At the moment, it’s more than evident that both e-sports and competitive gaming are getting bigger and bigger as social phenomena. Gaming tournaments and leagues are massive, with thousands of live spectators (in real sporting arenas) and hundreds of thousands more observing via streaming services. Prize pools are measured in millions of dollars and it’s getting harder and harder to ignore the popularity of these gamers as social media influencers and even celebrities. So, with this as a viable career option, is there a way for you to get a piece of this action? Here are five tips to help you start out.
The first thing you need to understand about competitive gaming is the fact that it’s a job… a real job. It’s not just you playing a video game for fun. You need to practice and hone your skills. Keep in mind that the majority of pro gamers (regardless if they’re in e-sports teams or consider themselves to be primarily streamers) play the game of choice for 8 to 10 hours per day. In other words, it’s a full-time job and in order to thrive and prosper in it, you need to be ready and willing to invest the same kind of dedication and hard work into it.
Another thing you need to know about competitive video games is the fact that there’s a fair amount of research that goes into success. Competitive video games are constantly updated and patched in order to stay balanced. Unless you read all the latest patch notes, you might find yourself to be out of touch. Also, if you want to try out new things, it might be time-saving to check if someone else has tried it out before you. Who knows, you might even pick up a tip or two that would never cross your mind.
One more thing you need to understand is the importance of your setup. In most cases, it would be recommended that you get yourself a quality desktop rig and custom-make your computer. Still, if you expect to go to a lot of local tournaments, it might be better to get a reliable gaming laptop with the right specs. Also, it’s not just the computer that matters. Peripherals, like a mouse, keyboard, headset, etc. are also important. Even the seating that you choose may make a difference (especially considering how long these gaming sessions can get). Sure, this might cost you a bit but you can always look at it as an investment.
The next thing you need to keep in mind is the importance of the community. The majority of e-sports are team-based, which is why it’s incredibly important that you can A) make your way into the team and B) make yourself an indispensable member of the team. Other than this, if you become a team captain, you might be in charge of scheduling scrims. This means that you need to have a great relationship with other teams. All in all, networking and communication skills are pivotal for your success in competitive gaming.
Keep in mind that sometimes it’s not about technical prowess but about your decision-making, general awareness and shot-calling skills. Therefore, try to identify your strengths and play to them at all times. Previously, we’ve talked about the communication – however, this doesn’t have to happen in-game. Why wouldn’t you gain renown as a great tactician? Being a coach or an e-sports team manager is a thing nowadays. Who said that you have to be a gamer in order to get involved in the world of competitive gaming?
Like in any other sport or competitive game, you will get better with time. Sure, some people progress faster than others but then, it’s not about how far you can get… it’s about whether you can reach your end goal. So, arm yourself with patience, get into the right mindset and roll up your sleeves.