Video games as a hobby and pastime have never been more popular. With such a wide variety of platforms and genres, almost anyone can find a type of game that they’ll enjoy. For some people, however, video games are more than a hobby. These players live and breathe video games, working hard to be the absolute best at their chosen title. A lot of people play games all day and dream of the opportunity to turn that passion into a career. Becoming a professional video game player is not easy, and it requires a lot of hard work and talent, but it is possible. We’ve compiled a list of tips and guidelines to follow to bring your gaming to the next level and start getting paid for your valuable skills.
Choose Your Game
This step may seem pretty obvious, but many players have a bunch of different games that they’re pretty good at. While it may be tempting to be a jack of all trades, playing a game at a professional level requires 100% dedication. You’ll be competing against a field of players that spend all of their time improving at a single title and game mode, so you’ll need to do the same if you want to be a viable competitor.
If it seems boring or stressful to commit all of your time and energy to a single title, being a professional gamer might not be for you.
Practice, Practice, and Practice Some More
It’s no secret that to be a pro gamer you need to have a decent amount of talent for playing your game of choice. Talent is an important part of the equation, but it’s only a small part. Training in the field of E-sports is just like training as any other type of athlete. You need to put in the time to become a world class player.
Even if you’re already one of the top players in the world, you need to continue to challenge yourself to remain at the top of your game. There are constantly new hopefuls coming onto the scene that are willing to devote their entire day to honing their skills. Expect to put in 10-12 hours a day of regular practice at a minimum.
If you’re unable to devote this amount of time, you won’t be able to remain competitive. It’s as simple as that.
Keep Going When the Going Gets Tough
Becoming a pro gamer is a marathon, not a sprint. There are very few cases in which an aspiring pro is able to jump to stardom right away. Your natural talent and countless hours of practice might take years to pay off, and it’s very easy to get discouraged.
Just keep in mind that almost every pro player began right where you are. Just because you’re not seeing the success you dreamed of doesn’t mean that you don’t have potential.
Put Yourself Out There: Tournaments and Competitions
Obviously to be a professional gamer you need to compete. Start joining local and regional competitions whenever you can, and use these events as a learning opportunity. It’s likely that you’ll fare poorly in many of the tournaments when you’re first starting out, but gaining knowledge from your mistakes is an important part of growing as an E-sports athlete.
The more you try, the better results you’ll get. Be willing to travel to participate in competitions relevant to your game of choice, as expanding beyond your local scene will expose you to different players with different playstyles.
As you start to rack up some tournament wins, you’ll begin to attract attention. Getting good attention is the first step towards solidifying yourself as a real pro gamer.
Work With Your Team
The vast majority of E-sports emphasize teamwork, so it’s important that you work well with your team. Start off with a group of friends with similar aspirations, and as you grow in success and reputation, consider joining an established gaming franchise like Counter Logic Gaming or Cloud 9. Do your best to be a flexible and reliable team member, and learn how to compliment your fellow players’ playstyles.
You could be the best pro player in the world, but if you can’t work together with others in a team-based game, your skill and talent will be wasted.
Seek Out Sponsors
Tournament winnings are a great boost in income, but you’re not always going to win. As you build a reputation from winning competitions, you can begin the process of seeking out sponsors.
The most successful players have companies flocking to them to act as a sponsor, but more junior E-sports athletes will have to put in a little work when it comes to securing the financial backing of a company.
If you have a decent following and a good amount of fans, you’re a valuable commodity. Learn how to sell yourself to a company and focus on the advertisement and brand promotion you can provide to them. Sponsorship isn’t a free ride. You need to deliver on your end by doing your best to get their product into the hands of E-sports fans.
Be creative in your approach to seeking sponsorship. Gamers are a wide market that purchase all sorts of products. Look for office equipment manufacturers, supplement makers, food and drink companies with cool products, or software and gaming peripheral businesses. If you can convince a company that they’ll benefit from a partnership, you’re on the right path for securing a more stable income.
There’s More to Pro Gaming Than E-Sports
Many competitive players focus on E-Sports as the ultimate end goal, but there are also other avenues to making a living with video games. Developing a viral YouTube or Twitch channel can lead to income that in some cases exceeds that of a professional E-sports star.
If you’re not one of the absolute best players in the world but you still want to make a living playing games, learn to be entertaining and provide value in video content. You’ll find yourself building up a Twitch or YouTube following and a sizeable income to boot!
Make it Happen
Becoming a professional gamer for your career is a difficult path with no guarantees, and it requires a lot of hard work. If you put in the necessary effort and apply these tips along the way, however, you’ll give yourself the best possible chances of becoming the next E-sports or Twitch sensation!