If you’ve ever been interested in the gaming industry, you must know that some people take their love for gaming far further than just playing games. In fact, some lucky people have been able to turn gaming into an actual career. These professional players spend their days testing games, streaming their play, and collaborating with other gaming professionals.
When you think about it, having a gaming career seems like a dream come true. But how do you become a professional gamer? What exactly goes into professional gaming, and can anyone start a career in competitive gaming?
We’ll review these questions in today’s article while also discussing how to be a professional gamer, what equipment or skills you need, and many other things. If you want to learn more about this topic, stick around for the rest of the guide!
What Does It Mean to be a Professional Gamer?
If you’re new to the gaming community, you might not know what it means to be a professional gamer. After all, this industry has only been popular for a few years, with many people becoming a part of it and helping develop it further.
Let’s start with the basics – what professional gamers do. To become a professional game player, you need to play games as a full-time job, participate in various tournaments, and win valuable prizes from those tournaments.
Many people think that to be a professional gamer, you need to stream your gameplay online and have people watch it. However, that’s not always the case. The people who focus on live streaming are called gaming streamers. Professional gamers are the ones who participate in professional tournaments instead of streaming.
The gaming industry currently features a few more career options for interested individuals. If streaming or tournaments doesn’t seem like something you want to do full-time, you can always become a gaming journalist, host, tester, or expert. So, there is no shortage of options for people who want to make it in the world of professional esports.
How to be a Professional Gamer: Step-by-Step
Becoming a professional esports player might seem easy, but that’s not quite so. It’s easy to start playing games regularly, but becoming a professional and making a living solely from video gaming is difficult.
While difficult, it’s not impossible to become a professional esports player. By following ten meticulous, well-thought-out steps, you can build your esports player identity and start moving up the ranks as quickly as possible.
If that sounds interesting, let’s get right into the list of ten steps and see what you need to do to start your new and exciting career:
Step 1 – Find Motivation
The first thing you must consider is the core motivation, and the drive to make it as an esports player. If you can find something that will motivate you, you will inevitably want to work and improve, and you will not become easily bored with this career.
For example, you might have social motivations – you like the community, have friends you can team up with, or believe you can make friends by playing video games. You might have competition motives or achievement motivation that drive you to become a gamer. As long as something drives you, you’re on the right track.
Another common motivation type is monetary – you might think this career can help you get rich. This is not the best motivation, as you might easily get discouraged if you do not immediately start making money. We encourage you to try and find some other type of motivation.
Step 2 – Choose a Game
The next thing to think about is what game you want to play. Most professional video game players focus on one game or type of game. For example, they would play strategies, fighting, shooter, lifestyle, and fantasy games.
If you have a favorite game, you can work on improving in that game and become a professional at it. Many professional video gamers focus solely on Counter-Strike or League of Legends, Call of Duty, Tekken, etc. People are interested in watching gamers who play these games, so you might develop a following quickly if you focus on one of these games.
Step 3 – Start Training
Once you set your eyes on the game or games you want to play, you should start training. You should not take part in tournaments from the get-go and hope for the best. No, sir! In today’s world, there are so many professional video games that you’ll have a difficult time going up against the pros with little training.
If you are serious about becoming a professional video gamer, we recommend you start training at least six hours daily. If you have a lot of free time to play games, you can get up to 12 hours of practice daily.
You might not want to focus solely on training by playing games. It would help if you watched live streams of the same game to learn strategies and techniques other players incorporate. You can also watch tutorials or online tournaments to help you prepare for what is to come.
Step 4 – Learn to Function Under Pressure
Once you start racking up competitive gaming experiences, you’ll see that this career brings a lot of stress and pressure. Essentially, you’re battling against elite players who might have years of valuable experience. Gaining a competitive edge against them will not be easy, and it will likely come with much pressure.
So, it’s always wise to start getting used to working under pressure. That way, when you start playing professional tournaments, you will not be taken aback by all the stress. In fact, you can use it to drive you to become better and to work harder towards reaching the top of the esports world.
Step 5 – Invest in Quality Gear
All professional esports players need quality gear. You can’t participate in an esports tournament without the proper equipment, especially when playing on an old, run-down computer.
It’s wise to invest in quality gear from the get-go to start building muscle memory and practicing your favorite games on it. You will need a suitable desk and a comfortable chair, preferably one with armrests.
