Professional gaming isn’t easy. Between avoiding the Type 2 diabetes, obesity and generally harsh blow to the social life, there’s plenty of reasons to avoid the profession. However, the fact the matter is that the pro gamer lifestyle is on the minds of millions of regular people. They want to know what it takes, they want to push themselves, and most importantly, they want the glory that comes with being a champion. Games like Street Fighter, Starcraft, League of Legends, Call of Duty, Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom and plenty of other titles have shown that gaming can give a handsome payoff to those that can make it through the steep climb. But what exactly does that entail? Get comfortable, and prepare to discover the pro-gaming blueprint for success.
The Technical Grind
The first hurdle that the average gamer has to jump is the sometimes overwhelming technical grind. The technical grind is the process of understanding all of the small, minor details that can play a major part in deciding who wins and who loses. Games like Street Fighter and Marvel Vs. Capcom require hundreds of hours to understand subtle nuances in the properties of attacks, priorities of attacks and how to prepare a winning strategy. Not only that, but they must also understand what each other player is capable of using on them in a match. It’s a long, arduous process, and the only way to succeed is to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve greatness.
The part where most players fail isn’t their inability to perform, but rather, they simply haven’t been noticed. Once a player has been noticed, their ability to network, train with skilled players and further develop themselves on a professional level becomes much easier than it would be to continue with the monotonous technical grind.
What does it take to get noticed? Well, here’s a simple list of tried-and-true traits that seem to get everyone’s attention:
• Put up a fight. One Of the easiest ways to get noticed is to give a well-known player a run for their money.
• Do something new. Everyone hates watching the same thing happen over and over again. Inventing or innovating a new technique or approach to the game is something that will quickly earn everyone’s attention.
• Be interesting. The rules of life still apply: interesting people get noticed more. They stand out from a crowd. Even though it might be difficult, remember to cultivate a life that’s more than just sick gaming skills. Health, wealth, knowledge and relationships will always be in high demand.
There’s still one last hurdle for the aspiring pro gamer: they probably aren’t getting paid. Gaming doesn’t fit neatly into modern society’s idea of a day job, so the average gamer needs to be prepared to think outside the box. Sponsorships are often considered the only way to make money, but this line of thinking is highly flawed. Sponsorships don’t always pay the bills and they usually have steep competition. It’s far easier to make a living as a gamer with income from YouTube videos or a blog with a decent following and basic affiliate marketing. Beyond that, there’s tournament prizes and money matches where legal, but Internet money is almost always the best bet. There’s also the option of working minimally in a high-paying profession, but that’s a slippery-slope of economics, education and unrelated skills.
The raw truth behind pro gaming is that, with enough dedication, it’s possible for anyone that wants it. While gamers tend to be the butt-end of jokes that liken their body shape to a penguin or make their financial outlook seem unbearably poor, the opportunities are still out there. The competitive field is emerging, growing and evolving. The only way to succeed is to have the skills it takes to win, get noticed by the people that count and prosper from the games that people love to play. It might sound simple, but not everything that’s simple is easy.