Making a career out of the love for gaming is a dream come true for many people. Gone are the days when making your way to the top of the score at a local arcade was considered to be the pinnacle of gaming success.
The digital arena is now teeming with completion, and prizes offered to make many cyber warriors flock to tournaments and championships. Yet, no matter how much we like video games, not everyone is fit to attend a competition such as eGames. Casual playing is light years away from what the pros are capable of.
Under the spotlights
The evolution of the entertainment industry has paved the way for a whole army of young people to pursue a career in gaming. Finding a high-paying tournament for games like Starcraft 2, League of Legends and Counter-Strike is easier than ever. Take the example of the Dota 2 gaming championship, which lets players compete for a $2.8 million bounty. Such a hefty prize makes us wonder why it has taken so long for the US to recognize gamers as pro athletes, and for parents to give up on asking their kids how they plan on making a living.
Alas, under the glittery façade of this spectacle, lies the bitter truth: Pro gaming is a serious business, not a hobby. Professionals dedicate much of their life to perfecting gaming skills, and once they set their mind on a particular game, it becomes both their passion and a job. This quest demands hundreds and hundreds of hours of practicing. After all, you must achieve consistent gameplay, eliminate the errors, work in teams, and exploit the mechanics to your advantage.
Humans and Robots
Note that each game usually presents you with choices regarding characters, maps, weaponry, strategies, etc. It is a good idea to narrow down the focus and commit to the specialization of your skills. Spreading yourself too thin could make you the kind of player who is fine in every role, yet excels in none. Many are those who start the practice with AI and bots, increasing the difficulty over time. This is a good way to get a hold of the basics (controls, maps, UI) and polish your skills for the online realm.
Of course, as you advance, you need to start playing with real people – you can learn much more from them than the rigid AI. The important part of this phase of gaming career is watching professionals play – owning the battlefield. This is a great tactic to gain a deeper insight into complex teamwork strategies, lighting-fast decision making, as well as effective tricks and ploys. Twitch is the top of the tops when it comes to live video game streaming, and as such, your go-to place for learning.
The hard part
Now, you also have to consider investing in proper equipment. A pro gamer cannot afford to experience lags and other problems due to incapable hardware. You have to consider pieces of hardware that enhance the gameplay experience and performance: Accuracy, durability, and responsiveness are among top priorities.
A high-performance computer is a must, although you always have the option of customizing the settings and taking a load off your machine. If you are happy with your configuration, turn attention to gaming peripherals, and products like a Razer Ouroboros mouse.
At last, the solid internet connection is of the utmost importance for competitive online matches. So, try to determine the outcome of the ADSL VS Cable battle. ADSL is not always as fast as we would like and it uses old copper phone lines for transmitting data. On the other hand, high-capacity, insulated cables are a treat, outpacing even the fastest ADSL.
The downside is that you are sharing the cable with others, which hinders the promised speed. If you think this is all too much to handle, bear in mind that once you get the sponsor, your equipment, and traveling costs are covered, on top of the possibility to earn a small fortune.
All work, no play?
Dedication is the fuel that makes you last all the way and witnesses the day when all those hours start to pay off. The price you have to pay is the lack of sleep, social life, hundreds of dollars spent on hardware, and blisters on your hands. The internet is a great source of inspiration, lessons and guidance, and an excellent way to get ready for real matches. Watch other pros play before you can become one.
Be a gamer who is confident in his skills, swears by his gear, and really means business. Once you reach a certain level, you can start really messing with others and the fun is back in the game.