Want to Go Pro? Tips and Tools to Help You Get Better at Games
Professional gaming is becoming less of a pipe dream and an actual, possible career for gamers everywhere. Even just a few years ago, being a pro gamer was reserved for only very specific games and only a few places, like South Korea and Starcraft.
But now, eSports is huge, and every PVP game has the potential for a pro scene. If you really want to go pro in a specific kind of game and it has a pro scene, it’s totally possible.
It’s even possible not go fully pro, but still make money being really good at video games. Streamers, semi-pro, and even amateurs can all make cash just by being good at games. If this sounds ideal to you, here’s what you should do and get to get better at gaming and maybe even go pro.
Picking the Right Game and Platform
Not every game has the means to make you money. Unless you want to become a speedrunner and make money through streaming, being the best at single player games isn’t worth your time. Similarly, there isn’t a competitive eSports scene for games like the original Halo or Mario Kart.
But there is a variety of games to choose from that do have a pro scene. Fighting games like Super Smash Bros and Street Fighter, strategy games like Starcraft, MOBAs, and quite a few shooter games. Find a game that has a competitive scene that you enjoy and are good at to dedicate your time to.
It’s also important to play the game on the right platform. For a majority of competitive scenes, playing on PC is pretty common, especially in shooters like Call of Duty, Counterstrike, and Fortnite. However, there are also a few games that are played on consoles, mostly fighting games. If you want to go pro, you’ll need to have the right platform to practice and play on.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Just like everything else in the world, if you want to get truly great at video games, you have to practice. That means setting aside massive amounts of time and energy into improving and learning the game.
But good practice isn’t just queuing up and playing with anybody. It’s identifying your flaws, improving yourself, and putting your skills to the the test against other good players. You need to take time recording and watching yourself play and find where you need to improve, and then work at it. If you are slow at building in Fortnite, then spend time practicing building faster and help create muscle memory for it.
Most pro players practice for ridiculous amounts of time, with one Overwatch pro team putting in 72 hours of practice a week. Others treat it like a full-time job, putting a minimum of 40 hours a week into it, with extra practice happening leading up to a big match or tournament. This isn’t just blindly playing the game, it’s focused work to improve their reactions speeds, strategy, and teamwork.
Joining a Team or Clan
You aren’t alone in your pursuit for greatness. There are groups, teams, and clans full of gamers looking for their chance at going pro. By surrounding yourself with other good players, you are more likely to push yourself to grow and have a reliable source of rivals.
Another benefit to joining a team is having a coach to help guide your practice. It can sometimes be hard to identify your own flaws, but a coach can help pick apart your play style and give you a path to growth.
Getting the Best Gear
If you are going to be spending huge chunks of time playing video games, you should invest in high-quality gear. Good gaming gear should help you feel comfortable for long periods of time, improve your performance, and help keep your body healthy. For example, a good keyboard and mouse should help you be more accurate, prevent arthritis in the hands, and not cramp up your hands.
Consider getting high-quality versions of controllers/mouse and keyboard, gaming headsets, TV/monitors, and even the chair you sit in. Having the right accessories can make a big difference during long sessions of playing and help keep you healthy.
Take Care of Yourself
When pushing yourself towards becoming the very best, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself while working towards your goal. But pro players understand the importance of taking care of themselves, both physically and mentally. You need to eat healthy, exercise, take breaks, and spend time with friends and family, as isolating yourself in your room and just playing games all day will lead to health problems that can end your career.
It’s essential that you prioritize the health of your two most important tools in gaming; your eyes and hands. If either tool starts hurting while playing, stop immediately and take a break. Pain is your body telling you that you’re pushing yourself too hard and could cause serious damage. Staring at a screen for a long time can cause dry eyes which you need to treat or risk other eye problems. Similarly, arthritis and carpal tunnel can be caused by the repetitive motions gamers make, so stretch your hands and take breaks.
Have Fun with the Game
Passion for the game is essential to going pro. If you don’t love what you do, you’ll never go on to do great things. If you find that you aren’t loving the game anymore, take a break, do something else, and then come back. Then, if you still aren’t enjoying yourself, look into a new game. Many skills in games transfer, meaning you don’t have to start from square one each time you play something new. Keep doing this till you find a game you truly love and then go for it.