How can I be the best gamer?
1. Gear up:
You’re going to need suitable equipment to stand a chance of competing with other people. That is, assuming that you’ve chosen to go down the PC gaming route. Not only does this include a PC that can handle the specific specs, but also in finding the right gaming accessories that allow you to have pinpoint accuracy over your movement.
A decent internet connection is essential. Competitive gaming is all about fast reactions. If you have high ping on a game, then this can additionally affect your response time, and may cost you a crucial amount of milliseconds in which you find out you’ve been sniped in the head!
2. Study popular techniques & tactics:
A pro gamer will often watch replays of their competitors so they can learn their style, and figure out how to exploit their weaknesses in a tournament. This could include locations where they hide, pathways that they take, and move combos they like to perform.
If you’re getting pawned on a game that you’re not very familiar with, it might be worth taking a step back and studying one of your best opponents from spectator mode. Observe what they like to do, and how they go about doing it.
YouTube videos and live Twitch streams are also your friend if you want to gain additional knowledge on how to get even better. Regularly watching streams of other players in your free time will help to bring a new perspective on how to play the game, and is bound to teach you a new technique that you might not have previously thought of.
3. Practice makes perfect:
This is no-doubt this most important aspect of becoming a pro gamer, that will require you to make a lot of sacrifices. There’s a huge difference between doing something for fun and doing something because you have to.
If you want to become the best you will have to train harder, and longer than everyone else around you; all while keeping to a set schedule. This means sticking to at least 6 hours day even – even when other commitments come up.
It’s essential to practice efficiently with something specific in mind, instead of aimlessly just trying to pad out the hours.
The top players will target one portion of something they need to work on, and then work on it some more. Whether this is going over the same scenarios thousands of times, to then proceed to different ones straight after.
The majority of pro gamers don’t get to the top because of their academics, or just by having the best reflexes; it’s because they grind tirelessly to improve themselves.
4. Join a team:
Getting involved with a team will help to push you to your limit. This could be your first step to seeing some real in-game progress. When there’s a match to be won, and you’re surrounded by a bunch of quality players – who have nothing on their mind apart from winning, now is the time to step up your game.
Competing with better players will not only rub off on you, but also help to expose any of your flaws and weaknesses. On a lot of first-person shooter games such as CS:GO and Overwatch, your teammates will get to spectate your screen as they’re waiting to respawn.
Playing with a group friends, who are more tactically aware, are sure to have more knowledge and guidance, to help fix any errors in your gameplay. It’s sometimes hard to get a coach but this is another way to get that sort after guidance to help improve overall ‘quality’ practice.
5. Communicate with other players:
There’s a reason why pro gamers wear a headset with a mic, and it’s not for hurling insults. Good communication skills are essential in the modern game, as the fastest way to exchange valuable information.
Pro’s will know the maps they play on inside out, and use their vocabulary to co-ordinate their team to different places on them seamlessly. Either as tactics, or by giving up an opponent’s position. Each wasted second in a lost opportunity. Communication needs to be direct, effective and to the point.
6. Join a gaming community:
Joining an active gaming community e.g. On Reddit, or Discord, etc. will surely provide you with tons of useful knowledge, helping you to master almost any game. The complexity of a game can sometimes be just too great for one person on their own, which is why you will need to transfer your ideas and stay informed with others.
A good community can help you out with any questions or frustrations that might arise, and provide info on tips, glitches, and tricks to help overcome these problems. You will find that most gamers in these communities are friendly and approachable. They will often go out of their way to help you reach your best, giving you a hope of encouragement.
7. Increase your online presence:
A big part of being a pro gamer is what you can sell for your team and sponsors. You can use social media, and streaming as a way to achieve this. It’s best to start building your social presence early, so you can connect with other players and make some genuine friends. You never know, they just might be on the same journey as you!
Make a Twitter, Facebook, and Twitch account, then cross-plug the links when you’re streaming. Entertaining on live streams is not the focal point that you’ll want to focus on if you’re aiming to be a pro, but is probably the best way to raise your online presence. Just save it for the weekends, and don’t let it affect your gameplay or training sessions.
Learn how to track your numbers, and log your long term growth so that you have something to provide to a team/sponsors when they finally come knocking. This can include your social media accounts; listing any key achievements, winnings, or stream numbers from recognized events that you were broadcasted in.
8. Participate in Tournaments:
Nothing is going to prepare you for the life of a pro gamer, quite like your first tournament. This is the real test on how to keep your cool under pressure, while blocking out all other distractions around you. When there’s prize money to be won and the audience is fired up, this is not as easy as it seems.
The more competitions you get round to participating in, the better you will get at handling the adrenalin rush. Whether this is sat in a gaming café or at home on your own. Once you’ve got this under control you can begin to climb the ranks.
Doing well in a tournament is the golden ticket to success. If you beat someone good, you’ll get the first bit of attention you need. If you do it consistently, others will start to take notice.
Many gamers meet, and make friends with pros at local LAN tournaments. Be sure to get acquainted with others if you’ve landed in the same open bracket.
At these events, you will also have the potential to meet a wide range of people who could become invaluable to contributing to your career, such as potential practice partners, team owners, game store owners, sponsors, and other behind-the-scenes personalities who can help you progress along the way.
9. Attend an esports summer camp
If you’re serious about gaming, and have some extra cash saved up, then you might want to look into attending an esports summer camp. They’re more common than you might think.
