If you’ve ever heard the saying “get paid to do what you love,” you may have wondered how to turn your gaming hobby into a profession. So how do you become a pro gamer and stand out in such a competitive industry?
Kevin Cochran has years of experience in the iGaming world and knows the ins and outs of playing professionally. From online platforms like Casiplay Casino to project management, Cochran is an expert in the process and is here to take you through what it means to become a pro gamer.
Find Your Passion
The first thing to know how to become a pro gamer is being passionate about what you do. It has to be more than a hobby – you’ll need to invest time, practice, and research to hone your skills.
Before you proceed, ask yourself why you want to do it, what you hope to achieve, and what kind of work you want to invest in. Are you not sure where to start? Here are some common types of pro gamers out there:*
- Casual Gamers: relaxed and flexible gaming style (commentary, walkthroughs, etc.).
- Old School Gamers: focus on retro gaming (8-bit and 16-bit technology).
- Social Gamers: opts for interactive games and team building. Often multiplayer or competitive titles and style.
- Expert Gamers: jack-of-all-trades. Similar to casual gamers, except they have in-depth knowledge and skill of most titles.
- Pro Gamers: excels in one genre and participates in esports tournaments.
Choose A Niche
Now that you know what you’re passionate about, it’s time to find your niche. It’ll help you stand out from other players in the same category. Think about your favourite pro gamers and pinpoint their unique qualities for inspiration.
For example, there are many Let’s Play (LP) channels out there. One notable YouTube channel by the name of Let’s Game It Out takes LP content to a new level. Josh, the creator, plays the game in the incorrect way (until chaos issues or he crashes the frame rate) for comedic effect. This resulted in over a total of 200 million views and sponsorships from many big-name companies.*
You’ll notice that your favourite gamers have a set schedule and create content consistently. The typical pro gamer daily routine includes research, practice, marketing, and content creation. Not only does it help viewers know when you’ll be streaming, but algorithms are also more likely to push your content.*
Build A Brand
Marketing yourself and strengthening your online presence is vital in any industry. That’s why building a personal brand is so important – it helps viewers identify you across all platforms.*
Start with having an easy-to-remember name and an eye-catching icon throughout all platforms. Design a logo, stick to a colour scheme, or use other visual factors you can be known for. Your personality and other unique features will also be tied to your brand. Be creative to set yourself apart from your competition.
Connect With Others
Even if your content consists only of single-player games, you’ll still need to be social and network with other pro gamers. If you’re playing competitively, you’ll benefit from joining or building a team. The more you’re noticed, the more doors open for your career with other players, exclusive communities, and sponsorships.
Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience is essential to many retail and entertainment industries. Figuring out who your audience is and what they enjoy about your gameplay will help you understand how to grow your brand. Interact with viewers, get feedback, and tailor your content accordingly.
Have The Right Attitude
Pro gamers may be penalized for violating platform policies, hate speech, or other forms of misconduct. To minimize censorship, platforms like Twitch allow your content to be labelled for mature audiences. That means you don’t have to be 100% family-friendly to be successful – unless you want to appeal to a younger audience.
However, any controversy can cost you viewers, sponsorships, and more. Maintain your record clean by having the right attitude, avoid sensitive topics, and keep your language generalized and somewhat SFW.
Upgrade Your Gear
What is a pro gamer without the right gaming equipment? In the beginning, it’s recommended to start off with what you have and upgrade later on. A mistake many aspiring pro gamers make is assuming they can only start their career when they buy an expensive setup.
All you need is a good gaming mouse, headset, microphone, and a mechanical keyboard. Keep in mind that you need to try out your gaming peripherals across many games on-stage. If you’re on a laptop or PC, it should perform well and avoid lag or bugging out the frame rate.
When you gain enough traction in your gaming career, you can be partnered or sponsored to further fund your career. On top of winning big bucks from live tournaments or monetary support from your fans, companies may pay you to wear their merch while you’re on screen.
Make Pro Gamer Moves
There’s a lot more that goes into being a pro gamer than what meets the eye. On top of streaming, creating content, or gaming competitively, you also have to network and build a brand for yourself. The good news is that you don’t need much to start. When you put in the work, you too can become a prominent name in the gaming industry.