I have a feeling that most of you once had aspirations of transitioning from a casual to pro eSports gamer that would play for teams, make a name for themselves, and attract sponsors. I know I did! Well, technically I wanted to make games but that dream didn’t get realized and once I started playing League of Legends and seeing how even the lesser-known teams and players can demolish the opposition, the dreams of greatness slowly started to manifest.
This was nothing unusual since, you know, everyone has idols but I never could imagine myself in that role. I was still relatively young and other openings in life had appeared. Besides, eSports at the time wasn’t as big as it is now. We had DotA and LoL to look out for but other than that, nothing came close.
Here’s the funny part: I took part in a tournament with a couple of good friends and we ended up playing against a particularly famous and strong team (that I won’t disclose) that completely wrecked us. We were 3-27 going into the 12th minute of the game. This is when I realized that I shot too high and it just wasn’t possible, at least at the time.
Obviously, I never got around to playing a game professionally, but I did realize what it takes to transition from casual to pro eSports gamer. And, believe me, it isn’t easy. It’s actually incredibly difficult (unless the stars are aligned just right for you, then it’s a bit easier).
Getting the Right Attitude
When you start to transition from casual to pro eSports gamer, you begin with attitude. If you’re a person who never blames himself and you always do things right – stop it. Being a team player requires you to acknowledge your mistakes and learn from them because the truth is, no one is perfect. We’re all human and we make mistakes, this is how we evolve and improve.
You also need to be mindful of your opponents. Talking them down and speaking about them as if they’re idiots (granted, sometimes this is true) won’t do any good. It’ll just rile you up even more. If they’re playing badly or talking foul things – the best thing you can do is ignore them and focus on helping your team. If your entire team isn’t doing well, focus on your own game and try to figure out what you can do better.
The road to improvement starts here. If you make yourself into a team player that isn’t too greedy, knows how to help his teammates, and an overall nice guy, you’re well on your way to turning pro. Because no one will ever think of hiring you into their team if all you do is berate your teammates and tell them terrible things.
Keep on Training
Next up, we have training. Now, you might think you’re a great player, but if the stats don’t show it, no one will pick you up. This is an unfortunate truth. There are thousands if not hundreds of thousands of players that you need to overcome if you want to be the best. Keep in mind that when, and if, you go pro you won’t be in a top team.
This is natural. The main purpose of this is to grow through the ranks. Each team has a certain skill threshold that they can’t necessarily pass. If you help them pass this by yourself (and, in turn, by helping the team), you’ll get recognized.
But in order to do this and reach this point, you’ll have to work hard. Very hard. The transition from casual to pro eSports gamer is not easy and eSports gamers all start from scratch. Since eSports is so new, no one can live off of old glory (as in, turn up at the next event in a professional team just because their dad or cousin or whatever were famous).
Because of this, all of the current eSports stars you know, whether they’re from LoL, DotA, or any other game, have started from the bottom. It might be easier for them to transition from games to games due to their name and fame, but starting out is never easy.
Getting There Takes Time
Once you start training hard, you’ll begin noticing certain patterns to your actions and playstyle. Something you might not have seen before has popped up and you realize it’s holding you back. So, naturally, you’ll begin to make certain improvements to your gameplay, making you better at what you do. Maybe you’re going for an objective 5 seconds earlier to secure the area, or maybe you’re purchasing an unorthodox item because it gives you a slight edge.
It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you notice your mistakes and improve upon them. The transition from casual to pro eSports gamer is looking more and more complicated, right?
Well, it’s not too much. Of course, if you start strategizing and figuring out what to do next to surprise your opponent, your climb to stardom might be that just easier. Everyone likes a tactician that’s smart enough to outwit their opponent, and if you prove yourself in the ‘field of battle’, someone will surely notice you.
Sponsors, Fame, and Glory
If you get picked up by a strong team, your old life is basically over. Now you’ll have team obligations, meetings, entire week-long training sessions for hours upon hours of game time. It might get boring, it might get tough, but hey – you’ve made it!
People will start recognizing you on the street, some might even stalk you, but you’re slowly showing the world what you’re all about. Interviews, getting up early for flights, social awkwardness… These are all factors that contribute to how well you’ll receive this new life.
Oh, there are also sponsors (maybe even eSports betting ones eh?) that will require certain things from you in order to send you stuff (and give you backing). This new world is maybe a scary one, so think long and hard before you make your choice. If you do choose to become pro, then I wish you the best of luck!