Step-by-step Guide to Becoming a Professional Gamer

For the last 5 years, esport has become one of the world’s most watched shows on the television and on the internet.

With multi-million companies around the world pouring out cash on professional tournaments, the gaming industry has transformed from a past time hobby into a multi-million dollar industry.

According to newzoo.com, (a leading global provider of games and esports analytics), the esport industry will continue to grow to $905.6 million in the next years to come.

This growth has made it possible for people who want to take their gaming skills to a whole new level, transform gaming a viable career.

As the gaming industry continues to grow, a professional gamer’s salary is hard to estimate.

Considering the total prize pool of one Dota 2‘s tournament has reached up to $25 million, esport has shown its capability to be a leading business industry.

However, due to the competitive nature of esport, just like other sports – becoming a professional gamer is not an easy task.

To become a professional esport athlete, you must belong to the top 10% players of your game.

Becoming a professional gamer not just require skills and talent but also, the passion and dedication needed to survive the long hours of practice and countless defeats that you will encounter during the journey.

However, if you think you have what it takes to be on the top 10% players of your game, giving yourself a chance to be a professional gamer might be one your life’s best decision.

Given today’s system, anyone has the chance to be a professional athlete. If you have the skills, the passion, and the dedication to make in on top, here’s a guide that will help you become a professional gamer.

Professional Gamers

Identify your eSport game

  • What game are you good at?
  • What game do you enjoy the most?

If you have one answer to both of these questions, then it’s probably the game you would want to play as a professional gamer.

Why is it important to identify the right esport game for you?

Because it is on this game that you will dedicate a huge part of your time and energy for the next years to come.

It’s like choosing a career out of your passion.

When you play the game you love, you will more likely to survive the tough times because all you care about is that you enjoy the game, even if it’s causing you a lot of pain and disappointment sometimes.

So before you start your journey towards becoming a professional gamer, be sure to choose the game you love playing with.

Assess your Current Skill Level

The next step after choosing the right esport game is to assess your current skill level.

This step is important in order

  • to identify how realistic your dream will be
  • estimate how long will it take you to be among the top 10% players of your game
  • and to formulate a training plan that will give you the skill level to compete on a professional gaming tournament.

You have to identify your position on the ranking of your game. This can be done by just examining the leaderboard.

Example, in Dota 2, player’s skills are generally identified by its ranking medal. The best Dota 2 players can be seen here on Dota 2’s leaderboard.

The number 1 ranking player has a Devine 5 medal. If you want to play on a professional Dota 2 tournament, you have to have a ranking medal somewhere near Devine 5.

If your current ranking is on the bottom 10%, then you have to probably re-evaluate your plans of becoming a professional gamer.

If you’re really determined to make in on top while your current ranking is on the bottom 10%, then you have to acknowledge the fact that you will have a long way to go in becoming a professional gamer.

Dota 2 Ranking Medal (image from: Esports Tales)

If you found yourself somewhere in the middle of the ranking, this means that you will still have to improve your skill level to at least reach the top 20 to 10% of the leaderboard.

Now if you found yourself somewhere on the top 15% of the players of your game’s leaderboard, then you will surely have a good chance of playing on the professional stage.

All you have to do is to come up with a training plan that is identical to the one used by the top players or team of your game.

Training

After you identify your current skill level and compare it to the top players of your game, you should have a realistic picture on where to start your training and how long would it take you to reach the pro-level of your game.

The next step is to formulate a detailed and systematic training plan.

To be the best in the game, the intensity of your training should be the same as that of the champions.

Training Plan

Here are some suggestions on how to come up with a professional training plan.

1. Do the research, watch videos read blog posts about tips on how to level up your gaming skills.

2. Reach out to the top players of your game. Where do you find them? Look at the leaderboards. Find their names and search for their online profiles – Facebook, Twitch, and YouTube.

3. Find mentors. Ask someone who is really good at playing your game to guide and teach you strategies and ways to win more games and level up your skill.

After formulating a training plan, the next step is to define your goal.

Define Specific Goals

Carefully defined goals are very important in order to have a clear vision of what and where you want to be in the future. To be a professional gamer, here’s what you need to consider in setting up your goal.

Reach to a certain rank.

