Let’s talk about one of my current passions – gaming and the world of e-Sports. Let’s see if I can explain the world of e-Sports to outsiders.
Professional gaming is a thing?
Oh yes it is and it’s a very lucrative business. But of course, to make money, you have to be really good at it to get anywhere. We’re finally in 2017 and eSports is huge. ESPN streams tournaments, prize pools go into the millions and that’s just for one event. Not only are the prize pools generating money but there’s branding, sponsorship, and publicity. Alongside this we have streamers from YouTube and Twitch popularising the glam of being a professional gamer. These streams are watched by millions around the world everyday. With the wide variety of games and streamers, viewers can hardly be disappointed in terms of content.
(I wish this was my setup. Mines way more ghetto)
What it takes to be a streamer/professional gamer
Anyone can be a gamer. Gaming isn’t reserved just for the nerd and geeks. Just like the world of sport, gaming relies on having a certain skill set to be able to play on a whole another level. Basic things from reaction time, strategy and hand eye coordination are just the start. Take Overwatch for example. To be highly successful, you need to be aware of your surroundings. Professional Overwatch players will keep track of enemy team ults, where each player is positioned and how many hits you can take, to name a few. There’s a huge multitude of factors that all come into play and players have to keep track of as much of that information as they can. Of course every game is different with different genres, play styles and strategies. What could happen is endless.
As with any skill set, to get better at it- practice makes perfect. Or closer to perfect. With the rise in streaming, gamers can now make a profession in streaming when tournaments aren’t on. Most tournaments take place once a year but that might be for a single tournament. There will be multiple tournaments during the year and there may be other events which the streamer can join. But during the off time what should they do? Train of course. So why not kill two birds with one stone. They can play their game of choice, stream it as entertainment for their viewers and make some more money out of it.
I want to be a pro but don’t I need the gear?
Yes and no. Everyone starts from somewhere. Start from the basics. Learn your game sense and practice your skills. Work your way up. As you grow as a streamer you’ll figure out a way to make it. Once you figure out a streaming timetable and a financial situation, you can start expanding on gear. To make the right choice in gaming gear isn’t that hard either. Start researching the gear you want. You could be like me and get an average mouse and keyboard but mine has awesome RGB effect which I love (TASTE THE RAINBOW). Or focus on products with proper mouse sensitivity. The right feeling keyboard, the decent graphics card, the list goes on.
Where do I start?
Got a game you love? Start by finding streams of that game. See what the scene is for that game. See a gap? Take it. Start streaming in your spare time. If that works out, let’s see if we can increase stream times and viewers. Now the hard part – train your skills.
As you can see the world of e-Sports is massive already and there is a lot of room for it to expand and grow. It’s a lucrative business and it’s loved by millions. It doesn’t matter where you start but it’s a sport that anyone can join. You don’t have to be a highly skilled player to join casually. Even disabilities won’t stop a person because there is always a way. One of the top 500 players in Overwatch is colourblind but Overwatch has accessibility options for the colourblind. I’ve even seen a one handed gamer use his shoulder to prop up a controller and play with one hand.
The world of e-Sports is massive. There are a multitude of areas to go into and it’s freely available to anyone. The world of e-Sports is filled with many different people and there is a niche which everyone can fit into. Gaming has become so popular that it’s not just reserved for the nerds and kids. The market has grown and expanded to many platforms and styles. So if a profession in gaming has piqued your interest, start learning what the pro scene is like and start training the skills that you need. Also do some research on the smaller skills like hand position, mouse sensitivity, basic game sense like having shadows turned on, using a headset to hear enemy movements and what direction they’re coming from. To finish off let’s quote my favourite game at the moment – “The world could always use more heroes” (It ain’t easy being cheesy).