The explosive growth of video gaming has gone far enough that the gambling industry now recognizes it as a betting event. Top professional gamers can earn millions in annual revenue, on par with high earners in many traditional sports. Similar to traditional sports stars, famous esports players are admired by armies of fans for their mechanical skills and tactical knowledge. Now many young gamers dream of making a living in this exciting new field.
You don’t have to be a genius with cat-like reflexes to make a living playing games in the multimillion-dollar esports industry. There are plenty of options for anyone with the ability to learn and strategize. Players simply need a passion for video games and the dedication to put in some serious time and effort. Competition is fierce, and there are many highly-skilled opponents looking to earn a slice of the esports pie. Still, there are routes for anyone with the determination to make it happen.
The most obvious place to start is to decide which game you want to pursue. Try to pick games that align with your strengths. If you have experience and enthusiasm for a particular genre, you can always transfer skills from one competitive title to the next. Apssiring players that grind tactical shooters have a much easier time switching from CSGO to Valorant than a League of Legends grinder would have with Street Fighter.
Once you have chosen a game to focus on, it helps to take a holistic approach to learning and improving. Players must practice for months, sometimes years, just to get the fundamentals down. Knowledge is also important, and aspiring pros need to study the game inside out. There are many opportunities online to find quality training resources. YouTube and Twitch are excellent places to start, giving you access to community players and game experts. Many top players not only post videos and tutorials, but also provide one-on-one coaching services to help you reach pro gamer status.
With a solid grasp of the game, the natural progression is to get involved in the game’s regional community. There are always leagues and boot camps available for the most popular titles, which will provide access to events and networking opportunities with other aspiring gamers. It will also help you improve your communication skills, which are essential if your chosen game requires teamwork. Becoming an esports professional does not follow the same path as earning a spot in the NBA or NFL. Online visibility, recognition and knowing the right people are vitally important for career progression. Make sure to use digital platforms like social media to keep in touch with strong players and industry connections.
Depending on the chosen game, its not necessarily difficult to find tournament opportunities and teammates. Tournament play is the number one factor for gauging esports potential. Competitive environments push players to their wits end trying to win out over the opponent. Identify your weaknesses and learn from your mistakes by watching replays and holding group reviews. As you develop, take every opportunity to enter online tournaments. Your rankings from these events will give you a good grasp of where you stand in the world of esports.
While you are progressing, there is always the option to use your growing game knowledge by betting responsibly on pro players and teams. Since the recent Guts rebrand, the company has become a prime example of an oddsmaker keen to embrace emerging trends. In the case of Guts casino and sportsbook, the company’s massive following in Finland demands betting opportunities for esports.
Marketing and self-promotion are key to becoming a pro gamer
With enough practice and determination, players can grow from no-names to respected and skilled members of a game’s community. Ranking highly and winning regional events provides access to bigger tournaments and opportunities. Marketing and self-promotion is the path to the next level. Build partnerships with other esports influencers by playing with them. The ultimate goal is to build a solid team of players who want to reach the highest level of play. Whether yours or otherwise, being part of a successful team puts you within reach of advertising sponsorship. Don’t expect to see money roll in right away though. It’s very difficult to make a sustainable living in esports without playing for a top sponsored team.
Once players gain some notoriety, the next step is to enter bigger tournaments and gain attention from bigger sponsors. Large events often have some sort of qualifier, often broken up by region. The ultimate achievement for any aspiring esports player is joining a sponsored team with a regular salary. Consider this your entry to the pro circuit and the real start of your professional career. Reaching this level puts you in the driver’s seat to be as successful as your effort and ability can take you.
Several avenues to earn income are available for pro and semi-pro esports gamers. Prize money, league revenue, sponsorship, advertising, merchandising, streaming, coaching and broadcasting are just a few. If you should fall short of your target, there is always the option to put your knowledge to good use in other areas of the esports industry.