Every esport game has its own ranking system. Identify the rank of the top 10% players of your game and aim to reach those rank. Here are the ranking systems of some of the most popular esports games.

Set a time frame.

How many months or years would it take you to reach the top ranks of your game? You need to evaluate how long would it takes to reach your goal.

Depending on your current skill level, it may take months or even years.

The important thing is to set a time frame in order to see if your training is effective in terms of improving your skills and rank.

Example, after 3 months, you should reach rank 4, and after another 3 months, you should reach rank 2.

The idea is, to have a specific goal on a time frame to numerically measure your progress.

Join a Tournament

After you see a significant improvement in your skills and rank, the next logical thing to do is to join tournaments, local or online.

Joining small tournaments helps you improve your confidence because it simulates the atmosphere of the actual professional tournament of your game.

Tournaments are also the best place to find teams and people who are serious about gaming. This is where you can grow your network and join a community of gamers.

Sponsors also look for talents during tournaments, if someone sees your potential, you might be recruited for a larger and more organized team.

Implement the Training Plan

Now that you have a training plan with specific targets on a time frame, the next step is to implement and execute.

To be on the top of your game requires unwavering discipline to follow and implement a training plan.

One technique to stay motivated is to have a physical manifestation of your goal.

Print out a picture that will represent your goal. It can be a picture of the trophy of your game’s professional tournament championship.

Print out and paste this picture wherever visible on your room so that you will be reminded of your goal of becoming a professional gamer every time you see it.

Dota 2 TI4 Champions

Another powerful way of staying motivated and discipline to follow a training plan is by creating an alter ego.

An alter ego is a mental persona of a person you want to become. It’s like a version of you but more skilled and powerful.

Example, if you want to be a professional gamer like Dendi or kennyS, you can create a version of you with the same skills and talent as these two players.

Give your alter ego a name and specifically defined the skills and talent.

When you’re playing, activating your alter ego will significantly increase your confidence and performance.

Here’s an article explaining the powerful effect of alter ego and why do professionals use it to achieve maximum performance and achieve great success.

Track Progress

In order to evaluate if you’re making any improvements in your game, you have to track your progress.

Tracking your progress will help you stay in the direction that you want to go.

In gaming, the most direct way to track your progress is by looking at your current ranking versus your ranking before you’ve started your training.

Answering the questions like

  • How long does it take to level up my rank?
  • Am I playing with the top players in my game?
  • How many tournaments have I already attended?

Be sure that as you track your progress, you’re also considering the time frame of your goal.

Example, if you’re planning to be a professional gamer after a year, then how many ranks you have to achieve per month in order to reach the top?

Tracking your progress per month and assessing if your training really does help you improve your game is important in order to level up your game.

Understand How your Game’s Professional Tournament Works

Another very important task to do if you want to be a professional gamer is to understand how your game’s professional tournament works.

Answering the following questions will help you navigate the road that will direct you to the professional stage of your game.

  • What is the professional tournament of your game?
  • How to register for that tournament?
  • Are you qualified to join?
  • Does the tournament support your current level/ranking?
  • Do you need sponsors?
  • Do you need a team and a team manager?

Understanding the dynamics and the framework by which your game’s professional tournament is built will guide you to your journey towards becoming a professional gamer.

Dota 2 Evil Geniuses

Play and Focused on your Goal

Now that you know your current standing in the ranking of your game and have already formulated a training plan to improve your skills.

You also already know how your game’s pro-circuit works, it’s time to execute the training plan and play.

Be sure however that you have strong convection to be on top because playing on the level of champions requires hundreds or even thousands of hours playing.

Staying motivated is very important in order to reach your goal. One way to stay motivated is to do the things that you love.

If you don’t love the game, you will most likely fail.

Always keep in mind that champions are not created by just playing the game in one month or one year.

True champions and professional gamers have been playing the game for many years already, some even from childhood.

Esports is no different from sports like basketball, softball, and soccer.

All sports require great dedication, talent, and skills.

Dedication is a choice, however, not everyone has the talent and skills.

But if you have dedication, commitment and motivation to play the game and practice to improve your skill, you will certainly level up your skills and talent and ultimately play as a professional gamer.

Start now by answering the question,

  • What game are you good at?
  • What game do you enjoy the most?
  • Do you want to be a professional gamer?

Start playing now!

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