbar support pillow.
The Titan is larger, with a flat, wide seat that supports up to 290 pounds. Instead of a lumbar pillow, Titan chairs use an internal lumbar system. Turn the dial on the side of the chair to adjust the depth of the support. Beyond these differences, both chairs share industry-leading features that set the blueprint for pro chair quality.
- Functionality: 4D metal-plated armrests; recline from 85° to 165°; multi-angle tilt-lock.
- Upholstery: Choice of premium PU leather, Softweave Fabric or genuine NAPA leather.
- Padding: enhanced cold cure foam padding.
- Warranty: 3 years (extendable to 5 with a social share)
Team Liquid Secretlab chairs
Secretlab Team Liquid Edition chairs celebrate the rich 20-year history of the team. Team Liquid chairs are navy blue with white trim and gold embroidered accents.
Herringbone stitching on the backrest adds a luxury car feel. Team Liquid’s signature horse appears on the front in white and on back in gold. Stitched on the top of the chair is the team rally cry “Ride or Die”.
Team Liquid chairs come in Omega ($389) and Titan ($429) variants. Learn more about Secretlab chairs in our detailed Secretlab Brand review.
OG: Secretlab DreamOG editions
OG is the second-highest earning esports team of all time. They’ve earned around one million less all-time than Team Liquid. But they have only competed in 78 tourneys, compared to Liquid’s 1706 tourneys played. Almost half of OG’s career earnings came in 2019. That year, they earned over $15 million, more than any other team.
Johan “N0tail” Sundstein formed the team in 2015. OG reached the pinnacle by winning Dota’s biggest prize at the International 2018. A year later, they made history by winning the International 2019. No other team has won the International twice. Doing it in consecutive years made them one of the most storied teams in esports history.
Secretlab DreamOG chairs
Like all Secretlab team chairs, the DreamOG edition comes in Titan and Omega variants. DreamOG chairs have a navy blue base with white and silver accents. n0tail says these colors “… represent all our values: simplicity, solidity, and strength.”
The details on this chair will appeal to OG fans. Two embroidered Aegis icons on the right shoulder mark OG’s two International wins. On the backrest, inverse hexagon patterns look like chemical bonds. These depict the bond that powers Team OG, its players, and fans.
All Secretlab pro team chairs come in Omega ($389) and Titan ($429) variants. Check out all seven of Secretlab’s pro esports team chairs available for sale.
Evil Geniuses: Maxnomic Pro and OFC
Evil Geniuses is the third-highest earning esports team of all time. The team launched in 1999. Although founded in Victoria, British Columbia, their current HQ is in Seattle. Their Dota 2 squad won the International 2015. In 2018, their COD roster won the 2018 Call of Duty Championships. Their current roster of partners includes Monster Energy, Razer, AMD and Twitch.
Evil Geniuses Maxnomic chairs
Evil Geniuses signed on with Maxnomic in 2016 on custom Maxnomic Pro and OFC chairs. Pro versions are compact and use a traditional lumbar pillow. OFC models are larger and have an internal lumbar system instead.
Both model Evil Genius editions come in navy blue with the team’s logos on the front and back of the chair.
The Evil Geniuses special edition is also available as a Maxnomic Pro edition ($399) . That is a smaller model with a traditional lumbar pillow. Learn the difference between the two chairs in our Maxnomic Brand overview.
Team Secret: Secretlab Titan & Omega
Team Secret is the eighth highest-earning esports team of all time. In 2019, they were the fifth-highest, with $3.3 million in tournament earnings. Team Secret is a European squad co-founded in 2014 by “Puppey” Ivanov and “Cyborgmatt” Bailey. Most of their earnings come from playing Dota 2. They also have success competing in Rainbow Six, Fortnite and Age of Empires II.
Team Secret edition chairs
Team Secret partnered with Secretlab in 2018. At the time, Puppey shared an endorsement: “We’ve sat in a lot of gaming chairs. I can say that Secretlab has been one of my favorites to sit in — they’re perfect for long hours of training…”
Team Secret special edition chairs come in premium black PU leather with white trim. The team’s logo appears on the front and back, with the team name embroidered on the right shoulder.
Check out all seven of Secretlab’s pro esports team chairs. Browse the official chairs of Astralis, G2 Esports, T1, Cloud9 and more. All models come in Omega ($389) and Titan ($429) variants.
SK Gaming: Noblechairs HERO
While Secretlab and Maxnomic dominate the esports scene, several other brands also partner with top teams. For example, the 21st top-earning team of all-time is SK Gaming. Founded in 1997, the team maintains offices in Cologne and Berlin, Germany. This team is a powerhouse, winning 60 major championships and over six million in prize money. Their top squads include a Swedish Counter-Strike team, a Warcraft III team, and more.
It seems a natural fit that the team would partner with a local chair brand. Luckily for Germany, they have two local brands that rank among the best. Besides Maxnomic, Noblechairs also makes an impressive range of pro-quality gaming chairs.
The Noblechairs HERO ranks up there with Secretlab and Maxnomic chairs as an elite gaming chair for the pros. It’s the flagship of the Noblechairs product line. Like the Secretlab Titan and Maxnomic OFC, it stands out with a slick internal lumbar system.
