Who says you can’t pursue a lucrative career while doing what you love? Maybe your parents predicted that your obsession with video games was a waste of time, but today’s skyrocketing e-sports industry is proof of just the opposite. With the right combination of elements, you too can make it as a professional gamer.
THE MYTH OF OVERNIGHT SUCCESS
Is it possible to obtain the pro gaming career of your dreams simply by wishing upon a star or hanging around arcades just waiting for someone to recognize your amazing potential? Of course not. Anything worth doing requires hard work – and lots of it. Consistent practice is essential if you want to hone your skills and get to the elite level. That means devoting time to your vocation even when you would rather be doing something else or when you’re exhausted after a long day of work or school.
CHOOSE YOUR GAME
No one can be good at everything, so decide which game you love the most. Then use a service such as Xbox Live to set up games with skilled players from all over the world day and night. Your goal here is to get better. As you do, you will begin to build a reputation and be sought after to compete against people of increasingly higher caliber.
FIND SOURCES OF SUPPORT
Going after what you want is a long haul that is bound to bring its share of discouragement and disappointment. At times when things seem hopeless or when you need concrete information, having a relationship with someone who has already broken into the pro gaming industry can be invaluable. The great news is that opportunities such as this are available. For example, Los Angeles-based musician, entrepreneur and e-sports enthusiast Nick Gross offers a video game mentorship for aspiring pros who are interested in this non-traditional yet lucrative job choice.
BECOME PART OF THE COMMUNITY
Having a mentor is just one element of the equation. As your techniques evolve and improve, you also need to join the gaming community. By doing so, you will inevitably win some and lose some as part of a team while learning how to operate within the rules of the group.
PARTICIPATE IN TOURNAMENTS
These structured competitions are vital as you begin to climb the ladder toward pro status. They happen throughout the year, which gives you an ongoing chance to compete. At these events, you take risks and stretch your skills to the limit. With each victory, you become more established and identified as a legitimate and serious gamer. Even so, you will need to eventually enter competitions at the pro circuit level to gain the name recognition you are seeking.
OBTAIN A SPONSORSHIP
By this point, gaming should be your sole vocation, taking up most of your waking hours. Once you start going against individuals and teams on the professional circuit, it’s time to get sponsored by a company who is willing to cover the cost of your equipment. Sponsorships and endorsements can tide you over financially even if you hit a rough patch and don’t win any prize money for a stretch. For that reason, you must think of yourself and your career as a product to be marketed and sold to the highest bidder. It might sound harsh and materialistic, but it’s the only way to flourish.
In fact, work is play and play is work. Breaking into pro gaming is more than a full-time job; it’s weekends, holidays and evenings, too. If you have the passion and dedication as well as the commitment, a career as an elite video gamer just might be the right road for you.