Sure, all gamers would consider themselves 'good.' But, how good is 'good?'
Yes, we know. It seems like some kind of child's fiction where we are discussing the possibility of making a career out of gaming. Yet, one of the perks of existing in the twenty-first century, although we seem to be on the edge of a nuclear disaster, is technology. Ironic I might add. Technology has allowed for the assimilation of 'pro gaming' as a sustainable, and very rewarding career path.
Now, I must emphasis to you 'non-gamers' that that does not necessarily mean that anybody can become a Pro Gamer. Contrary to the common view that all we do is sit mindlessly in front of a screen frying our brain cells, thousands and thousands of hours have been dedicated to mastering the skill set required to become professional at a game. The gamers you see with thousands of subscribers do not rake in hundreds of thousands because they are lucky. You need to be prepared to eat, sleep and live gaming; if you are not willing to commit to the gaming lifestyle, go and take up another hobby. If not, read on and learn the esports lifestyle.
You need to be prepared to eat, sleep and live gaming
The first, and arguably most important step on your journey to being a Pro Gamer is picking a game; this will make or break your gaming career. There are only a minority of Pro Gamers out there that can jump from genre to genre with relative ease. Even then, most keep the genre consistent. Therefore, find a game, practice the game, stick to the game.
Because we care and want to help at IG, but more importantly for our love of gaming, we will provide you with a brief insight into the different genres you could possibly become a professional at:
MOBAS currently offer the largest cash prize payouts in the world of esports gaming competitions. Games like DOTA 2 or LOL set gamers with a series of objectives to accomplish in teams against another set of teams. Looking at DOTA 2 alone, we can see that they have paid out around $65,000,000 (yes, million) in prize money. Do not worry, even you, yes you, the person who always finds themselves at the bottom of the scoreboard can achieve this. There are always many players online, therefore plenty of opportunities to get your practice in! In MOBAS, communication and coordination are integral; however, your team is key to success. If you are a bit of a loner, then you may want to find something else..
One of the founding competitive genres of gaming, I'm sure even you Eighties Babies remember these gaming tournaments in your local arcades, is Fighting Games. If you are too young to remember, then the vibes are very much similar to the Arcade scene in the first episode of the second season of Stranger Things - just with Street Fighter and a much rowdier crowd. Fast-forward twenty, or so, years competitive fighting gaming competitions have completely taken off, with top-level games also televised on ESPN. Although pay-outs for fighting games does not come anywhere near to that of MOBAs, the fighting game community is regarded as a very spirited. Unlike MOBAs, fighting games are a lot shorter in play; however, this allows for more gamers to enter competitions, which therefore means more fun! Oh, and if you are a bit of a loner, you do not need a team. #winning
First Person Shooters provide healthy competition for gamers. During the Nineties, it was Doom and Quake that led the FPS scene. Gamers would assemble at LAN parties and compete against each other (if you are too young to know, or remember LAN parties, we envy you). In 1995, with the release of Doom II, these LAN parties fizzled out and QuakeCon saw the introduction of a worldwide FPS gaming competition. Esports organises the majority of modern FPS competitions around team-based games. For example, Halo has a solid competitive community and the best make a respectable amount from their talents, yet as viewership is considerably lower, prize money on offer reflects this.
Now we have looked at the different genres, and hopefully you have identified your 'money-maker', it's time to get good. Unfortunately, it’s not enough consistently beating the computer. Nor is it enough consistently beating the computer and your friends. No friend you have faced; no online user you have faced will prepare you for what it takes to be successful at a competition.
Playing against the very best is the only way to test your skillset. Playing against high level gamers will allow you to see exactly how far away from the very best you are. Therefore, playing online seems the most effective way to do this. Furthermore, many Pro Gamers form local groups, which are dedicated to providing aspiring gamers with an opportunity to break into the gaming scene.
Ok, so we have established that practice makes perfect. But what else separates Pro Gamers from the millions of gamers? Nobody likes to lose. Nobody particularly likes to lose when they know they should not have lost. However, Pro Gamers maintain that learning from their mistakes was the impetus behind their success. As a gamer, if you are able to rationalise your loss, and carefully evaluate what went wrong and at what point, then you will reduce the probability of committing the same mistake.
Then there are the sacrifices.
Whilst the prospect of being a Pro Gamer is appealing to the unlucky portion of us that have boring 9-5s, there are undoubtedly some life-changing sacrifices to be made. The first is the impact on your social life.