Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last few years, or you’re one of those strange individuals who doesn’t use the internet, you will know that video games are no longer a casual pastime. The days of Space Invaders, Pong and Pac-Man are long gone, and not only has gaming gone mainstream and become fashionable, but it has also developed into a multimillion-dollar sport.
Gaming competitions are no longer about getting the top score at your local video arcade. Now known as electronic sports, or eSports, for some young, talented players, gaming is a professional endeavor, every bit as demanding (and rewarding) as traditional professional sport.
Pro gamers are competing in high-profile and lucrative tournaments all over the world. Events and tournaments such as the International Dota 2 Championship, the Intel Extreme Masters and the Major League Gaming organization have helped to make superstars of gamers. As companies clamor to sponsor teams and tournaments, talent scouts scour the world for the best and newest talent to join the teams competing for fame, glory and ever-growing prize pools.
So popular has eSports become that millions of viewers subscribe to watch the world’s best-known eSports competitors showing off their skills on live streaming sites such as Twitch, offering fans the chance to pick up tips and giving eSports professionals an alternative source of income from the fiercely competitive eSports circuits, where new contenders emerge every month.
Understandably, many people are excited about the possibility of becoming a professional eSports player. After all, earning fame and fortune playing your favorite video games sounds like the ideal life, and for some it may be. However, the road to success isn’t an easy one, so if you are aiming to join the elite world of professional eGaming, here are some of the essential steps.
Pick your game
Most casual gamers like to dabble, playing whatever game they feel like – but that isn’t the way to operate if you want to be a professional. The starting point is to specialize. To reach the elite level of professional gaming, you have to become an exceptional performer, and that can’t be done if you spread yourself around different games. Find one game and aim to build up your skills, as both an individual and a team player, until you are ready to enter tournaments and get noticed.
You can’t win an Olympic gold medal without dedication, and eSports is no different. If you think that professional gaming is something you can do at the weekend, you will never make it as a pro. To get to the top takes hundreds of hours of practice. That means firing up your gaming PC even when gaming is the very last thing you want to do. Your dedication should extend beyond putting in the practice hours. You need to learn everything you can about your chosen game, watch hours of gameplay, and when you lose (which will happen a lot at the start), learn what you can in defeat.
Get an edge
There are many ways to get an edge when it comes to eGaming. For instance, finding the best gaming gear to suit your playing style can make practicing more pleasurable and help you to hone your skills. A customizable PC rig or the latest PS4 or Xbox accessories will enable you to adapt your play as your skills develop. Success in any form of gaming involves doing whatever you have to do to get an edge, whether that’s putting in more hours at Dota 2 than the competition or taking advantage of a Golden Nugget online casino bonus code to boost your online casino play.
Hit the tournament circuit
When you’re confident in your skills, it’s time to start entering tournaments. The growing popularity of eGaming means that there are plenty of online tournaments to choose from, and it should be easy to find several that suit your lifestyle and skills, wherever you are based. Try to enter as many online and local tournaments as you can. No matter how much you practice, nothing can replicate the unique experience of competitive play, and the early lessons you learn when competing in tournaments will help to shape your strategies and playing style for the bigger battles ahead.
Getting noticed through winning tournaments will enable you to take the final steps to the top tier of eGaming, with sponsorships and offers to join established teams. Just getting to that stage is an achievement, but to go further and be a successful eGamer requires another level of effort. Just like your favorite video game, the challenges of eGaming keep coming, but the rewards for those with the skill and dedication to succeed are considerable.