Answering Your Call Of Duty: Getting Your Esports Career Up And Running

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Answering Your Call Of Duty: Getting Your Esports Career Up And Running

While we know that gaming is a consistent challenge on our mental state, we've got to give thought to those that are working hard to bring it into the professional sector. Esports is a viable career path now, but for those who have no idea where to begin, or even wonder if they have the talent and aptitude, read on. Let's see if we can get your skills ready for the screen.

Taking It Seriously

Yes, there is an opportunity to turn it into a viable career. But there's a big difference between partaking in it on a casual basis and doing it for a living. From an outsider’s perspective, it would seem like it's a dream to get paid to do something you love. As those people that will tell you, it becomes like a job. But that's not to say that you will lose all enthusiasm for it, but rather, the moral of this is that you should take it seriously. To begin with, you need to identify your own abilities and if you will find yourself at an advantage in the esports world. This means you got to get out there and see what you are up against. Like the big gaming companies check out their competition before they release the latest console to keep up with demand, you've got to see what your direct competition is. Firstly, you've got to measure your skill, but you've also got to see if you have a lot of work ahead of you.

Getting Your Experience

Getting your experience comes with numerous obstacles. Like any pro athlete, you've got to practice. And the big difference with practising esports over a physical one is that you will have a lot of people obstructing you. Family members will no doubt tell you how much you're wasting your time. But you've got to put in the hours. You could follow the 10,000 hours rule or you need to set aside a specific amount of time so you are able to compete with the best. This means you've got to assess what is out there. The best way to get started is to setup your own Twitch channel. Like any business person looks to market themselves, your own Twitch channel will start to put you in the consciousness of others out there. You can get followers, build up your own disciples, and the more skills you acquire, the better you become. There's no way around it, you've got to put in the time.

And as you start to cater for your audience, and interact with others, no doubt they will have various critiques of your ability. This is where you can definitely draw a parallel with professional athletes. They constantly have people critiquing their abilities, or bad mouthing them. And if you are to take this seriously, you've got to learn that this comes with the territory. Of course, we know that the internet can be a vast black hole of naysayers, but this means there are also very encouraging people. Look at the people you admire in the gaming world and take a leaf out of their book.

Continuing To Develop Your Skills

Any sport is about mindset, and this means fine-tuning your skills and developing your focus. Operating a Twitch channel can mean us playing one game for hours on end, but we can get comfortable in our own little world. We have to diversify. Whether this means changing games now and again, or even going to different devices, this helps keep you fresh. It's about being in that frame of mind where you are able to accomplish the task, despite the game you choose. This is where strategy comes into play. You can spend a lot of time diversifying and playing different games so you have an efficient tool box. And never underestimate the smaller games in stature. It's not just about Fortnite, Madalin Stunt Cars 2 and other less well-known games will provide you with that ability to keep fresh. We can certainly get stuck on autopilot, and this means that the sense of mundanity can creep in. It's important that we keep our focus sharp.

Making It A Career For Life

We can draw a parallel with any young athlete that appears to be too old after a while. Yes, the esports industry is predominantly made up of young players, but that's not to say you are put on the scrapheap as soon as you hit 25. There are plenty of roles out there for someone who is willing to put in the extra work. It's not just about the gaming, but after a while, you can diversify into other roles, from a shoutcaster to a referee, or go into gaming development. The most important thing is to look at the people you admire and see how their career progresses. Not that you should emulate them, but if you start by securing a work experience placement, especially in different areas, you'll get a far more beneficial experience of what the industry actually entails, which will inform your decisions beyond your bedroom. Esports can certainly become a lucrative career, but like any job, you've got to compete with others out there. Part of it is about identifying your own specific niche, but if you believe to be an expert in Counter-Strike, there are others who feel the same. Part of it is about your own individual skills, but how they lend themselves to other roles within the industry.

It's hard to believe that once upon a time, gaming was just something that was done at home and there was no opportunity to turn it into something career-oriented. You can do what you love in the gaming industry, but you've got to be prepared- it's not all fun and games! Gaming, especially an esports career, is as intense as the physical athletes. You can be a master of your own domain and supremely skilled, but you've got to put in the work.

Image Via: Unsplash

Corey Pollack
Corey is a team member of one of the world's largest esports organizations. Corey is also the founder of Wave Digital Media, one of Canada's 60 fastest growing companies. You can learn more about Corey via our About page.