E-sports has become a phenomenon in recent years. Once an obscure sport relegated to small events and online communities, the explosion in popularity of video-gaming has seen a sympathetic explosion in interest in competitive gaming. Nowadays, many people aspire to turn their love of video games into a career – but how would you go about it? Here is a brief step-by-step to becoming a professional gamer.
Find Your Game
If you have hopes of becoming a professional gamer, you’re going to need a game in which to be professional! If you do not already have a preference for the kind of game you’d like to excel in, take some time to find the genre that suits you best. There are thriving e-gaming scenes for all manner of types of game, from real-time strategy to first person shooters and beyond, so take your time to play around with different games in order to find the one you feel most comfortable with.
Having found the genre you enjoy the most, you can now spend some time narrowing down to the game of your choice. For example, first-person shooters are a popular genre in e-sports, but different titles offer different kinds of competition, and require different skills. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a 5-a-side tactical shooter, requiring lightning-fast reactions and situational awareness, while Apex: Legends is a battle-royale style game where teamwork, careful use of resources and composure are important.
Invest in the Right Equipment
With your preferred game chosen, your next step should be to procure the right equipment for you to progress your potential career. Off the bat, the vast majority of e-sports competitions are played, and won, using a PC. Consoles are excellent machines for casual play, but not the norm for competitive play for a couple of key reasons: firstly, console controllers are often less responsive than keyboard and mouse and can result in significant reductions in accuracy or agility in certain scenarios; secondly, PCs are essentially modular, and can outperform consoles in a number of metrics crucial to having the upper hand in a competitive game, including frames-per-second.
Even if you already have a PC, you may want to invest in some improvements to up your game. A more powerful CPU can improve overall performance, when installed properly – with the correct thermal greases, and a powerful CPU cooler to prevent overheating. GPUs are key for graphical performance, and additional RAM can help your computer manage multiple tasks at once, reducing lag.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Gear can only help you so much, however. The true key to success in professional gaming, much like with any other sport, is simply to practice – and practice hard. E-sports is a difficult profession to enter, not only because of the large volume of people aspiring to be a pro gamer, but also because professional gamers represent the most proficient players of a game, the top 0.001 per cent. Getting to that level involves a serious level of graft and dedication; try planning out a training regimen to grow your skills in area you think to be lacking. Maybe you could stand to learn the geography of the maps used in-game, or perhaps you’re struggling with recoil control.
Find a Team to Join
Lastly, and most importantly for your professional career, you’ll need to find a team you can join. You won’t be joining Team Liquid or Evil Geniuses straight away, so your best bet is to find some like-minded amateurs and enter online competitions to build your portfolio of wins, and your profile as a team. This could eventually give you the visibility to get headhunted!