Gaming is quickly becoming one of the biggest sectors in the entertainment industry, and it’s definitely one of the most popular pastime activities in the world. But it’s also important to note that gaming as a profession has been rising in popularity across the globe in recent years, and nowadays you have the opportunity to make gaming your full-time job. There are many ways to explore this opportunity for yourself, and there are many ways you can create gaming content that will land you sponsorships or simply allow you to build financial independence.
You could also become a professional competitive gamer, and take the Esports scene by storm if you work hard enough and find a dedicated team with the same drive and passion. Yes, it’s an amazing prospect, but how do you get started? How do you get to that point when gaming becomes a source of income and a lifetime profession?
Let’s take a look at the essential steps you need to take in order to achieve success in the professional gaming world.
Get the necessary hardware
First and foremost, you need to be able to play the games that the global audience wants to see, and you can expect these to be the newer titles. Sure, some old, less resource-intensive games are still popular, but in order to play, record, and stream for your audience at the same time, you’re going to need a powerful setup.
You know the deal, you need a powerful GPU and a decent CPU, plenty of SSD space and at least 16 gigabytes of RAM. But what else do you need? Well, as a professional gamer, you also need quality peripherals and recording equipment. Make sure to get a good camera to film yourself playing, preferably a DSLR, and a professional microphone along with a gaming headset. You’ll also need a dual-monitor setup so that you can play the game on one, and monitor your chat and metrics on the other.
Build a content schedule
Needless to say, starting a professional gaming journey requires a decent financial investment, but if you can overcome this hurdle, the next step would be to pick your game(s) and develop a content schedule. Firstly, make a list of games that you enjoy playing, and compare it to the most popular titles for streaming and content creation. Pick one main game and a couple of secondary titles that your channel is going to revolve around.
People like consistency and knowing what to expect, so branding yourself as an FPS, RTS, or an RPG channel will really help you solidify your channel. Next, you need a concrete content schedule. If you’re going to stream on Twitch and post on YouTube, make sure that people know exactly when they can catch you live, and when they can expect new content releases. This will help build a stable and devoted following.
Stay energized during lengthy gaming sessions
Building a career as a professional gamer is time consuming, tiring, and unbelievably tough on your body and mind. No, you’re not exactly doing manual labor, but gaming requires a high level of concentration and skill if you’re going to be good enough to attract an audience. So you need to be rested, focused, and energized during those lengthy live streams and gaming sessions.
It’s imperative that you develop a healthy eating and sleeping schedule from now on, and that you keep a healthy gaming energy drink at your side when you’re streaming and creating YouTube content. If you’re in a competitive environment, whether it’s a tournament or a private competition with friends, you need to be fueled by the right vitamins and minerals that will keep your brain sharp and your reaction times fast.
Remember, healthy living is the only way to make it far in this business.
Build a dedicated fanbase
People click on a video because they are interested in the game, but they stick around because they become interested in you. Never forget that people want and need to build a relationship with their favorite gamers, which is what makes those gamers so popular and successful in the long run. It’s not about the game, it’s about the personal brand, the connection, and the way you engage with your audience.
Be present, be conversational, talk with your chat, respond to all comments, address people by their name and thank them for being there – it will make all the difference for you, your audience, and your career in the long run.
Practice off camera, and practice a lot
You already know that practice makes perfect, but when you enter the professional realm, how much you practice can make or break your career. You are now entering some dangerous, shark infested waters, and even though you might have been the best in your own little pond, you’re soon going to find out just how tough the competition is on the professional scene.
Make no mistake, you’re going to struggle against the pros at first, and you can only hope to beat them if you start practicing off camera more than ever before. Whether you’re playing an esports game at a tournament with your team or if you’re playing on your own at home, the bar is infinitely higher right now. Make sure to schedule daily practice off camera before you start recording or streaming, because people want to watch a winner.
Over to you
The world of professional gaming offers many lucrative opportunities to newcomers and established gamers, but in order to break into the industry as a novice player, you need to take some key steps first. Use this guide to make this journey fun and rewarding, but most importantly, to set the stage for a thriving career as a professional gamer.