They say video games are for kids, but that obviously doesn’t take into account all the professional, big-time players who get paid to do what they love. The world of eSports has picked up so much steam that video game battles are now covered across the nation on ESPN.
Hordes of fans flock to these conferences, wearing branded jerseys to represent their favorite player, watching from the stadium arena as competitors duke it out across epic battlefields. Even more viewers stream from home to get a glimpse of the campaign. Action, adrenaline, combat — there’s no surprise why so many people are obsessed.
But how do you go from the sidelines to the leader boards? What does it take to make money off your own gameplay? We’re going to break down the steps to stardom so you can eventually to put arguments by naysayers to rest. Sit back, buckle up, and get ready for gaming greatness.
Learn from the best
Legends aren’t born overnight. If you want to turn your hobby into a profitable profession, you’ll need to learn from the players that came before you. Study their wins, their losses, and the deft strategies that give them the upper hand at every corner. You can take notes by creating an account on Twitch and looking up your favorite game of choice. Obsessed with Counter-Strike? Then you better research f0rest, Twistzz, FalleN, and any top contender that can show you how it’s done. What tactics do they use to take down their enemies? Is rushing or camping more popular? When do they use their flashbangs?
How about the counter-terrorists? Watch their every movement in all their demos to learn what works best.
Pro tip: Weapon accuracy is much better when you’re standing still or crouched down, as it allows you to hold your weapon more steadily. If you listen closely, you can actually hear footsteps approaching so you’re never caught off guard.
Streamed battles aren’t your only resource, though. You can skim through endless video game blogs, Reddit forums, or look up a useful Star Wars Battlefront 2 review to learn the ins and outs of your favorite AAA title. As they say: work smarter, not harder. Make note of the hidden hallways, secret shortcuts, and little-known power-ups before you start practicing.
Put your skills to the test
To become a professional gamer, you’re going to need practice — and a lot of it. Keep in mind that becoming a pro is a full-time job. Yeah, that prize money is lucrative but it takes hard work to win. Most pro gamers say they play an average of eight hours or more every single day. That might sound like a dream at first, but when you’re exploring every square inch of the Overwatch universe, you’re going to have to tap into some inner determination.
Pro tip: You’re going to lose. A lot. Don’t get discouraged. Take every defeat as a learning opportunity and notice the mistakes you made. It’s going to take serious will power and drive to qualify for the big leagues.
Invest in your rig
Once you know that you have the knowledge, skills, motivation, and tenacity, it’s time to invest in a top-notch gaming rig. Don’t shell out the big bucks until you know that you’re going to take this endeavor seriously. Whether you play on a PS4 or you’re committed to the Xbox console, you can rest assured that your equipment won’t be cheap. The dollar doesn’t stop there, here’s a list of essentials you might need to take your gameplay to the next level depending on your title of choice:
- Gaming mouse
- Gaming keyboard
- Gaming mouse pad
- Dual monitor
- Ergonomic chair
- Blue light glasses
Pro tip: You’re going to be spending a lot of time in front of that screen as you master the tricks of the trade. You’ll want to be comfortable and sure to take precaution against back pain and eye strain.
Once you check off these three steps, you can start getting involved in the gaming community, stream your live content, and grow your fan base. Once you get enough attention and climb to the top of every tournament, you could get sponsored and receive a bid to the next eSports conference.
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