The world of competitive gaming, also known as eSports
, has never been more popular and it seems poised to continue for the foreseeable future. With more players and more cash flowing into ever-increasing tournament prize pools, it’s not hard to understand why this has become an enticing prospect for gamers all over the world.
For gamers of all levels, the question of how to become a professional gamer is an increasingly common one. What does a pro gamer do? How can you get into competitive gaming? These are reasonable questions regardless of your age and even your skill level. Each eSport game is different so each game requires different levels of commitment. A few things are universal, though, when it comes to the wider world of competitive gaming.
Finding your pathway into competitive gaming
Becoming a pro gamer can be challenging, no matter which game or platform you choose. If you play regularly and are passionate, there aren’t many things holding you back from excelling, but becoming a pro is a whole different prospect. In this article, we’ll give you a nudge in the right direction with a handful of tips on how to become a professional video game player.
There’s no substitute for skill and experience, but how you develop each of those depends on varying factors. The games you prefer to play, how you prefer to play, who you play with, and how much you participate in the community can all have an impact. But don’t forget, the goal is to find out what you enjoy most and how you can share that experience, so remember to have fun, even as you work hard at your chosen path.
Here are the main points we’ll focus on:
- Choose your preferred game or genre as a focus for competition
- Consider joining a gaming community
- Make sure you have a well-equipped and comfortable gaming setup
- Consider streaming to build your player profile and following
- Spend time researching the competition before you commit to a team
1. Choose a preferred game or genre as a focus for competition
Numerous options to choose from
For many players, picking the game or genre of games to focus on may be the easiest part of your journey. The increasing scope of eSports means that potential competitive players have loads of options to consider when it comes to genre and game mechanics. New players can truly take their pick, while others with experience may choose to double down on the style of game they already know best.
Research, experiment, play
So, what’s a good way to get started if you have no experience? Start by doing some basic research to see what you prefer. Check out game reviews or spend some time at your local game store, where you’ll often find experienced staff who can provide some insight. If you think you’ve found something you like, such as Fortnite
, try it out and get a feel for the mechanics.
Develop a sustainable practice routine
Once you have a game in mind, it’s time to start practicing so you can boost your skills for competition. How you pursue things at this point depends on the game, but it’s important to hone your craft in solo and multiplayer environments. Nothing will better prepare you for actual competitive play than mastering the mechanics and experiencing the creativity of other human players.
2. Consider joining a gaming community
Finding the right community for support
Remember guilds? Player associations like those are still around in just about every form imaginable. There are old and new clans, guilds, and factions constantly cropping up to help players organize and dominate within their game. Groups like this help players gain an edge, both by sharing valuable experiences and by bringing a variety of skill levels together to train.
Some groups have been around for years without much change to their style or gameplay, while others grow, crash, and reform with surprising speed and variety. It all depends on your preferred game or genre. A guild or clan can start out small with just a few friends and grow to a meaningful institution with its own dedicated resources and agenda. Others stay small and adapt to satisfy community needs, even changing games or platforms when demand calls for it.
Don’t forget to check out events and cons
Online player communities meet and stay in touch in a variety of ways, but themed events and gaming conferences
can be a great way to build connections and experience. You can meet your fellow players and past champions, and even talk to developers who will be eager to discuss their work (and maybe give you some hints).
How to join a pro gaming team
Ultimately, professional gaming teams use their own criteria to judge potential members. That means building your personal profile and experience is often the best way to get noticed. If you started out this article wondering specifically how to become a professional gamer and get paid for gaming, then making the cut for a pro gaming team can help save time. Of course, joining a team and playing in a gaming league takes a lot of practice, and it also means using these 5 tips as a guide.
3. Make sure you have a well-equipped and comfortable gaming setup
Competitive gaming comes with its own hardware requirements. If you’re committed to online and competitive gaming, the demands can be relatively substantial. For the sake of your own comfort and to keep up with other players, it’s important to set a realistic bar for yourself when it comes to your gaming PC
Specs to consider when buying or upgrading your PC
The latest processors offer a bigger advantage on the latest titles, and a dedicated NVIDIA® or AMD® graphics card will provide the best visuals. Your RAM and storage requirements will vary depending on your routine. 16GB of RAM is a good target for responsive memory, while active users will want more than 1TB of local storage.
How to prioritize your display choice
The next step is choosing your display
. While you may want to grandfather in an older device you already own, a high-performance display is necessary for certain titles. Graphics cards and PC hardware are important, but without the right display you can miss out on the full potential of your rig. The latest technology often works hand in hand, too, meaning you may need a display compatible with your graphics card
. Whether you choose FreeSync, G-Sync, or VSync, you’ll need to make sure your visuals give you every advantage.
For most players, the ideal gaming display offers the best possible resolution, which is also what developers have in mind when creating games in the first place. The right 4K or Ultra High Definition display
can set a strong foundation for new and experienced players alike.
Options from HP OMEN PCs
The HP OMEN family
is a great place to start shopping for a dedicated gaming rig, and it includes both full desktop and laptop options. You’ll also find a huge range of display and accessory options, offering both affordable entry items and high-powered performance behemoths.
4. Consider streaming to build your player profile
There’s a growing world of live game streaming to explore
Loads of new and longtime gamers have been drawn to streaming
, whether or not they’re interested in formal gaming competition. With platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming, you can easily broadcast gaming sessions live to viewers. Streaming is a growing part of the ever-expanding gaming space, with well-known personalities and a diverse global viewership fueling more and more interest.
Provides a lower pressure alternative to competitive gaming
For some players, the advantage of live-streaming is that it is essentially non-competitive. Players can stream their normal multiplayer and single-player encounters, so there's still the test of skill, just without the pressure of a formal tournament.
Streaming allows you to play at your own pace and level of ability, with many audiences drawn in as much by good commentary as skillful gameplay. It also allows you to build your own independent source of income through partnerships, advertising, and donations.
Great way to raise your profile as a professional gamer
Streaming can be a fine alternative to professional gaming if you’re looking for opportunities to make money as a player, but it’s also a nice supplement for pro gamers. Not all streamers participate in active competition, but it is a common sideline for pros and a way to engage with fans and other players. Since you’re in control of your stream, you can explore and play however you prefer.
5. Spend time researching the competition before you commit
Spectate before competing
Watching competition as a fan can help build experience. Once you’ve thought a little about your preferred game or genre focus, look for opportunities to participate more casually. This gives you a chance to gauge other players and their styles, as well as make friends and contacts. You can also learn more about the regulations and community landscape that you may need to navigate as a professional.
Learn the rules that govern pro-gaming
Professional gaming is often regulated by different authorities, but pro players in competition also have to be prepared for their own rules. That’s why casual spectating is a low-stress way to learn more about regulations. It also reveals more about the community landscape, from the fanbase to the potential sponsors and even representatives from pro teams.
What does it take to be a pro gamer?
It can be a challenge to get into the world of professional gaming, and remember, pro gaming isn’t a casual commitment. For most pro players, gaming at the professional level means a deep level of involvement. After all, gaming can easily become a full-time job for a dedicated player.
You should expect to spend a lot of time cultivating your own skills and style of play, with a comparable effort getting your hardware together and building community involvement. Do your research and practice before making hard commitments. Your chances are just as good as anybody’s.
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About the Author: Dwight Pavlovic is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Dwight is a music and technology writer based out of West Virginia.