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How to Go Pro in the World of Gaming?

by Amaan Talbot

Going professional is the dream of many gamers. When you’re able to transfer your hobby into something from which you can make enough money to get by comfortably, you’ll never work a day in your life, or so the (admittedly paraphrased) adage goes. If you harbour dreams of making it in the world of pro gaming, you’re not alone.

The best part of going pro in gaming is that there are so many different positions available. Will you try to join an esports team and show the world your dominant gaming skills? Maybe you’ll try your hand at streaming and use your unique personality to build a following. Whatever you decide to do, the road to pro gaming is long, and it can be difficult to navigate at times. Here’s how you can go pro in the world of gaming.

Make sure you’ve got enough money to survive

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Gaming isn’t realistically going to pay dividends right away. While you may be lucky enough to have just the right connections for professional gaming, most people will have to spend time building those connections, learning their strengths, and establishing themselves in whatever field they’ve chosen.

That’s why you need to make sure you’ve got enough money to survive while you chase your pro gaming dream. A regular day-job salary is the best way to go about this, at least while you build a base for yourself, and you can also avail yourself of short term options like £1000 loans to get yourself through tougher times.

If you’re going into esports, get really, really good

There are many people out there who would sneer at the concept of esports as a job. They might say that calling gamers athletes is a misnomer, but if they do, then they’ve never actually seen a pro esports gamer at work. The fact is that esports gaming is incredibly difficult; an uncommon level of skill isn’t going to be enough to see you through in esports.

If you want to join a pro esports team, you’re going to need to be the absolute best of the best. If you’re a League of Legends player, for instance, you need to be able to hit Master or Grandmaster rank without breaking a sweat. Call of Duty players should routinely hit Legendary rank, and so on. Hone your skills if you want to go pro as an esports gamer.

Treat it like a job

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One of the biggest sticking points we see prospective pro gamers encounter time and time again is a failure to treat gaming like work. If gaming is the hobby you use to escape from your working life, it might not be the best career choice for you; if you want to get serious about a pro gaming career, then you’re going to need to start seeing gaming as work.

What that means, in practice, can differ from person to person. Generally speaking, though, you’re looking at punishing and rigorous training schedules if you’re an athlete, or extensive streaming hours or editing work if you’re a content creator. This excellent Verge article might be a few years old now, but it’s still a great window into the life of a professional gamer.

Becoming a content creator? Find your niche

It’s tempting to think you can just buy a webcam, a microphone, and a gaming PC, and start becoming a content creator overnight. While you can (and should!) lay the groundwork for your future content creator career in this way, you’re not going to achieve the level of success and fame you want instantly.

That kind of success comes with time, and also with knowing who your niche happens to be. What kind of audience are you looking to attract? Who would be most drawn to your particular personality and content creation style? You’re never going to please everyone, so honing in on a specific audience and making sure they want to watch your content is a great way to start.

Get good management

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Eventually, the day-to-day running of your gaming career is probably going to get too much for you to handle, especially if you’re keeping the kind of schedule that befits a pro gamer. That’s when you need to start looking for good management personnel. Find yourself a great manager and a lot of the most difficult work will be taken care of for you.

Once you reach the kind of level where you need a manager, you’re probably going to start being bombarded with opportunities; collaborations with other streamers, brand team-ups, and appearances on popular shows are probably just some of the things you’ll be dealing with. Trust us when we say that you probably won’t be able to handle all of that by yourself.

Don’t lose the fun

Although we know we said that you need to treat gaming like a job if you’re serious about it, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still be having fun. Gaming is, at the end of the day, a joyous and exciting hobby, and if you’re starting to lose that connection with the games you’re playing, it might be time to make a change.

Start branching out into new genres and new types of game. Sure, you might lose a few diehards who only want to see you make one type of content, but the majority of your fanbase should go with you. If that doesn’t work, take a break for a few days (or even weeks, if you can), or try making content about something else for a while. Your mental health should come before the needs of your audience!

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