Next, you need a top-quality computer or console with an LED monitor. You should also invest in a WR set if you plan on using one for the tournaments. Each computer must come with a quality gaming mouse and mechanical keyboard.
Additionally, it would be best to have a high-quality camera, surround sound speakers, and a high-quality microphone. Prepare to spend a lot of money on all this gear, as most of these things are not cheap. If they are, you will probably not get the desired quality.
However, the investment is worth it, as you’ll be able to use the gear for years. It will give you an advantage over those who have low-quality gear, as they’ll not be able to keep up with you. That means you’ll be one step closer to reaching the top of the professional gaming ladder.
Step 6 – Join a Team
You will also benefit from having a stable gaming team, as your teammates can teach you how to become better at playing certain games, what strategies you can use, etc. But make sure you become a part of a professional team, one with which you can join team competitions and compete for valuable cash prizes.
If you are a good player, chances are a team will approach you, asking you to become a member. If that ever happens, remember to be respectful and mindful and show your desire to be a part of the team, learn from them, and help them improve.
Step 7 – Build Connections
Aside from your team, it would be best to try to link up with some novice esport players or even some professional esport players you know are successful. The new players will be players who understand you and who can grow with you. The professionals can help you understand the games better and learn valuable skills.
Any connections are good connections as long as they’re used the right way!
Step 8 – Find a Sponsor
After you practice for a while, you can start participating in local tournaments and move your way up to the pro esport tournaments. If you’re any good, a sponsor will come running to you, asking you to collaborate with them. It’s wise to have a sponsor, as they can take care of the finances while you focus solely on what you want to do – play games!
If a sponsor doesn’t come to you, you can always contact them through social media or your connections. Even if you don’t reach a deal quickly, at least you will get your name out there and turn some heads.
Step 9 – Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Your work life should not overtake your social life, no matter how devoted you are to making a name for yourself in professional esports. Sitting all day on a chair and looking at the monitor won’t benefit your body. So, you must always incorporate some daily practice, good nutrition, a good night’s sleep, and some social activities.
Having a healthy lifestyle can serve as a way to let go of the daily stress and pressure, and have a breather before you go back to the activity of gaming.
Step 10 – Embody the Pro Mentality
As a final step, we must mention that a pro-mind can lead to a pro-life. Whenever you start professional video gaming, think of yourself as someone who will make it, someone who is worth it, someone who others will want to look up to. Carry yourself like a professional, and you’ll undoubtedly turn into a professional because you’ll always be reminded that you’re working hard to one day live the life you have always envisioned for yourself.
Skills That Professional Gamers Need
In the previous section, we went over ten things that can help you become a professional gamer with top-notch gaming skills. But if you want to take your career one step further, there are a few skills you will want to work closely to develop. Here’s a bit more on those skills:
Strategic thinking can always come in handy, as it will help you be more mindful of how you play games. You don’t always need to be the fastest, best player to win the prize, but you do need to strategize better than your competition to rise to the top.
Quick reflexes and hand-eye coordination are also quite helpful when trying to make it as a professional gamer. These skills will allow you to be aware of what is happening even in the most fast-paced game, which will help you rise above the competition.
One of the things we mentioned in the previous section was that competitive video gaming comes with a ton of stress and pressure. While some crack under pressure, you need to rise above it, and the only way to do that is to stay calm and collected. Think about it – while others are panicking, you can use your natural gaming skills to move past them and win the game.
One of the characteristics that all professionals have is discipline, whether in the world of professional video gaming or other career paths. Discipline means always being on time and prepared, knowing that you need to work, being a reliable teammate, and knowing how to handle yourself like a pro when competing. Trust us – everyone loves a reliable gamer!
Finally, a skill you can benefit from is teamwork. Not only do you not need to have great relationships with your teammates, but you also need to establish yourself as someone who is always open to helping them with whatever they need. You can even be a team leader if you believe you have natural gaming skills and can lead your team to success.
Thank you for reading this detailed guide on how to be a professional gamer who can make a living by playing video games. After reading our guide, we hope you have a clear idea of what you need to do to make it as a professional esports player.
If you have any other tips or tricks regarding the world of esports that you would like to share with us, please do so in the comments below. We can’t wait to see what you think about this career path or if you would ever consider it a valid option for yourself.