The eSports industry has come a long way since its early beginnings and has now turned into a global sport that has made it a viable career option for a lot of gamers, especially those that are good at playing.
The prize money is increasing in tournaments as some tournaments are now awarding more than a million dollars in individual prize money. To become a professional gamer one has to:
Pick A Game And Practice Diligently
Becoming a professional gamer requires a lot of dedication and takes up a lot of time. To become a professional gamer the first step is to decide what game you want to become an expert in and spending enough time to learn everything you can about the game. Practice comes only when you start to play the game and the more time you spend playing it, the better you will end up becoming.
Gamers should play the game against skilled and more talented players. Services like Xbox live allow you to play against such players. Gamers should strive to study the best players and learn different tactics and strategies involved in their game. Professional players have a very strict and regimented schedule in which they practice for at least 6-8 hours each day especially during the gaming season.
It is also essential that a gamer practices smartly by working on their weaknesses and by not trying to advance their game too much by focusing on too many details.
eSports player Tyler “Teepee” Polchow is a great example of a player who was diligent with his preparation. He was part of the team which won the Call of Duty World Championships in 2014 and would practice with his team for more than 8 hours every day.
Keeping a goal in mind, be it winning a major tournament or winning a particular amount of money is essential. By setting a specific goal, a gamer will not feel burnt out and there will be a stronger desire to excel. One should also strive to have a life outside of gaming. This will give the gamer much needed respite from the hours of practices that they pour into eGames.
Many gamers in their quest to stay professional and become an expert, often alienate their family by spending hours playing eGames and not investing time in their personal relationships. It is important for eGamers to strike a right balance and invest in their personal relationships as it helps them focus better when their personal lives are in a good space.
Team Liquid player Diego “Quas” Ruiz says that he and his team spend a minimum of 50 hours per week practising.
Meal time is usually spent reviewing and strategizing.
Some players including him take time out to chat with friends and family members which gives him a much needed break.
Others in his team do not do that. For him practice sessions are more about quality rather than quantity.
Join A Team Or A Gaming Community
Practising by yourself will only take you so far. Once a gamer starts getting better, it is essential that the gamer joins a community. Taking inputs from others and having discussions on strategies are some ways that a community will benefit a player’s game. Almost all professional gamers are part of a community. One should learn the rules of the community before joining.
Since most eSports are team games, building your own team or joining a team becomes essential once you start playing well. Communities can be a great way to find strong eGames and help build a team.
Play As Many Tournaments As You Can
Competing in tournaments is a great way to determine how good you are. Start with local tournaments. As you become better at competitions, you should progress to bigger tournaments. The top of the line tournaments are the pro-circuit events. There are many tournaments played all year round. Winning at competitions not only earns you respect but also earns you money.
This is also a good way to get noticed for possible sponsorship. The sponsors then provide you with all the required facilities to compete, including a place to practice and bear your travel expenses when you compete in tournaments. Generally these sponsors also pay you, though the amount paid varies from sponsor to sponsor.
Aleksey “White-Ra” Krupnyk, from the Ukraine spent a lot of his free time playing games on computers in the 1990’s.
Since he did not have a computer at home, he joined a PC club.
As he got better he started beating other club members. He then graduated to beating members from other clubs and ultimately started competing online with players from South Korea. He said joining a team is essential to make it to the top.
Once he came onboard a team, he was paid $24,000 a year, not including prize money he won, and was also flown to different parts of the world to compete in big tournaments.
Stay Physically Fit
Gamers are realizing the importance of being physically fit. They realize that being physically fit and health conscious will keep them mentally sharp and focussed. Games like Counter Strike: Global Offensive or Smite or League of Legends are long drawn out games and playing these games in competitive environments such as a major tournament can lead to fatigue, which then causes mistakes and misplays.
Stimulants like caffeine can do more harm than good. They can give you jitters when you need to be really focused. It is best to keep one’s energy levels high by eating better, getting enough sleep and performing light exercises.
Mike “Flamesword” Chaves who plays for the team OpTic Gaming, is one such gamer who realises the benefits of being physically fit.
In statement, Chaves said
Sitting down all day is terrible for the body, yet that’s what I do for a living. So exercise is crucial for the mind, for the body, and for feeling relaxed. I’ve seen my greatest success since I started really working out and keeping fit a few years ago
He was referring to the four world championships he has won since he started exercising, compared to the zero he had won before that. While travelling, he has designed four minute, high intensity workouts which can be performed in the hotel itself to offset the negatives of sitting and playing eight hours straight in a competition. These four minute workouts have also become popular on you tube.
Flamesword’s dedication to physical fitness has started impacting his team mates in a positive way. One of his team mates Marcus “MBoZe” Blanks was 360 pounds but has dropped down to 280 pounds, thanks to a fitness regime laid out by Flamesword and also to strict dieting. According to MBoZe becoming fitter has helped him become more alert and focused.
So if you are interested in pursuing a career in eSports gaming, following the above steps is a great way to prepare for becoming a professional eSports gamer.