Online gaming is no longer an activity only for young kids who want to have fun and enjoy their favorite online games — many people are making a living from eSports, streaming or content creation. Professional gaming has attracted millions of people worldwide thanks to easy access to the internet and improved devices and exponential growth in interest.
It is not that easy to become a professional gamer, and like any other sport, it requires an absurd amount of dedication and skill. Besides honing exceptional gaming skills, talent and working hard, you should also invest in decent gaming equipment, especially a good mouse and headset can make a huge difference. No gear will make you a professional gamer on its own of course but having a slight edge over other players on the ladder is very helpful.
Professional gaming is a journey that requires a lot of practice and training but if you manage to be one of the few who succeeds I dare say it is worth every second of hard work you put in.
To properly commence your gaming journey to become an aspiring professional gamer, there are some things to keep in mind.
Choose a game
It is far from every game genre that has a decent competitive scene and thus is worth investing your time into. It doesn’t matter how good you are at Dark Souls; you won’t become an Esports athlete because of it. You should look into the game genres that have had a strong competitive scene for a long time, such as first-person shooters, MOBA’s, real-time Strategy games and of course the recent craze, the Battle Royale genre.
The only real way to find out which game genre suits your talent and which you enjoy the most is to play them, a LOT. Practice hard and choose the right gaming platform. You probably already know if you want to play on PC or console but figuring that out is a must as well of course. Go on and determine which game genre you are good at, and decide whether you will start competing or if you are having fun in the game.
Master your skills
To hone your online gaming skills, you have to practice hard. You can also sharpen and improve your skills by researching meticulously on the best-known gaming tactics and techniques. Watching the current professionals and high ranked players on Youtube or Twitch is always an excellent way to make some quick improvements to your play.
Climb the ladder
So now that you have decided on a game that you enjoy competing in it is time to climb the ladder. There is no better way to improve at a game than to play the game’s ranked mode vigorously. This gives you an insight into the meta and helps you develop in every other aspect important to competitive play. It also serves as an excellent way to find out of you are any good, if you struggle to even get near the top leagues, that is probably the first sign that you might not have what it takes.
If you do manage to be victorious and climb to the top of the ladder or near to it, then the next step is to find a team and start playing skirmishes. Have you ever wondered why professional gamers rarely play on the in-game ladder on the in-game ladder? Well, that is because they are playing practice matches against other professional players in custom skirmishes. Usually, the best way to get into this is through the forums or Discord.
Get proper equipment (Especially a headset)
As I mentioned earlier, gear will not make you a professional gamer but having proper equipment can certainly help you on the way. Some pieces are more important than others, such as headphones, mice and even monitors, compared to the more practical things such as finding the best headphone stand or a new gaming chair.
When playing at a competitive level then it is paramount that you have good headphones with great directional sound quality. It is hard to overstate how big of a difference it does to have directional surround sound when playing games like Counter-Strike that can help you point towards enemies location.
There are many things to consider when looking for a good pair of gaming headphones and we have written an extensive guide on the subject. However, let us take a look at some popular options for professional gamers.
Our general recommendation
Hyper X cloud II
This is a headphone design made for professional gamers. It comes with a durable aluminum frame and most importantly, top-notch surround sound and overall quality. As well as provides you with excellent noise cancellation and a fantastic detachable and very adjustable microphone. The Hyper X Cloud 2 is one of our favorite gaming headsets currently on the market and won’t set you back too much in terms of price.
Our high-end recommendation
Sennheiser Game One
These are a serious piece of high-end gaming equipment and comes with an appropriate price. Now, this might be too expensive for most people, especially if gaming is just a hobby, but if you are serious about professional gaming, then you cannot be afraid to spend a bit extra on great equipment. While the price for Game One is pretty high, it is more than worth every penny, and it is honestly one of the best gaming headsets ever made in any aspect. Incredible sound quality, comfort and a ton of handy features.
Our wireless recommendation
SteelSeries Arctis 7
If you have had your fill of wires and want something nice and smooth, then the Steelseries Arctis is one of our absolute favorite wireless headsets. While you will have to spend quite a bit more to get proper wireless headphones, it is well worth if you want that cordless experience. It is very easy to make a horrible purchase when it comes to wireless gaming equipment of all sorts, so I do recommend that you look up our buying guide to help you make the right choice. Now that said, the SteelSeries Arctis 7 is a solid choice in all regards and is the first wireless piece I’d recommend.
These are some handy quick tips for people that want to move into the professional gaming scene and to finish off I’d like to say this:
Don’t quit just because it takes you a long time to climb the ladder, as long as you are making progress you are well on your way.