The Ins and Outs of Becoming a Pro Gamer
Unlike in traditional sports, becoming an eSports athlete is in no way a clear-cut process. If you were looking to become a famous hockey player, you’d join a local team. You’d practise, train, and work harder than ever. Eventually, if you were good and lucky, you’d move through the ranks. Although most don’t make it to the top, it’s a simple path.
Things are very different in eSports. You can train and practise for years, but there’s no clearly defined path or league positioning to follow. It can even be said that there isn’t one elite level, but rather a bunch of them. Hockey has the NHL, but in eSports an NHL equivalent just doesn’t exist.
To become pro gamers, players need to do much more than just play. They need to network, increase their online presence, and talk to as many people as possible. They need to join the right teams and make the right friends. They also need to find the route that suits them best.
Let’s start with a success story. California’s Blaze Elmore is 17 years old and among the most successful up-and-coming gamers. Elmore started out by playing the popular game Clash Royale. He got good at it so fast that he soon began asking his mother for rides to nearby tournaments. As he competed in more and more of these tournaments, he began to win. Not long after his few first wins, he started bringing home hundreds of dollars in cash prizes.
While competing at an event run by an organization called Super League Gaming, a scout from the international eSports team Dignitas noticed Elmore’s incredible skill. He watched as Elmore won game after game, and eventually offered Elmore a position on the team. Not surprisingly, Elmore took it.
When Dignitas recruited Elmore, it did so in an unusual way. Instead of looking to its players or the dynamics of social media, it relied on a scout, who noted Elmore’s personality and charisma. It realized that he was not only extraordinarily skilled, but great in front of the camera. He was and still is humble, and although he likes to win, he’s a great team player.
When you’re looking to join the eSports industry, it’s very important to have an excellent online presence. Here are a few ways to increase your online profile to benefit a potential eSports career.
When someone wants to watch videos, they go to YouTube, in the same way that someone who wants to learn something goes to Google. So having a YouTube account is very important. We don’t mean a full-on video blog, but rather just enough content to showcase your skills. Uploading videos of your greatest hits or of skill competitions you’ve participated in is a great way to increase your popularity. On top of this, YouTube allows you to live-stream, which we’ll get into below.
Twitter is traditionally used for communication and dialogue, rather than for media sharing. So why is it on this list? Well, Twitter is seen as a professional social-media site for sharing corporate news. Having a presence on Twitter is good because it’s a line of contact between you and business leaders, not to mention other gamers.
Tip: Every time you upload a video to YouTube, share it on Twitter. Corporate figures and eSports organizations may see it. If it’s a decent clip, popular eSports athletes may even retweet it!
Twitch is a live-streaming service that’s fantastic for building an audience and relationships with other streamers. You may even be able to set up collaborations and partnerships with other gamers, and get team invites!
Users of Reddit can be some of the most critical yet welcoming people on the Internet. Every popular game has a forum (otherwise known as a subreddit) on Reddit. Building a presence and even sharing clips here is a great way to network. Not only that, but you may receive top-notch feedback on your plays.
Becoming a pro gamer in the eSports industry isn’t easy, but with hard work it’s certainly possible. Find a game you love, and do what you do best. Game your heart out. Just don’t forget to log on to your social-media profiles every once in a while. You never know who you may meet!