How to become an esports player

by Staff & Contributors

Pro esports players are literally at the top of their game, and the industry is still enjoying a ton of success even as global restrictions close out big events across the world. For many people, it’s living the dream – the closest they may get is sports betting on esports events, but getting a chance at a share of million dollar prize pots for playing Overwatch? What could be better? Obviously, as with any career, the reality is much different. Esports pros have insane training regimens, and their chosen game often consumes a much greater chunk of their lives than even the biggest non-professional player could imagine.

But if you’re considering living the esports dream, you might be wondering how to get started – we’ve condensed some of the most important tips into this article, so keep reading if you think this exciting career might be the one for you.

 

CHOOSE YOUR GAME

You’re going to need a John Wick level of focus to succeed here, and that’s going to mean laser-pointed attention in one direction – at least to begin with! The good news is, there’s plenty of choice – MMOs, MOBAs, FPS and battle royale games all have thriving competitive scenes across a huge range of titles. The chances are, there’s a genre and game perfect for you, so don’t be afraid to cast your net a little wider and experiment.

 

GEAR UP

While your gear isn’t as immediately as important as focus and practice, it’s definitely something you need to think about as soon as you’ve settled on a game you want to compete in. Take a look at what the pros in your chosen game use, and use your research to inform your choice of hardware and peripherals. You don’t need the fanciest graphics, but you do need the game to run as optimally as possible. There’s a ton of mouse and keyboard options available, some tailored specifically to certain games – a good MOBA mouse in the right hands, for example, can result in a big performance leap.

 

GET INVOLVED

 It’s not all about the grind – it’s about the larger community around your chosen game. If you want to succeed, you’ll need to be a part of it, and investing time in the community may well help you to stay motivated through long practice sessions and moments of doubt. It’ll be easier for you to get noticed if you’re moving in the same circles as the pros, after all – so don’t practice and grind alone in a bubble. Check in on forums, subreddits, get involved with streamers and YouTubers who play your game – absorb as much experience as possible, and make yourself known – you’ll probably make some useful contacts along the way. 

 

GET GRINDING 

You’ve picked your game, you’ve geared up as best you can, and you’re becoming a part of the game’s larger community. These are all essential first steps, sure, and for some of you this will probably be the quickest part of your esports journey. The grind is the reality that anybody serious about competing will face up to sooner or later, though – and no amount of fancy peripherals will be able to keep your motivation burning as you climb the ladder.

There are no shortcuts – you’ll need to immerse yourself in the game, and you’ll need to do more than get good. You will play the same maps to death. You’ll fall back down, and it won’t always be easy to get yourself back up. You don’t just need to know your strengths, you need to know your opponents, too. You’ll have to absorb as much information about your chosen game as possible to stand a chance at climbing the ladder all the way to the top. An equally great challenge, and one that can be particularly dangerous in gaming, is finding the balance.

It’s hard to walk the line between living the rest of your life and chasing esports glory, but you’re going to have to do it. The chances of getting burned out and permanently demotivated if you’re not paying attention to your physical and mental health are immense, so you’ll need to give equal weight to taking care of yourself. All that intense focus can take a lot out of you. You will not stay motivated and healthy enough to keep climbing the ladder if you can’t take care of your well being alongside it!

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