How to make it as a professional gamer in 2021

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Esports is on the rise and as the number of gamers increase finding a spot within the industry seems like an impossibly difficult. This is actually not necessarily true.

The gaming industry has outperformed both movies and sports combined and is the biggest moneymaker for global entertainment.

The gaming industry was valued over $217 billion in 2020.

At this rate, the gaming industry is projected to reach over $402 billion over the course of five years. Over the course of 2021, the total number of gamers in Southeast Asia alone is estimated to hit 250 million.

Due to these growth statistics, there is ample opportunity for you as many live streaming gaming companies and teams are constantly looking for motivated players to add to their roster.

There are a few ways to get yourself recognized to become a pro-gamer.

1. Find your game

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As with any job, you want to find something sustainable that will continue to motivate and push you.

Without having the correct motivation or competitive drive you will not be able to become a professional gamer.

Therefore, you should find a game that you love playing and are always looking to get better in.

There are two approaches to selecting a game: Pick a game that is up and coming or pick an established game that has high traffic.

The thought here is that you can easily pick up the game that is up and coming and cement yourself as a competitive player in the game.

However, there is a risk that the game does not remain popular, whereas a well established game has proven popularity, but you will be competing against more established players as well.

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2. Pick a platform

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Once you figure out the game you want to play, you will have to decide on the platform you are going to play it on. In the past, PC's were the best platforms.

There are many gaming computers that you can look at. Take a look at a few of the popular options that gamers use below.

Over the years, console gaming has also become very popular, but the game options are then more restrictive.

Console gaming competitions are starting to gain popularity and companies like Nintendo and Microsoft have been hosting tournaments for games like Smashbros and FIFA, respectively.

3. Practice and get good. Really good

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This is the part that loses many people and separates pre-gamers to gamers with a hobby. If you want to be a top player you need to master your game.

Being a natural at the game always helps, but practice makes perfect. Put in hours of playing time and figure out your own strategies for playing the game.

There is nothing that can replace time and reps. By putting in playing time you will be able to hone your skills and perfect them.

Another great way to increase your chances of winning is by looking at other players' strategies out on Youtube or Twitch.

This helps you gain perspective and learn strategies that you can add to your game.

Furthermore, this helps you get into the heads of your opponents to understand the types of strategies you might have to play against in the future.

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4. Invest in top gaming gear

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Once you start to get really good, you will start to find minor differences between you and other top competitors looking to go pro.

Some games will come down to a favorable situation or one strategy going their way and working out slightly better for them. Another reason they may have the upperhand is due to their equipment.

That being said, expensive and highest tech does not necessarily mean it is the best for you.

For instance, if you are looking for a mouse, it is crucial for you to understand how you like to play and what level of comfort and sensitivity you play best with.

You may even decide to go with a controller instead to take advantage of the additional triggers and hair paddles.

Below we have a table that shows you what you should be looking for in gear as a gamer and the average price of good quality gear.

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Gaming gear might feel like added unnecessary cost, but in order to reach the professional level you will need the equipment that can give you that edge or keep you on par when playing against other skilled players.

A great way to minimize the cost is by using a credit card that offers you upwards of 5per cent in rewards or cashback on your gaming gear purchases.

5. Join the community

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Gamers also tend to be part of communities where they meet, play, and learn from one another.

Networking is one of the best ways to get better as you are able to compete with other high level players outside of the community you grew up in.

On top of that, you are able to form a team or meet people that are in teams that you may be interested in joining.

The connections you make by networking at gaming events can push you to stay motivated and help you learn your game and provide insight on the industry as a whole.

That can prove to make all the difference when you are trying to get into a team or get sponsorships.

6. Rise in the ranks

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Networking and playing well with the right gear will still leave you just shy of going pro. The next step is one of the most crucial steps in gaming — leveling up.

It is imperative that you play ranked games and competitions to make a name for yourself.

By increasing your rank or level in the game you play, you will attract big gamers and sponsors that actually want to team up with you.

Your rank and achievements are used as a credibility check and will serve as a testament to your skills.

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7. Join a team and go pro

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If all of these steps are taken correctly, then all that is left is to join a team and work at going pro.

By this point, you should be a beast at the game that you decided to play and have already set up a reputation as a player within the local and international esports community.

This would have been done by prior networking you should have done early on and your rankings and achievements from the game.

As you got better there is a chance you get contacted by a team to join.

8. Play in leagues and major competitions

As you search for the perfect team for you (or any team that has a spot for a rookie player) you should try to enter competitions to allow people to see you and your gameplay.

Tournaments like ESL, Arena of Valor, or other local ones are great to get your name out there.

As you rack up the wins, you will start to see more openings to enter some of the more professional level leagues and competitions.

These tournaments will also help you monetize and actually get some return for your hard work.

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9. Get a sponsorship

Whether you end up on a team or not, the only way to truly monetize your gameplay and earn a living as a gamer is to get sponsored.

Once you start killing it in competitions and tournaments you should aim to sign with a sponsor that will cover many gaming costs and will pay you for your time.

Good luck!

This article was first published in ValueChampion.