Is It Hard to be a Professional Gamer? (The Sad Truth From A Pro)

I have been playing Call of Duty competitively for nine years, so I know how hard it is to be a professional gamer.

Being a professional gamer is extremely difficult. It requires 8 to 12 hours of practice every day, 7 days a week, for upwards of 10 years. It requires extensive knowledge of your gaming skills and you must maintain a reputation within the competitive community.

It’s going to be a constant uphill battle, and it’s one that I couldn’t complete, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. If you do fancy your chances at making it to the mainstage, then you’re going to want to follow my tips and learn from my mistakes.

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What are the Odds of Someone Becoming a Pro Gamer?

The odds of someone becoming a pro gamer change depending on what title they are playing. You have between a 1 / 100,000 and 1 / 1,000,000 chance of making it to the top of your game of choice based on how many people are playing competitively.

Low. The odds are low. It’s going to require some serious luck, but luck is just a combination of skill and time.

Your odds get worse the more popular your title gets. Think of it like this, the Call of Duty 2021 League has peaked at 121,000 viewers. That’s 121,000 people that you’re competing against. So if we’re looking at pure stats alone, that’s a 1 in 121,000 chance.

If you’re looking at the industry juggernauts like CSGO or LoL, then your chances are going to be going into the 1 in a million category.

That’s the base that you’re going to be working off of, but there are things you can do to increase your chances of becoming a pro gamer.

How Much do Pro Gamers Practice?

Pros practice between 7 and 9 hours per day, like a part-time job, but you need to do more. These are the people that you’re going to have to beat to go pro, and they have one hell of a head start on you.

To become a pro, you need to be better than 99.9% of the community. You need to be skilled, and that skill comes about from extensive practice.

Martin “Rekkles” Larsson, who currently plays League of Legends for G2, used to play 16 hours per day at the start of his career. While this is a bad approach, it gives you a good idea of what you can expect.

Pro gamers make bank. It’s a job and a high-paying one at that. Therefore, you need to treat it like one.

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4 Things To Become a Pro Gamer – The Little Things

You need to know your game inside out, you need to work outside of the game, not just within it.

Doing your research and being up to date is a must. Anytime there’s a patch, you need to know exactly what’s changed, and when the pros start succeeding with a new strategy, you need to study it.

Think about professional fighting games like Tekken or Smash Smash, character get new patches and buffs/nerfs all the time. What hope do you have being a pro if you don’t keep updated for these changes?

You need to make sure your internet is up and running and that it’s fast. If you’re encountering problems with it, it’s your responsibility to your teammates to get it fixed.

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If you make it to the amateur circuits, you need to do research on your opponents. If you’re in a single-player Esport, all of this work is going to fall on your shoulders.

1.If You Play A Team E-Sport You Must Have A Captain

If you’re in a team-based game, then the captain of your team is responsible for this.

Your captain is your manager, leader, and ambassador. They need to be the most experienced and mature one on the team. They will keep everyone in line, dedicated, create your schedule, and communicate with industry officials when it comes to things like tournaments.

Finding a dedicated captain in the amateur world of Esports is like finding a diamond in the gutter, so if you stumble across one, hold onto them. Otherwise, consider taking that responsibility on your own shoulders.

2.You Need To Maintain A Brand

This is what drove me away from going pro.

Whether you like it or not, the Esports scene is going to be political. It doesn’t matter what title you play; there are going to be cliques, villains, nepotism, bias, and a lot of arguments.

Knowing how to navigate this political landscape and build up your reputation is critical. It doesn’t matter how good you are if no one knows you, or worse, everyone hates you.

Twitter and Twitch are your best friends in this regard. There’s a reason that so many pro players turn to streaming, and it’s not just to do with the money. The more people know about you, the more valuable you become.

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You need to be polite, kind, and responsive. Don’t start fights, don’t make false promises, and don’t backstab anyone.

3. You Must Sacrifice

You’re going to need to sacrifice a lot to make this work. Your social life, education, mental health, and your physical health are all going to be affected.

The catch 22 of this is that you need all of these things to be at the top of your game. The worse you feel in yourself, the worse you’re going to play. You need to take care of both your body and soul to perform at the highest level of anything.

The best tactical minds in the world are arguably chess professionals, and these guys keep themselves in peak physical condition for the sake of their in-game performance. There’s a reason for that.

There are also going to be financial sacrifices. You’re going to need the best equipment, from monitors to SCUF controllers, so be prepared to invest a lot of money before you see any returns.

4.You Must Stay Consistent To Make It

If you do want to make this work, your biggest obstacle is going to be time. You’re not going to become a pro this year. Or next year. Or the year after that. Or the year after that.

You’re going to be putting in full-time work and dedicating your life to your title only for life to spit in your face. Repeatedly. That’s a part of the journey you’re going to face.

You need to grit your teeth and keep grinding each year after every setback. If you don’t have the dedication to see your professional gaming career through to the end, then you’re just going to be wasting your time.

How to Become a Professional Gamer (Summary)

If you want to be a professional gamer, you’re going to need to do a few things:

  • Get a schedule set up with 8 to 12 hours of practice every single day of the week.
  • Keep up to date on the competitive meta and research your opponents
  • Stream on Twitch and build your social media presence.
  • Stay committed to the pro-e-sports journey and don’t; give up

These four tips are the best bits of advice I can give you. I don’t recommend you try to go pro, but I wish you all the luck in the world if you do.

After all, you only lose when you give up!