Video games are not just a hobby anymore, but a path to both fame and fortune for many players. As with any profession, though, it can be overwhelming to determine where to begin. Thankfully, we have brought you the best tips on how to move from casual player to pro-gamer.
Choose Your Game
The options are virtually endless when it comes to selecting which game to play. Specialization is important in order to devote enough time to become an expert competitive player. Research the options and pick one you enjoy – this passion will help you overcome the challenges on your path to esports fame.
If you do not know the destination, you will not know the directions to get there. What do you want to accomplish? How soon do you want to achieve your dream? These goals will guide your schedule, and help you prioritize your activities. They also give you a way to measure your progress, allowing you to make adjustments if needed.
Select the Right Gear
Gear is not the most important step in moving from amateur status to professional, but there is basic equipment you need in order to play. Your gear needs to support your performance, not hinder it. CSGOGuru provides great articles and reviews on the best gear gamers are using right now.
Play the Game
It should go without saying that in order to be good at something you have to practice. Gaming is no exception. The more you play, the better you will become. Do not let losses discourage you – these are inevitable and improve your skills. There is more to practice than playing, however. One of the best ways to pick up tips and tricks for improving your own performance is to watch the professionals play. Many competitive gamers have livestreams, through sites such as YouTube or Twitch.
After you have been practicing and perfecting your skills, it is only logical to start competing in tournaments. This is where you will meet other highly skilled players and adds the element of competitive pressure to your practice. Some of these tournaments even offer cash prizes for the highest-ranking teams and players. Being a pro-gamer is as much about knowing how to play as part of a team as it is about individual skills. Live tournaments are equally important. Playing in front of an audience, with your teammates and competitors in the room with you, is a completely different experience. As with anything else, the more you practice, the more confident you will feel.
Gather a Following
If you want to be noticed, you have to advertise yourself. The best way to do this is to livestream your gaming practice. Twitch.tv is a streaming service where viewers can donate or pay to subscribe to your cause. The better you become and the more often and consistently you stream, the more returning viewers you will attract. Live streaming not only puts your name out there in the community, but can also show off your skills to potential sponsors and professional teams. Social media is another avenue to gather interest and viewers. Research the most popular sites (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and decide which are going to best fit your goals and the audience you are trying to reach.
Join a Team
Through your tournament experience, you should develop friendships with your fellow competitors. This networking is important if you want to join a highly respected team. Your first teams do not have to be “the best”, but will let you get a foot in the door of the pro-gaming world. Any team position is an opportunity to shine and make a name for yourself. And if you are truly ambitious, this networking may pay off and you might find yourself building your own team from the promising players you meet along the way.
The world of professional gaming is not all “fun and games” as it might seem to those of us stuck in a 9 to 5 desk job might believe. It involves sacrifices, long hours, and sleepless nights. Dedicated gamers cut out distractions and reorganize their priorities. Many burn out from the schedules they keep. Similar to entrepreneurs, aspiring pro-gamers are willing to put in more than the standard 40 hours a week in order to do what they love for a living. It requires patience, as the development of any business or career takes time. It requires motivation; you need to find your reason for competing and cling to it to survive the tough spots. Money is often not enough, but if you are passionate and dedicated, you can find your way to pro-gamer prestige.