Something to think about, Video Games

How To Become a Professional Video Game Player

There are a lot of things I want to share with you; knowledge about gaming rigs and hardware, some game guides, buyer’s guides, game reviews, and many more. This time though, I will be focusing on sharing some real ways on how to be a professional eSports gamer, and why someone could start dreaming of becoming one.

What Is The Definition Of a Professional Gamer?

Esports gamer or player is someone who plays games through competitions and tournaments being hosted either by a local company or the creators of the games itself.

Just like the traditional sports being played in real life (basketball, football, baseball, etc.), eSports players are also getting paid a large amount of money. As a matter of fact, the only difference between sports and eSports is that eSports games are being played through a gaming computer or console – that is why its complete name is called “Electronic Sports”.

What Is eSports?

As said above, it’s simply doing sports in the virtual world of electronics and gadgets – a sport for gamers! A lot of people think that it’s impossible for them to be an eSports player when in fact, everyone can literally be one and everyone will get the same chances of becoming one.

This fair chance is possible because most of the eSports events or games are being played online. With that, you literally just need an internet connection and a good gaming rig to have that fair chance to be drafted or to be able to join one.

So, if all that it takes to join these events are these mentioned above, why there are only about less than 1% of the whole gamer population can join? The reason is because of competition – and this is something that we will discuss further a bit later.

Do I Need The Best Equipment?

No, not at all. You don’t need fancy computer rigs, the best headset there is or a gaming mouse and keyboard. However, you should make sure that the computer can handle the game you chose to compete in without a hitch.

What Are eSports Tournaments and Events?

Photo by a.canvas.of.light at Flickr

There are so many games hosting eSports events now. In fact, they are so many of them now that you won’t be able to list them all. Though many, the prize pool differs depending on the game and the events from within this game. Some events are being held locally, but some are on an international level which the creators of the games itself are hosting.

Below is a list of some of the biggest eSports events in history ranked from highest to lowest in terms of the prize pool

Video Game Event Prize Pool
Dota 2 The International 2018 $25,532,177
League of Legends LoL 2018 World Championship $6,450,000
Fortnite Fortnite Fall Skirmish Series – Clubs Standings $4,000,000
Halo 5: Guardians Halo World Championship 2016 $3,057,521
Call of Duty: Black Ops III Call of Duty XP Championship 2016 $2,000,000
Rainbow Six Siege Six Invitational 2019 $2,000,000
Overwatch Overwatch League – Season 1 Playoffs $1,700,000
Counter Strike: Global Offensive World Electronic Sports Games 2016 (CS:GO) $1,500,000

Reference: https://www.esportsearnings.com/tournaments

Step by Step Guide

So what’s the secret on becoming a professional gamer? Well, it boils down to a few things:

Step 1 – What should I play?

Well, let me answer that question in 3 words – don’t think, feel! Yes, it’s that easy. Sure, the prize pool can be overwhelming, but it’s impossible for you to hook up these prizes if you can’t even love the game.

The first rule in becoming a true professional gamer is to love the game you REALLY want to play. You have to feel the right game for you, and check if the creators of that game are hosting eSports events and tournaments.

Considering that you follow Step 1 by heart and the game you love hosts an international tournament yearly, here are the next steps that you need to go through so your talent would be discovered by agencies and teams that are participating in these tournaments.

Fortnite gaming

Step 2 – Git Gud!

Since Step 1 is to love the game first before anything, the step 2 of our journey is to actually get good or get better. I’ve mentioned at the start that eSports, like any other sports, are basically competitions. It is unlike other competitions that you can basically outsmart (ex. Google), but eSports competitions only accept gamers who will do what it takes to improve. We are talking about thousands and thousands of hours of practice – thousands and without exemption.

You will be competing against geniuses and skilled alike — the best against the best only, and strictly. So you need to train and train. Train both your skills and mentality, train every single brain cell you have and hone it for the biggest fight of your life. Just like the saying goes – “Git Gud!”. (If you’re new to gaming, make sure to see my compiled list of gamer talk!)

Step 3 – Get Ranked

Aim for that game’s highest rank – this part is very important and the ranking system on every game that hosts eSports events differ from each other. The point is, there will always be a ranking system associated with these games, and this is something that you would need to learn as well.

