eSports is becoming increasingly popular worldwide, with more and more international tournaments being held every year not only to explore the field’s lucrative potential and to generate new opportunities, but to ultimately celebrate the world of gaming.
So much so that despite the ongoing debate of whether it’s considered a mainstream ‘sport’, eSports was featured as a medal sporting event in the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines and is set to make its return in the upcoming 2021 games in Vietnam.
In Malaysia, to build upon greater interests from local enthusiasts and to ensure progress in the field remains upwards in the country, eSports will be contested in the 20th SUKMA Games in Johor that is expected to take place this year.
Now some of you might think that becoming an eSport athlete is straightforward – “All I need to do is to know how to play video games, right?”
In a sense, that is true, but based on what we’ve discovered through articles and interviews about what how to be a top eSports athlete, it takes more than just getting used to the gameplay:
What’s your niche?: There’s no harm in being good in many games, but it’s best to specialise in a particular eSports game (e.g. Counter-Strike, Street Fighter V, Warcraft III, etc.) or even a game genre (e.g. first-person shooters, fighting, strategy, etc.). Doing this allows you to focus better on honing your knowledge and skills as an eSports athlete.
Have you made your move yet? Rather than waiting for any opportunity to fall onto your lap, initiate your first step into the field. Join a local eSports team to get started and learn how to work effectively as a team. Make it a point to visit tournaments to watch other professionals play. Establish a network with people in the industry to seek advice on being a good athlete and to understand how the field really works. Once you have enough experience, you can consider creating your own team with your friends or teammates you’ve worked with.
Speaking of experience, how much of it have you gained? If you want to succeed, you need to make the effort and you need to find the opportunity. Always practise and work hard towards achieving some high scores or whatever goals you set in improving your gaming skills and in putting yourself out there. And when you eventually earn some recognition, never rest on your laurels and keep on being a better eSports athlete.
Are you taking care of yourself? That said, building your experience in eSports can put you at risk of various physical and mental health problems if you’re not careful, considering that you spend long hours staring at the screen and not moving every part of your body as you play. As such, make it a habit to lead a balanced lifestyle between your gaming life and your regular life and obligations. Ensure that you spend time outside your gaming space, eat healthily, exercise regularly and sleep enough.
Are you committed to your endeavour? At the end of the day – and like every other sports and career – you need to have the commitment to turn your dream into a reality. Success doesn’t happen overnight and challenges will come your way, but as long as you have the determination and passion, your path towards becoming a professional eSports athlete will be a journey worth taking.