Some people earn their livings playing video games. Yes, you read that right. How can you sign up?
While at first this might seem like a dream job, there are serious things to consider before you quit your day job and run off to join the circus. Like any other job, pro gaming requires the right qualifications, commitment and temperament if you want to be successful at it.
The Odds Are Against You
The first thing you should be aware of is that like the entertainment industry and pro sports, the odds are stacked against you. The number of pro gamers is very small when compared to the number of people competing in tournaments. If that doesn’t scare you off, here’s how you go about it.
Pick Your Game
The first thing to do is pick one game to specialize in. The pros without exception are specialists who compete in one video game title. This is because the amount of time that needs to be dedicated to winning at the pro level is immense. The players that get paid to play by contract, or those freelancers that make money by winning tournaments, practice daily eight to 12 hours. This practice takes place against other highly skilled players. Like any other professional, skills have to be developed, and then they have to be kept sharp.
Practice Makes Perfect
Once you pick your title, practice constantly. To be a pro, you have to beat the pros. There is no way around this. The people who get paid for this job are doing just that, a job. This is the same as a construction worker who does the job for 10 hours a day, or any other profession. It has to be done all day, every day. Your practice has to be done under conditions that are as real as possible to simulate the tournaments you need to win. That means playing against other top players for hours every day. The top pros are all members of teams, with coaches and managers who help them work on strategies and keep them on a schedule with proper nutrition and sleep so they are at their peak when tournament time rolls around.
When you have refined your skills, it’s time to find a league or two and join the tournaments. Again, this is like any other profession. So find tournaments and start climbing the ladder. You’re going to have to put money away to be able to travel to tournaments and feed yourself while you’re there.
That’s the process. Practice hard, organize your life around it, make sure you keep yourself healthy and find a coach. Then go out and win some purses.
With luck and skill, a team or sponsor will draft you and offer that fat contract. You’ll be a pro gamer. At least until the next sensation knocks you off and takes your place. But hey, that’s life in the big leagues, right?