How to Become a Professional Gamer in 5 Easy Steps
Gaming is big business around the world, with revenues from computer, smartphone and console games having topped $90 billion last year. As the gaming industry continues to prosper, gamers in countries from the US, China, the UK, South Korea and beyond are turning their hobby – or obsession – into a lucrative source of income. Some really dedicated players have ditched their day jobs to focus solely on gaming as a profession – but the decision to game for a living can’t be taken without doing some preparation.
In this article, we’ll take you through five easy steps that will help you become a professional gamer – let’s get started.
1. Commit Yourself to Gaming Most of the Day, Every Day
Being a professional gamer is kind of like being in the military. There are days when you’ll be playing almost the whole day – and some of the night too – to win special events, tournaments and campaigns. Even on slow days you’ll be preparing for the next big prize, brushing up on your strategy, keeping up with new updates and features in your favorite games, and communicating with your teammates.
This level of commitment sounds easy and even fun – it’s a game after all – but you’ll still need to schedule your time. Spending up to ten hours a day playing games may not sound that productive to outsiders (including some family members), and you’ll need to balance your personal and professional life just like you do with your full-time job. Once you have the support of your friends and family, you’ll be ready to focus on gaming as a serious career.
2. Build a Strong Team – And Aim for the Leadership
One of the keys to earning well from professional gaming is building a strong team that can win events and tournaments – and earn cash from prizes and sponsorships. A team of strong players can do so much more than a solo player who tries to “take on the world” – and it’s a great way to make friends and exchange gaming ideas too. If you really want to excel as a professional gamer, you’ll want to progress to a team leader or co-leader as soon as possible – and that takes hard work, leadership skills and patience.
If you’re going to make serious money from gaming, you have to run your team like a pro.
Communicating with your team is essential – and you’ll want to go beyond the game’s built-in chat function. Use a video chat app like Discord (you can visit this site for more info on the app) to keep up with your teammates and you’ll be able to put a face (and voice) to the gaming names you see on the screen every day.
You can also conduct interviews online when a new player wants to join your team, and arrange a few real-life meetings a year if you don’t live too far from one another.
3. Know Your Game Inside Out
Whether you make your living playing Starcraft, Crossfire, Quake, FIFA or any of the popular titles out there, you’ll need to study and understand the game in detail. Knowing how to play a game is one thing, but playing it strategically to gain the maximum number of points and move to the top of the team leaderboard takes time and patience.
If you have a background in software or game design, you’ll be at an advantage when it comes to understanding game strategy. Professionals from analytical disciplines – including economists, traders, medical professionals, lawyers, statisticians, and even music composers – are at a big advantage when it comes to learning how games work and how to progress as fast as possible. If you’re not a numbers or strategy person, but have great people skills, you can always use this to your advantage and be a genius team manager – you can always get master strategists to join you as you need them.
4. Train Your Mind and Bury Your Anger
Many online games are based on war and battle strategy, and unfortunately that means your team will get attacked by rivals often. When this happens, the last thing you’ll want to do is take it personally – always be strategic.
Instead of seeing red and launching a counterattack, which could end up costing you money and resources, you’ll need to take a step back and ask yourself if revenge is worth it. Every move you make in the game needs to have a big pay-off in the form of points, prizes or your position on the leaderboard.
If you realize that your decisions are based more on emotion that analysis, it may be time to bring in a cool-headed co-leader to help you put things in perspective.
5. Learn to Monetize
There are so many ways of earning money from professional gaming, from prizes and rewards you earn from the game itself to the salaries, sponsorships and cash prizes that gaming platforms and professional gaming alliances are willing to pay their top players. Once you understand the hundreds of ways that you can earn money from gaming, you can weigh up your options and see which one is most profitable for you and your team.
You’ll also need to count the number of hours you spend gaming each day and make sure your earnings per hour are in line with what you should be making. You may also want to put in extra hours each week to make up for the times when you aren’t able to play (think of family vacations, Sundays and other occasions when life happens). With a full financial strategy in place, you’ll be on your way to earning a good income doing what you love.
Gaming has gone from being a hobby to a profession over the past few decades – and as the future of online living and working opens up, this trend should only get stronger. By establishing yourself as a respected professional gamer today, you’ll be setting yourself up for a lucrative career from the comfort of your own home. Your passion for gaming will become the driving force behind your career as you move up the global rankings and lead your team to victory.