In recent years, esports has become incredibly popular. In a relatively short amount of time, esports has gone from serving small-scale niche events to literally filling some of the biggest stadiums in the world to capacity.
It’s not surprising that a lot of people want to break into this exciting new industry. For most gamers, being able to play professionally on a competitive level would be a dream come true.
Of course, being one of the players is only one way to break into the esports industry. If you don’t have the skills to play at the highest levels, there are still plenty of ways you can get involved in this multi-million dollar industry. This article will explain exactly how to get into esports.
Are You Good Enough?
If you want to be a professional esports gamer, you need to be good. To get into this industry, you need to be so skilled that most people don’t have what it takes.
You don’t just need to be good at games in general; you need to be good at a specific game. You’ll need to be highly ranked in competitive online play before any pro team would seriously consider working with you.
Let’s say you’re interested in being a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pro player. You’ll need to be ranked Global Elite (or very close) in ranked play. If you’re not capable of playing at this level against players online, how could you ever hope to compete against some of the best players of all time?
Your first priority should be ranking up as high as you can in your game of choice. If you can’t reach the maximum ranks, then sorry to say, you’re probably not cut out to be a professional player.
Practice Makes Perfect
What sets apart the pros from the casual players is that the pros are prepared to really put the time in and practice their plays. Sure, you might be able to win plenty of games in online ranked playlists, but you’ll never be able to compete at a pro level if you don’t actively practice your techniques.
For example, in the game Counter-Strike, each different gun has its own unique spray pattern. In order to place your shots accurately, you’ll need to understand these patterns and how to compensate for them. This might involve loading into specially-made training maps by yourself and practicing shooting the guns until you learn the recoil patterns.
It’s as Much Practiced Skill as Talent
You can certainly do well in the game without even knowing that these recoil patterns exist. But if you want to compete at the highest level, you’ll be playing against people who understand these patterns by heart.
Being a pro gamer is very similar to being a pro athlete. Soccer players don’t just show up on the weekend to play; they spend the rest of the week practicing and refining their technique until it becomes second nature to them.
Some people just want to play games to have fun, and that’s fine. But if you want to stand a chance of becoming a pro player, you’ll need to refine your technique and practice as much as you can.
Have the Right Equipment
The equipment you use to play with is important if you want to be at the top of your game. This doesn’t matter as much on consoles, as you would probably only use official control pads at pro levels.
If you want to play games on the PC competitively, you need to carefully consider the mouse and keyboard you’re going to use. There are a lot of mice and keyboards out there, but unfortunately, not all of them are good for gaming.
With mice specifically, you really want something that’s been designed with gaming in mind. If you want to perform at the top level, a mouse made for office use isn’t going to cut it.
What’s the Right Equipment for Me?
Different kinds of mice and keyboards are favored by different kinds of players. There’s not really a “one-size-fits-all” philosophy when it comes to these kinds of peripherals.
For example, first-person shooter players sometimes favor lighter mice. This is because they tend to play on a lower sensitivity for greater precision.
Making their character do a 180-degree turn often means they have to move their mouse across the whole mouse pad. In this situation, a lighter mouse can be a big advantage.
FPS players might also favor a soft cloth mousepad, as you can press the mouse into the pad to enable small adjustments to aim. On the other hand, some people like to play MOBAs such as League of Legends with a hard mouse pad.
In some games, it might be beneficial to use a mouse such as the Razer Naga, which has a huge number of buttons on the side of the mouse. But keep in mind that these might get in the way in other types of games.
Get Inspiration from the Pros
You should take a look at what gear the pros are using on your game of choice. This will give you a rough idea as to what you should be looking at.
Do keep in mind that lots of pros are sponsored by companies. What you see the pros using might not necessarily be what they’d use if they weren’t being paid to.
The Right Setup
It’s not enough to have the right equipment. You also need to know how to configure it properly.
For example, you need to have your key bindings set up properly. In many games, the keybindings are not necessarily set optimally by default.
For example, in most shooter games, the mouse wheel will be set to cycle through the weapons. Trying to play this way at a high level is almost always a mistake.