Esports Camps are designed to bring young players together to learn new skills, train as a team, and grow the community.
Most camps will teach you how to improve your play, transition skills from game to game, and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle while being a competitive gamer.
A good camp will help you to understand the essentials that you’ve probably overlooked before such as; equipment, VOD reviews, nutrition, ergonomics, and PC settings, etc.
10. Keep your day job
When you’re starting on this journey it’s important to remember that you will still need to allocate time to other areas of your life. The road to becoming a pro can take many years and by no means is going to happen overnight. Following a schedule to keep a balance will help you to achieve this.
In the meantime, you will still have to work to pay your bills, keep up a healthy social life, and all the other necessaries that come with being a responsible adult.
How should a pro gamer look after their health?
The physical and mental health of a pro is crucial to the success of every player. This is so they can manage their in-game stress levels, and maintain focus when training or competing in tournaments.
A Gamers physical health includes all things related to their body, as they’re often sat down for many hours each day. Mental health includes coping with long hours of isolation and dealing with stress under tiredness.
The health of a gamer is sometimes overlooked, but is essential to helping an athlete reach their full potential.
Here are some things to be aware of:
The key to a healthy diet is to eat the right amount of calories for how active you are, so that you balance the energy you consume with the energy you use. Avoid snacking on sugary foods and drinks all day that are packed with starchy carbohydrates.
It’s common for gamers to play long into the night, but this is not going to do you any favors. Our bodies all require long periods of sleep to restore and rejuvenate themselves. A healthy amount of sleep is especially important for someone who plays video games so they can retain information and perform better on memory tasks.
Good posture involves sitting in positions where the least strain is placed on your muscles and ligaments during these activities. If you slouch on your chair or are seated in the wrong position to your screen height, then it may cause you aches and other problems further down the line.
Anyone who uses or works at a computer for long periods should remember to take frequent breaks. frequent breaks are effective in preventing excessive fatigue and possible injury. Blood clots are sometimes associated with gamers after long periods of immobility. You can find out more in our post here.
Pro gamers take their warm-ups very seriously and understand that they need to look after their joints to prolong their career. Wrist and back injuries have become especially prevalent in esports.
The top players either warm up by playing a game that has minimal button-bashing first, or by performing exercises.
‘In a recent study on the health of an eSport athlete it was found that the most frequently reported complaint was eye fatigue (56%), followed by neck and back pain (42%). eSport athletes reported wrist pain (36%) and hand pain (32%). Forty per cent of participants do not participate in any form of physical exercise’.
It’s easy to forget about doing exercise when gaming is at the forefront of your mind. Exercising helps to decrease a person’s risk of developing certain diseases, obesity, and high blood pressure.
Esports athletes go through a huge amount of stress when competing at the highest level. They’re often under an immense amount of pressure to keep up with their peers, the long hours of rigorous training, and the amount of money that’s involved in the industry. It’s common for the top teams to have their own psychologist to help them deal with the stress.
If you are starting-out by yourself, don’t forget to look after yourself by getting enough rest. Remember that humans require a suitable amount of real-life connection too.
About Pro Gamers:
You may be wondering what exactly is a “pro gamer” so we’ve answered these questions first:
What defines a pro gamer?
A pro gamer plays competitive video games for prize money or salaries. This requires a competent level of skill in a particular game, which differs from that of an amateur. Most pro gamers compete in global competitions as their sole source of income, or are paid by their teams or sponsors.
Is pro gaming a career?
Professional gaming has been a well-known career for some time now. The first few pros (including Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel) started to make a name for themselves by winning large cash prizes pre-1997. However, esports stars have only been recognized as Professional Athletes since 2013 by the US.
How many professional gamers are there?
There are thought to be over 5,000 professional gamers worldwide, out of an estimated 2.2 billion who play video games. The top 500 pros have managed to accumulate over $235,000 in prize money each, according to news sources published and recorded at esportsearnings.com.
Do pro gamers make good money?
Pro gamers have the potential to make an excellent income. The average salary of an esports athlete can range anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 a month, whereas the highest-paid players can earn up to and beyond $15,000 per month.
Do pro gamers have jobs?
The majority of pro gamers are full-time competitive players who make their living solely from playing games. Those at the top level practice for a minimum of 50 hours per week. Semi-Pro gamers are likely to have an additional full-time job on the side of their gaming career.
How many hours do pro gamers play?
Pro gamers practice esports anywhere between 6-8 hours a day, six days a week. This can increase up to 14 hours a day in preparations for tournaments.
What age is the average pro gamer?
The life-cycle of a pro gamer is generally quite brief. Players enter the scene as early as 14 or 15, and are most likely retired by their mid-twenties due to age effects or burnout.
Can you make a living by playing video games?
Today, playing video games for a living has become a viable career choice. This can be either be done by competing in esports, streaming online, or by finding a video game-related job within the industry.
Flickr by Marco Verch at https://www.flickr.com/photos/30478819@N08/7818245550/in/album-72157631148163442/
Flickr by INVEN Esports: https://www.flickr.com/photos/invenphotos/33664678868/in/faves-185257906@N03/
Flickr by NVIDIA Corporation https://www.flickr.com/photos/invenphotos/33310417228/in/faves-185257906@N03/
Flickr by artubr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/invenphotos/33664678868/in/faves-185257906@N03/
CBSN ORIGINALS S3 • E12 – Esports: Inside the relentless training of professional gaming stars