How to become an esports pro in 2022

By Kenneth Williams

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Oct 19, 2022

Reading time: 4 min

Learning how to become an esports pro is a tiny first step in converting gaming skills into cold hard cash.

A few years ago, the absolute biggest esports tournaments offered tens of thousands of dollars to champions. In 2022, those thousands have multiples into millions. With so much money to win, more young gamers want to pursue competitive esports as a career in 2022. While becoming an esports pro is no easy task, the rewards could be millions of dollars in prize money. If you want to become a pro gamer, here are four things you should know before you start your journey.

Pick a game to become an esports pro in

This first tip may sound obvious, but the path to becoming a pro player takes years. It’s best to hunker down and pick a game instead of jumping around to see what you’re good at. Esports skills can also be transferable, an important factor to consider.

The same rare mix of skill and desire displayed by esports pros is what drives athletes in traditional sports to the top. Even if Dota 2 has the biggest prize pools, players who prefer faster action with more physical tests shouldn’t commit themselves to the game. Players who are great at Overwatch 2 but don’t look forward to playing it should probably switch games. 

While esports titles wildly vary, the skills learned by grinding one can often transfer to another. Becoming an esports pro isn’t a straightforward task. For example, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is one of the oldest and most established esports, so many players begin a career there. There’s plenty of talent, tons of open tournaments, and a generally competitive attitude. In addition, players who master CSGO can transfer some of their skills to other tactical shooter esports like Valorant and Rainbow Six Siege.

Build up experience in small online leagues

Informal experience doesn’t mean much in the esports world. Consistently beating your friends is one thing, but players need to get actual experience under their belts if they want to join a serious team. If your plan involves getting lucky, you’re probably better suited to an online casino game.

Thankfully, the digital nature of esports allows anyone to gain experience without traveling or lugging around a computer. In addition, almost all esports have an open tournament that anyone can join. While they don’t always have prize pools, they’re a source of both competitive experience and social connections.

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Building up tournament experience allows players to build up a reputation and get comfortable in high-pressure situations. It’s also a check to see how good you really are compared to other involved players.

A big part of becoming an esports pro is meeting the right people. Tournaments are an excellent way to meet other serious players and find pointers to more competitive leagues. This is another way that players can advance using free esports leagues in-person or online. 

Watch pro players and learn from their mistakes

Playing the game is the best way to get better, but learning from established pros can teach players things they would never learn on their own.

The good news is that there are more resources to getting good at video games than ever before. Dedicated esports channels are everywhere, offering high-quality pro gameplay and analysis. It’s easy to find footage to study, and some pro players even offer personal coaching and replay analysis.

Remember to factor in replay and footage analysis for your practice schedule. Training to become an esports pro takes a lot of time. But criticizing your own gameplay is truly the fastest way to improve at any game.

Find a passive income

One definition of a professional esports player is being able to afford a lavish lifestyle funded entirely by video game championships. However, gamers have multiple ways to sustain themselves before the trophies start rolling in.

Aspiring esports players take years of training to reach their potential, which makes working inconvenient. A common solution is to monetize their gameplay in some way. The most common option is streaming, where players show their gameplay live while interacting with the audience. However, the focus needed at the top level can make chat interaction difficult. The most successful esports streamers are absolute top-level pros whose gameplay alone is worth tuning in for.

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Another option is to create an online video tutorial for your preferred game and share it on social media platforms. YouTube and TikTok are the most popular platforms, but several different options can work. Since esports constantly evolve over time, there’s always more content to make. Just be ready to submit to the algorithm if you expect to find success.

The most successful esports pros have tens of millions of dollars to their names, but they all started from the same old computer as everyone else. These four tips won’t make you an esports pro overnight, but they will give you a rough guideline for becoming a pro gamer.

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