As e-sports continue to become more popular and profitable, many gamers are wondering how they can turn their lifelong hobby into a career as a professional gamer. Unfortunately, getting established in the gaming world isn’t as easy as some may think, and finding sustainable ways to earn revenue is challenging.
If you’re considering trying to make professional gaming your career, it’s important to do your research and understand all the hurdles that you’ll face and what you’ll need to give yourself the best chance of success. Even if you’re incredibly talented, it takes the right equipment, a lot of practice, and hard work to make money as a pro gamer.
1. Having the right equipment and gear makes a difference.
Most competitive games have specific hardware requirements, so come prepared with top-notch equipment. If you don’t have a computer that’s up to par, you can always build your own with help from a PC part builder to make sure the specs are exactly what you’ll need for the games you intend to be playing. A dedicated NVIDIA® or AMD® graphics card, at least 16GB of RAM, and over 1TB of storage is a good place to start if you’re wondering what your gaming PC will need to compete.
2. Practice really does make perfect.
The best players when it comes to professional gaming are usually near-perfect at the games they play. You don’t gain those kinds of skills overnight, some professionals spend up to 10 hours a day training. Like any other sport, e-sports requires intense focus, dedication, and the mastering of many specific skills and techniques depending on what types of games you’re playing.
It’s essential that you practice strategically, mindlessly sinking hours into a game and mashing buttons won’t help you. If you’re just looking to spend a few hours a day playing games and somehow make a career out of it, professional gaming may not be for you.
3. Don’t quit your day job.
E-sports are not a particularly stable way to earn a living, especially when you’re just getting started. Even for established professionals, careers in gaming can be short and the opportunities to make money are limited. If you don’t have another job, try to find ways to make money outside of just competing in your chosen game.
Consider streaming on a platform like Twitch or starting a YouTube channel to gain more fans and make extra money on tips, subscriptions, and ad revenue. Until you have a following and some stability in terms of your earnings through gaming, dropping out of school, or ditching a reliable job isn’t smart.
4. Losing happens, get over it.
Even the best players in the world lose, sometimes in incredibly frustrating ways. The players who are considered elite still lose thirty to fifty percent of the time. If you get angry losing to your friends, that feeling will only be amplified by the pressure of losing money or having your reputation on the line. If you struggle with managing your emotions, professional gaming can be tough.
Consider finding a therapist to discuss your feelings with if you’re having trouble. Services like WithTherapy make it easy to match you with a therapist who will be able to help you manage the emotional stress that goes along with having a career in professional gaming. Don’t neglect your mental health, taking care of yourself will make you a better player too.
5. Not everyone is cut out to be a pro.
There is a certain degree of talent required to be a professional gamer. Pro gaming also requires a time commitment and emotional commitment than many people aren’t ready or aren’t able to make. Few players ever succeed at making a career out of gaming, and those that do put in an incredible amount of time and effort. If you’re expecting to be able to treat games as a hobby that you happen to be paid for, you’ll likely struggle to try to go pro. Even if you can beat your friends, you might not be able to hang with the best players in the world.
If you love gaming, it’s only natural to want to make your hobby into your career, but the professional gaming landscape is a difficult one to turn into a full-time job. Professional gamers put in an incredible amount of time and effort in order to perfect their skills, which can take the fun out of playing for many. Still, if your heart is set on being a pro gamer, there are more opportunities than ever with Twitch, YouTube, and the ever-expanding digital landscape. Just be prepared to put in a lot of hard work to get there.