Generally speaking, you should have a dedicated bind to select each weapon. The configurations used by the pros are often freely available online, so it’s worth taking a look to see how your setup compares.
You might also consider playing on lower graphics settings. This can often result in higher performance, meaning you can react faster to things in-game.
In some cases, there are graphics settings that’ll make other players easier to see. For example, you might turn down the details, resulting in less grass and foliage being visible.
Again, you can see what kind of settings the pros use to get an idea of what works.
Join a Team
If you feel like you’re at a competitive level in your game of choice, you should look into joining a team. You aren’t necessarily going to go straight into an established pro team right away, although this could certainly happen if you’re good enough.
For most people, you’ll need to work your way up. Try to join a team of like-minded people and compete at the highest level you possibly can. Of course, it’s possible to be an internet-based team with members around the world.
Real Life vs Online
If your aim is to get serious, you should consider playing in a team that can get together in the real world. At the top level of play, this is basically mandatory.
The highest level games are played on a local network rather than over the internet, so this means there’s significantly less lag. This can really change the game if you’re used to having 40ms or so of lag.
Also, there’s more to being a professional esports player than simply being good at the game. Being able to be a good team player is also key.
If you’re particularly good at a game but you can’t work well with others, you’re not going to be an asset to a team at the top level of play.
Not everyone is in a position to get a team together. Sometimes, it’s difficult to find enough people to play with who are prepared to take things seriously. This can sometimes cause problems in friendship groups when some people are more into the idea of “pro” play than others.
If you’re struggling to get a team together, there are many competitive games that can be played 1 vs 1. For example, you could play a real-time strategy game such as Starcraft 2, where 1 vs 1 games are very common.
You could also try playing beat ’em up games such as the Street Fighter franchise, which are virtually all 1 vs 1 games. Some battle royale games such as Fortnite can also be played solo.
Focus on One Game
To be successful as an esports gamer, you need to be the best of the best. This means you need to focus on pretty much only the one game you want to be successful in.
You should avoid playing other games when you can, particularly games in the same genre as the one you want to go pro in. Let’s say you want to get really good at Overwatch. You should avoid playing other shooters because the mechanics are always going to be different.
In professional Overwatch, you need to rely on muscle memory to help you achieve lighting fast reaction times. If you’re playing a lot of other shooters on the side, your muscle memory is never going to become as refined as it could if you focused on Overwatch.
In some cases, it’s possible to emulate the mouse sensitivity in one game to another. If you must play other shooters, this can help to keep your muscle memory intact. Of course, every game uses a different unit of measurement for the sensitivity settings, so you’ll need to find a converter online.
Don’t Be Toxic
If you have aspirations of playing in any kind of professional capacity, you need to make sure you have a good record for your behavior in-game. It’s not unheard of for people to be dropped from teams due to toxicity.
As a professional, your reputation is important, so you need to refrain from being toxic towards other players. If you do manage to go pro, your actions in the past could come back to haunt you in the future.
Consider Other Options
Only a very small number of players have what it takes to actually play games professionally. Unfortunately, the majority of people who try to make it to the top will never be able to do so.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t make esports into a career. For instance, being a video game streamer could potentially make you a lot of money.
You don’t necessarily have to be good at a game to stream it. What a lot of viewers want to see is someone with personality.
Other streamers are also watched because they’re particularly knowledgeable about a particular game. Maybe you know a lot about different character builds, so put that to good use!
Or perhaps you’re a pretty good Starcraft player, but you don’t have the reaction times to make it as a pro. You could host a stream where you commentate over games, pointing out the merits and flaws in each player’s strategy.
Being able to commentate is a skill in itself. Most video games are a lot more complex than the average sport, so pro games can really benefit from commentators who are able to explain the mechanics and strategies that the viewers are seeing.
There Are Plenty of Ways on How to Get into Esports
Now you know how to get into esports. Just because you can’t become a competitive player doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for you in the esports world.
Esports is a growing industry, and there are plenty of new positions being created every day. For example, pro teams need social media managers, marketing strategists, and event planning staff.
There are plenty of ways you can make money in this exciting new industry without ever needing to set your hands on a controller or a mouse and keyboard.
If you love to play RPGs, then check out our RPG article section now!