Mind Sports South Africa's (MSSA) blog on competitive gaming in South Africa from proto-computer gaming all the way through to the most modern. For more about MSSA go to: https://www.facebook.com/mindsportssa/
Saturday, 21 February 2015
So you want to be a Pro Gamer?
am always amazed that people entering into the world of competitive
gaming expect gaming to be somehow different from the other more
traditional sports. As with the other sports, being a professional
sportsman is not all about fun and playing for fun.
is all about hard work – just like any other career that is from
9H00 to 17H00.
course you must enjoy it if you want to get the most out of it, but
it is all about hard work, and like anything else, there will be
the moments when you have been knocked to the ground and when you
wonder why you are even doing it.
is the moment that the champions are separated from the losers, the
champions will immediately get up and carry on.
if you still want to be a professional gamer, you should:
care in picking your game.
Picking a game is the first important step. You should be almost
blinkered in choosing your game, and when you play it, you should
learn as much as possible about the game that you have chosen. Any
other game that you play should also feed into the game that you have
chosen so that the recreational games, while different, also hone the
tactics/strategies/ or other skills that you use in your primary
choice of game.
The game that you choose should also be a game
that is played on an international level. There is no point in
choosing a game that is only played within a small group, or one that
will be redundant within 12 months as you will then be limiting your
own earning potential.
the long-road. So
many people entering gaming choose the short-road that offers what
appears to be quick returns. This is the wrong approach as the quick
returns are often not substantial nor sustainable. The long-road,
although harder will give greater returns for a longer time period.
Thus PandaTank instead of going to play in the DGC competition at
rAge in 2011 and 2012, he went to the MSSA National Team Trials. By
forgoing the quick-fix of the limited prize money, PandaTank was able
to compete in the 3rd
IeSF World Championships in South Korea where he was noticed. By
being noticed at such a level thus allowed him to fly to the USA,
France, and Sweden. Not only that the long-term view that PandaTank
took, meant that he would become the first ever South African gamer
who would be paid a salary to play as a full-time career.
a professional gamer is hard. There are contractual obligations in
terms of guest appearances, the number of championships that you have
to play as well as even in what position you finish in said
championships. Then you will have to face the critics which will
range from your own family through to friends, bloggers and
journalists. At times it seems more than daunting. But remember that
you are doing what you want to, and that you should be absolutely
blinkered about it, and put your choice above everything else.
practice, practice - perfectly. The
first thing you must do is set aside the time in which you practice,
and then, keep to it! Nothing must come between you and your
practice, not your friends not a good night out, not a birthday,
nothing! In the practice sessions you must draw up a schedule for
improving you reaction speed, knowledge of the game, knowledge of the
maps, how others play the game. The discipline that you learn from a
well structured practice schedule will treat you well in a
competition environment and in later life.
the correct equipment. Just
as you would not take a Mini Cooper into a F1 race, the incorrect
equipment can hamper your chances of success. eSports is a sport of
nanoseconds, and, equipment that is outdated or not of the proper
standard can be the difference between winning or losing. Even having
the proper equipment while you are travelling to or from competitions
is important as you do not want to miss the opportunity for every
possible opportunity for training.
the right team. Once
you have established yourself on an amateur level as a competitive
gamer, find the club that treats you as a true professional gamer. Do
not go to the clubs that offer 'flash', that is, equipment and other
freebies. Look for the club that offers a salary and meets with the
legal requirements of such. Remember, this is your career and you
need cash on the table. You cannot eat gifts, hard-drives and such,
you need cash to pay for your living expenses. A club/clan/team that
does not pay a salary is not a professional team, it is merely a
bunch of amateur players who think that they are professionals. Also,
choose a team that is close to you if it is a team game that you are
playing as you will need to practice together.
soon you get your gaming equipment, start playing in LAN
championships. Sure you will lose at first, but the championships are
a good way of preparing you mentally for those big games and for you
to develop your big match temperament (BMT). Keep a book with you,
and at the end of every game write down what you did right, what you
did wrong, as well as how you feel you could have done better. Play
as many LAN championships as you can as you will build up a
reputation of being dutiful and passionate about the game you play.
all sports, athletes benefit from sponsorship. Many years ago I had
the privilege of working with Corrie Sanders, and even though the
prize-money that boxers win puts gaming to shame, Corrie still made
sure that he was sponsored by reputable companies. To get a proper
sponsorship, you can do it yourself, or you can go to an accredited
can be a legitimate career path for those who are serious about it,
but gaming is still in its embryonic stages in South Africa, so it
will be hard, but it can be done!