It seems so easy when the pros do it. You play well, get picked up and start winning tournaments. The reality however, is a bit different. It’s not easy to become the very best and it takes a lot of hard work to get there. Every Fnatic pro gamer knows like no other exactly how much and that’s why we asked them for some tips that anyone can follow to make it to the top of every leaderboard.
The first tip speaks for itself. Practice is key to becoming good at anything. Author Malcolm Gladwell describes in his book “Outliers” that it takes someone 10.000 hours to truly master a skill. This means that if you play a game for 8 hours a day it’ll take you roughly 3.5 years to truly become good at it. Of course, certain games have higher and lower skill caps but use the idea behind it to motivate yourself to keep at it. If you keep working on your goals, then you’ll eventually get good enough to achieve them.
2. Accept that there are better players than you…
No matter how good you get, there will always be someone who’s better than you. At the recent Rio Olympics, Wayde van Niekerk broke the 400m world record. The record stood for 17 years and it looked like it would never get broken, until that day it did. People who are better than you are not just your competition, they should also be your inspiration. If you’re in a position to talk to these players, make sure you do. Ask them for advice because they might give you brand new insights in how you do things that’ll help you to one day beat them. Remember, the road to the top is not a solo journey.
3.…and understand that losing is okay
Even the best players lose games sometimes and this is something that you have to accept to prevent yourself from tilting. As a pro gamer you’ll need a mindset focused on long term overall results and if you ragequit after two or three losses in a row then you’ll most likely not get to the top any time soon. In a lot of games a winrate of 60% is considered high, meaning that even at the best level you’ll still lose 4 out of 10 games.
4. Have patience, be persistent
With practice comes patience. Too many people these days are used to instant gratification. You get rewarded with in-game achievements and rewards for doing the smallest things and it feels good. However, if you want to become a pro you suddenly find yourself on a path that is hard and full of disappointment, failure and without any immediate rewards in sight. This is where you have to decide if all the hard work will be worth it for you in the end.
5. Get yourself out there
As we said above, the road to the top is a long one and you’ll need people by your side if you want to make it there. This does not just mean friends and family. If you want to get better, you have to surround yourself with people who want to achieve the same thing as you. This mean you’ll benefit a lot from joining online communities, Discord groups, subreddits, guilds, clans,.. as they will help you propel forward.
On the other side, you’ll also want to reach out to esports organizations once you feel you’ve gotten to a level where you think you have the skill to become a true pro gamer. At the same time, if you’re not actively looking for a team then make sure that they can find you. Clean up your social media and use it to showcase your achievements and knowledge of the game. Be sure to keep you nickname the same everywhere by the way, it will help people recognize you!
Try to stream as well if you feel like this is something you’re comfortable with. It’s great for exposure and it can even make you some money while you are working your way towards a pro status. Who knows, you might even enjoy streaming and interacting with an audience more than actually being a pro gamer.
6. Kick ass outside of the game
Becoming a pro gamer is not just about playing games 24/7. Generally being healthy and active will help you feel better overall and increase your focus when playing. These past few years it’s become a trend among pro players to go to the gym multiple times a week but really any type of exercise is a good idea. Besides, you’ll want to look good on camera when you finally make it as a pro gamer!
7. Participate in tournaments
Every job in the world needs experience and as a pro gamer the easiest way to gather some is by playing in tournaments. Organizers like ESL often host weekly cups aimed at beginners looking to break through in the scene. This is a great way to learn what it feels like to play in a tournament and it’ll prepare you for the moment you finally get to play in front of a real crowd. Don’t be picky either, if a local LAN party is hosting a 50$ tournament, stop by and see what’s what. You might even end up meeting some cool people that’ll help you on your way to the top.
We hope these tips will help you move toward your very own Pro Gamer status. Make sure to share them with your friends because it’s a journey that’s better together.