So, you want to become a professional gamer? Good choice. The esports industry is experiencing exponential growth. According to Statista, market revenue for the global esports industry is expected to reach $1.65 billion by the turn of the next decade. It’s an incredible rise of fortunes for the sector when you consider it was turning over less than a tenth of that amount ($135 million) in 2012. For most video gamers, becoming an esports pro is the pinnacle. Getting paid to play your favourite computer games is something only a select few manage, but with the right attitude and plan, it’s possible to reach the top.
Without a doubt, esports is threatening to derail the popularity of real-life sports, with a global audience of millions and growing. In 2017, some 46 million viewers tuned in to watch part of the Intel Extreme Masters 10 – Katowice, with 173,000 spectators watching live inside the city’s Spodek multipurpose arena. There’s life-changing prize money at stake now, too. The most lucrative esports game in prize money is Dota 2, with $133 million. It’s completely free to play and subsequently attracts more than one million simultaneous participants on the Steam platform. If you believe you have an aptitude for video gaming and can turn your hobby into a fully-fledged career, here are a few top tips on how to become a professional esports gamer.
Decide what games you wish to specialise in – To become a real contender as an esports professional, you must decide the right video game for you to specialise in. It takes a lot of hours and dedication to become an exceptional gamer. With PlayStation and Xbox One both offering 24/7 online gaming platforms, you can play against like-minded and highly skilled competitors to hone your capabilities. It’s also a good idea to specialise in a game that you can excel at both as an individual and as part of a team; whether it’s FIFA, Counter-Strike or League of Legends.
Develop your gaming setup – If you choose to specialise in a PC game, it’s vital that you have the best possible tools at your disposal to succeed. You’ll want high-specification graphics cards for the best gaming experience as well as extra reliable power supplies and a cooling system to have optimal performance during hours of training periods. A gaming mouse is also essential to enable you to move and act fast, especially if you’re specialising in the first-person shooter genre.
Gain exposure in amateur tournaments – Once you think you are good enough to contest in some competitive events and enhance your exposure, consider signing up with amateur tournaments with organisations such as MLG and ESL. These amateur-only tournaments as well as those that accept all entrants, give you the chance to pit your wits against the pros. It’s not uncommon for anyone from rookies to impressive pros to be scouted and recruited to join a professional team.
Network with existing pros within your gaming community – One way to learn and develop is to talk to professional gamers that play your titles. It’s a great opportunity to discuss strategies and consider new playing styles that can take your gaming to the next level. Networking is also useful for making connections with professional teams that may consider recruiting you in the months and years to come. Always adopt an attitude that there is always room for improvement, remain humble despite any success and act like a sponge, absorbing any advice or support given.
Breaking into the world of esports might seem like a daunting task. But with the right mindset, dedication and talent, the prospect of making a healthy living from gaming should keep you focused on the goal. With the riches and exposure of esports now competing with real-life sports professionals, it’s not over-exaggerating to say that esports pros are now global stars.