Besides the lumbar, it has a full suite of pro features:
- Unique feature: integrated lumbar support (no lumbar cushion needed, although one is provided).
- Functionality: padded 4D adjustable armrests; recline to 125°; multifunction tilt-lock.
- Comfort: cold cure foam padding; removable neck and lumbar pillows included.
- Cover: premium perforated PU leather. This material is durable, easy to clean, and breathable.
- Support: steel frame; powder-coated aluminum base; extra-large PU casters.
- Warranty: 2-year warranty.
Noblechairs HERO SK Gaming edition
The Noblechairs HERO SK Gaming edition is a sleek chair in Noblechair’s signature black perforated PU leather. This model has white accents plus blue diamond-patterns embroidered into the backrest. Emblazoned on the back of the chair is SK Gaming’s logo.
Learn more about Noblechairs chairs in our detailed brand review that compares all models.
Esports tournament chair partners
Today, over 250 million people watch esports. In 2020, tech consulting firm Activate predicts that 70 million viewers will watch an esports final. That would exceed the viewership of American pro baseball, soccer, and hockey finals.
As esports fans multiply, the gaming chairs used at tournaments gain massive exposure. Below are some of the most notable gaming chair partners for top esports tournaments.
League of Legends Championships: Secretlab
Riot Games is the publisher of League of Legends. Since 2011, they’ve been running League of Legends tournaments around the world.
Maxnomic was the previous chair partner, starting in 2013. In 2019, Secretlab took over, joining Mastercard and Alienware as global LoL partners.
The Secretlab deal includes the North American and World Championships. The 2020 Championships are the 10th annual. The North American Championships take place in spring. The World Championships are in October.
The International (Dota 2): Secretlab
The International is the concluding tournament of the Dota Pro Circuit. In 2019, over 1.1 million viewers watched the final round on Twitch. Team OG’s 3-1 victory over Team Liquid was the most-watched Dota event of all time.
Secretlab was the official chair sponsor of the event. This year’s edition – the 10th annual- will return to Europe for the first time since 2011. The International 2020 happens this summer at Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden.
Secretlab created a special chair for the 2019 event. They also sell a special edition Dota 2 chair for consumers.
Founded in 2000, ESL is now one of the world’s largest esports companies. At the heart of its operation, ESL operates several international leagues and tournaments. These include ESL One, the Intel Extreme Masters and ESL Pro League. ESL maintains offices in Germany, North America, China, and many others.
Soon after Maxnomic launched their brand in 2014, they partnered with ESL. The relationship has thrived and continues to this day. As a result, expect to see Maxnomic’s chairs at 2020’s big ESL events:
- ESL One Cologne (July 10-12)
- Intel Extreme Masters Melbourne (Aug. 22-23)
- ESL One Rio (Nov. 19-22)
Maxnomic doesn’t sell ESL tournament chairs on their website, saving them only for tourney play. But there are several other models to choose from among both Pro and OFC variants. That’s because each year, they come out
To learn more about this brand, check out our detailed review of all Maxnomic gaming chairs.
LEC 2020: AKRacing
In January, we reported that AKRacing became the official chair of the 2020 LEC. The 2020 League of Legends European Championships (LEC) kicked off in late January. Then, we got our first look at the new AKRacing chairs.
They are all-black Core Series LX chairs, with the LEC logo emblazoned on the back. Core Series LX is the flagship chair of AKRacing’s Core Series product line.
AKRacing is one of the oldest and most well-established gaming chair brands. In recent years, they’ve not had much involvement in pro esports. In 2019, their biggest public splash was at the Tokyo Game Show.
So it’s great to see this venerable brand back on the big stage. This model isn’t available for sale on the AKRacing website. But you can pick up a stock black or two-tone Core Series LX for $449.
Learn more about the Core Series LX in our detailed comparison between it and the Core Series SX.
Capcom Cup: Vertagear
The Capcom Cup is an annual esports tournament focused on the Street Fighter series. The 2019 Capcom Cup finals took place at the Novo Theater in LA in December 2019. There, 32 players competed for the title and $250,000.
Each year, the Capcom Pro tour kicks off in March. Vertagear is the official sponsor of all events. All players get to do their work in custom Vertagear SL5000 gaming chairs.
This is the premium model in the Vertagear product line. The SL5000 proves its mettle by keeping competitors focused during intense tourney play.
SUMMARY: chairs used by the pros in 2020
What chairs do pros use? Assessing top esports teams, tournaments, and streamers, here are the 2020 trends:
- Secretlab chairs: Team Liquid, G2, OG, and several other top esports teams are partners. Secretlab chairs also grace the stage at the world’s top LOL and Dota2 esports tournaments.
- Ergonomic task chairs: top streamers Shroud, Dr. Disrespect, and Myst use office-style ergonomic task chairs. The Herman Miller Aeron and Sidiz T80 stand out in this class.
- Maxnomic chairs: leading industry names have been Maxnomic partners for years. For instance, Ninja (the world’s #1 streamer) is a longtime Maxnomic user. ESL (one of the largest esports companies) has also been a partner since 2014.