Remember back when video game enthusiasts would play at the arcade to get the highest score? Today, gamers play for more than just the top spot on the board. Gaming has evolved into a billion-dollar industry. Gamers play in professional competitions for cash prices running into the millions. Some professional gamers earn six-figure salaries gaming full-time.
It would be fun to game and get paid doing it, right? An experience professional gamer will tell you that it is not all fun and games. It takes a lot of sacrifice and practice to get to the big leagues. So, how do the pros do it? Here are some tips to get you started.
How To Become a Pro Gamer
- Join the Community
- Gear Up
- Pick a Gaming Genre
- Practice, Practice, Practice!
- Join a Team
- Qualify for Tournaments
- Stay Motivated
- Find a Sponsor
Join the Community
Professional gaming is individualistic. However, there exists a vast community of gamers from all over the world. These communities exist online and even in your local neighborhood. Community members share important information about the latest developments in the industry. Joining a community of gamers will help you stay in the loop – information is important in professional gaming.
Your gaming gear is just as important as your talent. Pro gamers use the best gaming equipment. This includes the latest consoles such as the Xbox Live and PlayStation Four. PC gamers invest in highly customizable gaming desktops that they can upgrade with time to keep up with the competition. Other equipment and gadgets such as a strong gaming router, crystal-clear monitor, gaming headsets, and versatile keyboards are also important, as well as a good gaming mouse.
If you are working on a budget, start with the basics – you will be surprised by the price of some gaming equipment. As time progresses, you can buy extra equipment to complete your arsenal. You should also consider getting your very own dedicated gaming room.
Pick a Gaming Genre
There are thousands of games, and new games are coming out every other day. You cannot be a pro at them all. The smart move to make is to pick one genre that you are really good at and work on your skills in that genre. Try out the top games in the genre and see how well you perform.
Since you are still a novice at professional gaming, it would be prudent to pick one game in the genre and work on your skills. Go for the most popular game as it will provide the most opportunities. Make sure you play it from start to finish, learning everything about it in the process. In the end, you should play the whole game without letting anything get in your way.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Like athletics, professional gaming also demands a lot of practice. Games are becoming more and more sophisticated, and you need to refine your skills to keep up. Some pro gamers put in up to 12 hours of gaming per day, and many complain about not getting enough sleep. It’s important to have an ergonomic gaming chair for those long hours.
Once you decide to become a professional gamer, set aside enough time to practice. Play on your own as a single player to refine your skills. Additionally, play against other players online or one-on-one in person – the competition will motivate and bring out the best in you. You should also do as much research as you can on your games to learn about the most popular tactics.
Join a Team
As mentioned, professional gaming is more of an individualistic gig. However, gamers do play in teams. Playing in a team helps your chances of winning a tournament and opens you up to more opportunities.
You need to be really good in your chosen gaming genre to land a spot on a team. In fact, organizations such as the Major League Gaming (MLG) have dedicated scouts whose job is to look for hidden gaming talent, so your team may end up finding you if you are really good. In the meantime, however, refine your skills and show off your gaming talent – you will need a robust online gaming profile. Also make sure to interact with other pro gamers in your gaming communities and get involved in top events.
Qualify for Tournaments
Getting into tournaments such as the MLG is the ultimate dream of any upcoming professional gamer. A spot in a tournament opens up a flood of money-making opportunities, and it gets you recognized for your skills.
Tournaments are very competitive, so start small and climb your way up. Try getting into as many online tournaments as you can – gaming tournaments take place throughout the year, so you will have plenty of opportunities. Work with your team to get leverage on other competitors, and make sure you do your best to build up your reputation. If you get recognized, you will have a better chance of getting into the pro circuit level, where the real money is.
What are you playing for? If your eye is on the money alone, professional gaming may not be the right fit for you. You need to have something that motivates you.
For some pro gamers, the real motivation is proving to their loved ones that their effort is worth it – you need to make people around you believe in your course. Talent and passion are also big motivators – you should always have fun when gaming. Money is also a good motivator, but it should come after you have honed your skills.
Find a Sponsor
There are many e-sports and related companies that are more than willing to sponsor you if your skills are good enough. They will provide you with the best gaming equipment and pay you to do what you are good at. In fact, most professional gamers make most of their money from sponsors.
You need to have an exceptional reputation as a gamer to get sponsored. Make sure that everyone in the gaming community knows how good you are and make applications with different sponsors.
Professional gaming is one of the most exciting careers. However, only the best gamers can go pro. Everyone has to start somewhere, so begin by putting these tips into practice.