Everyone who loves video games has probably wondered how to turn their passion into a career. While in previous decades, the options available to gaming fans typically lay in software development or sound design, the emergence of eSports turned the dream of becoming a professional player into a reality.
While these elite players are undoubtedly talented, they also all followed the same path to launching their gaming careers. Read on to discover how to get started.
Choose an Established Game
Sure, playing up-and-coming games is great for diversity, but if you’re serious about launching a pro career you’d be better off choosing a well-established game to specialise in.
Long-standing eSports games may be a bit of an overcrowded market, but they already have the infrastructure in place to support professional opportunities. The bigger the game, the better the sponsorship and competitive opportunities, even if they can be difficult for beginners to get noticed in.
It goes without saying, though, that the game you choose should be one that you genuinely enjoy playing and want to play for a long time yet to come. There’s no point choosing CounterStrike: Global Offensive if you don’t enjoy first-person shooters!
Join the Community
While being successful as a gamer does rely a lot on your individual talent, you'll go a lot further to achieving your dreams by becoming part of the community and culture surrounding your chosen title.
The path to being a pro gamer requires more than just gaming practice, you also need to be clued up about news and events in your particular niche. Say, for instance, that online poker is your jam, you’ll want to make use of online resources like PokerNews to get the latest updates on tournaments as well as player interviews — which can be a goldmine for tips.
Being immersive in the culture of a game can also prove to be beneficial when it comes to finding opportunities to get ahead. Developing relationships with other players will expand your network and you’ll also find that forums, Discord servers and Twitch streams can be a goldmine when it comes to understanding the meta of your game.
Commit to Mastery
You may have already racked up hours and hours of gameplay, but ask yourself honestly if you’ve truly mastered your game of choice. Being a pro gamer involves a lot more than just being able to play games, you need to have supreme control over the game’s mechanics and build up a bank of game-specific skills to draw upon. Even the highest-ranking pro players still commit hours of practice to mastering their chosen game.
In addition to developing your skills in a game, it’s also worth developing your knowledge of the strategy and the role that you play in a multiplayer environment. There are several layers to any eSports game and the more you can understand the better.