What it Takes to Become a Pro Esports Athlete

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The world of esports has grown exponentially in recent years and it’s now a billion-dollar industry. Successful pro esports athletes can make as much – or more – from online competitions than regular athletes do at real-life events. If you enjoy single or multiplayer esports and you want to turn your hobby into a lucrative side hustle or even a full-time career, take a look at these top tips now…

Practise, practise, practise

Like any industry, you won’t reach the pinnacle of esports if you don’t have the skills to back up your claims. No matter what sport you choose to focus on, you’ll need to play exceedingly well if you want to compete with current pro athletes. 

However, training to become a pro esports player doesn’t just mean spending hours gaming every day. You’ll want to create a comprehensive training schedule if you really want to make gains and enhance your play. With clearly defined goals and a strategic way to achieve them, you can hone your skills and move into the top tier of the gaming arena. 

Do your research

Being a great gamer doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got what it takes to become a pro esports athlete. Simply enjoying a particular title and being even exceptionally good at it might not be enough for you to turn your hobby into a viable revenue stream. Furthermore, you might not gain legions of fans this way either. 

Before switching from an amateur to a professional, it’s important to learn everything you can about the industry. Unsurprisingly for a virtual industry, a lot of useful information is available online. However, there are offline events you can attend too. Embracing the opportunity to meet with other amateur esports gamers and learn from successful professionals (in a safe way of course, post-COVID) will help to make your own transition into a world-class athlete easier. 

In addition to this, adequate research offers a range of long-term benefits. By understanding how technological advancements are changing the gaming industry will ensure you’re ready for the capabilities that new releases will have, for example. Similarly, understanding how the industry works will mean you know how to monetise your talents and how to generate decent revenue from your new career. 

Build a brand

The most successful athletes aren’t just individuals who train hard and win titles; they’re people who take the chance to create a brand for themselves. When you view yourself in this way, it becomes possible to associate yourself with particular attributes and characteristics. This needn’t be a false representation of yourself but merely a way of pitching your esports persona to the masses. 

Remember – it’s your brand, your reach and your influence that other companies will want to benefit from. When you cultivate a successful brand, the potential to secure valuable sponsorships and form lucrative partnerships grows. As you begin to become more well-known in the esports world, you’ll see just how profitable it is to have a brand identity and a ‘product’ to promote. 

The other thing to remember is to make it as a pro gamer, it’s like becoming a professional footballer or other area – you need an immense amount of talent, luck and for the right opportunities to come your way.

Show your personality

Creating a brand doesn’t mean keeping your personality hidden or pretending to be something you’re not. In fact, nurturing your own brand identity can be quite the opposite. When you allow fans to get a glimpse of your life and you share your personality with them, you become more relatable. Although people enjoy watching pro esports athletes perform, this added interaction will make your brand far more valuable. 

When you build up a following, for example, you can increase engagement and have meaningful dialogue with your followers and supporters. With the opportunity to influence your target audience, you can monetise your online activity, both on the virtual pitch, court or arena, and on other online platforms, such as social media. 

However, it’s essential to consider how much of your life you’re prepared to put online. Up and coming esports athletes sometimes regret just how much they share when they become more well-known. Take a strategic approach and be sure to keep your personally identifiable information under wraps if you want to stay safe online. 

Take esports offline

Esports may take place virtually, but this doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate the philosophies, strategies and rationale behind it into your offline world. Many pro esports athletes incorporate real-life fitness and sporting prowess into their lifestyle, so this may be something you want to explore. 

If you can match your esports talents offline, you won’t just impress people virtually. As more venues are being created solely to host esports events, there will be more chances for you to appear at esports conventions and competitions in person. Being able to showcase your skills off-screen will only add to your talents and value as a pro esports player. 

In addition to this, incorporating your sporting achievements into your offline lifestyle will expand your career opportunities. With a personal training course, for example, you can gain the credentials you need to train people in real life. As virtual personal training becomes even more popular, combining offline and online fitness with esports could be a way to increase your profitability and build a business model for the long-term. 

Collaborate with others

In general, sports involve a significant amount of competition, but teamwork is important too. If you’re a start at multi-player games, you may already be surrounded by teammates you can rely on. Of course, single-player gamers can boost their success by expanding their professional network too.

Working with other people in the industry gives you the opportunity to learn from them, even if it’s on an informal basis. When you collaborate with others, you can share your knowledge and nurture other up and coming esports athletes and ensure the industry continues to grow. 

Becoming a Pro Esports Player

As the industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace, the lives of professional esports athletes are changing all the time. However, no-one becomes any type of pro athlete by accident. If you’re willing to put the work in, gain experience and hone your skills, however, you can look forward to a varied, exciting and profitable career as a pro esports athlete. 

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