You don’t have to get the highest rank, as these ranking systems are not usually the competition itself, but you need to be at least on the top for some various reasons.

First, you really want to be able to play with professional players even at public games. This ranking system allows players to be able to play with other players of their skill level ONLY. This means that noobs will only be playing against noobs, amateurs against amateurs, and pros against pros.

The game server will record your overall stats and usually these games have a ranking score system that will determine your prowess in the game. Like in DotA 2 for example, they call it MMR or matchmaking rank. If you have 1,000 MMR, then expect enemies from this bracket only. The more you win matches, the more MMR you will get, and when you lose, you will get MMR deductions as well.

So if you reach really high scores, expect that you will be on average going to be playing with or against professional players. Remember that just like you, these professional players also spend thousands of hours in front of the computer to practice, and it will not be uncommon for ordinary players to play against these pro players considering if they are in the same ranking bracket.

The advantages? First, you will have the best training camp ever existed, and secondly – a chance of getting scouted or recruited by pro teams which we will discuss in the next step.

Step 4 – Recruitment

Tip of our journey – if you managed to pass these steps and make it up this far, then consider yourself at the tip of your journey. Put this in your mind; the competition in eSports is so intense that companies across the world are building agencies for gamers and teams to compete for these big tournaments.

Remember when you scroll down on your YouTube feed and see familiar team names playing on different games? Oh well, just so you know that these are actually names of agencies which the players you see are playing for.

Team names like Cloud 9, NaVi (short for Natus Vincere), Liquid, OG, and many others are present in almost every huge eSports events because they are more of an agency recruiting players to join their team – players like you potentially. These agencies have their “scouts” that gradually check new arising stars that could be added to their lineup, and you’ll need to make sure that you’ll be one of these rising stars that will get scouted.

Watch every documentary about these pro players and I bet about 90% of them were recruited via public games. One of the best example I can give is Amer Al-Barkawi famously known as “Miracle-“. Miracle just like you was just a pub star. He is someone who simply loves Dota 2, got good at it that he was ranking up high in Dota 2’s ranking system, and then eventually got scouted by Johan “N0tail” Sundstein who was the captain of Team OG. That’s where Miracle-‘s pro gamer life started.

Take note that not being able to join these big teams is not the end of your story. Some players just build their own teams. The main advantage of having your own team is of course you will get to take home all of the prizes if you win, but the main disadvantage is that you will need to spend money for your accommodations when you participate on tournaments which are usually being held internationally. Speaking of teams and agencies, this is something that we will talk about in the next phase.

What Does It Feel Like to Be in A Professional eSports Team?

Basically, you will feel a lot of pressure being in one. Don’t forget that these teams expect a lot from you, so you should do your best in any eSports tournament your team will participate in whether it’s big or small.

It’s very common for teams to kick out members or to disband entirely, so it’s important to know your focus and to make yourself better and better. The deal between you and the agency is something that you should always remember as well.

Remember that these teams or agencies are paying a lot for your accommodations and salary. All you have to do is to practice and practice so you could win those titles.

Usually, they will pay for all of your accommodations during tournaments. These include plane tickets, hotels, food, and will even give you a fix monthly salary. Your agency will also help you get other income through sponsorship from other bigger companies. Some known companies supporting eSports teams are MSI, Red Bull, Monster, Intel, AMD, and many more. Take note that the monthly salary of pro gamers is so good that they don’t need to do other jobs anymore.

So, why are these agencies willing to pay for your salary and accommodations? If you win, they will get a percentage of your winnings and that’s how they make money. Look at Dota 2’s prize pool of about $25 million USD. If you win the championship, the grand prize will be divided into 5 because there will be 5 of you in a team. After that, a part of your share will be given to the agency. Usually the percentage that goes to your agency will not be that high, but it will depend on which team you will join. So, if you ever reach this point of your journey – make sure to read the terms and conditions properly!

Conclusion

As you might now know, the journey to become a pro player can be simplified in these few steps I mentioned. And when you check it again, you will realize that the most important part is to really become better which can be done with your dedication and love for the game.

So get your butt up and practice. Not later, but now!


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