21st-century technological evolution is noticeable across various industries, but the main one is arguably video gaming. The jump in quality between games in the early 2000s and today is extraordinary, with everything from graphics to multiplayer connectivity being vastly improved beyond recognition. And it’s the same story with gaming consoles too, – just think about the difference between the original PlayStation and PS5, for example.
All these improvements have made video gaming even more popular than it once was. Statista estimates there will be 213.3 million gamers in the U.S alone by 2025 – nearly two-thirds of the population. Video gaming is just a hobby for most people, but there are an increasing number of gamers who have managed to monetize their passion. You may not believe it, but professional gaming is a career these days and one that many people aspire to. But how do you become a professional gamer? It’s undeniably a tough career to succeed in, although it certainly isn’t impossible. Keep reading for a lowdown on professional gamers and what you can do to become one.
What Constitutes a Professional Gamer?
At the most basic level, a professional gamer is somebody who can make a living solely from playing video games. With over $201 million in prize money won during 2021, professional gamers often target esports tournaments such as the DOTA International or Fortnite World Cup Finals to make their money. In most cases, you don’t even have to emerge as the ultimate victor to receive a healthy salary, as there are numerous gaming teams directly employing the best gamers to compete in tournaments. As such, professional gamers can have salaries just like the rest of us if they’re good enough.
Another way professional gamers achieve the financial income required to truly be professional is through streaming sites like Twitch. This relatively recent phenomenon has made it easy for people to stream their gaming exploits directly to fans and make money in the process. Elsewhere, other gamers like to play things like online slots or table games. There is plenty of money to be won here, especially through things like progressive jackpot slots. Sites such as VegasSlotsOnline offer a wide variety of casino games that can be highly lucrative, so it’s worth reading up on guides, reviews, and gambling strategies on the site and giving them a try. Of course, using gambling as a route to professional gaming is a risky business, although it can pay serious dividends. In any case, being a professional gamer means you are receiving a decent income solely from playing video games, regardless of which ones or where the money comes from.
A Brief History of Professional Gaming
Professional gaming may sound unbelievable to many people, but it has been around for much longer than you might think. In fact, Walter Day established the world’s first professional esports team in 1983, so professional gamers have been around for almost four decades. The U.S National Video Game Team broke the mold, and it didn’t take long for more teams to follow. Tournaments like the Nintendo World Championships were pivotal in the evolution of professional gaming, as they enabled global participation for the first time.
Despite the existence of professional gaming teams and tournaments in the 20th century, they were incredibly limited. However, this all changed in the 21st century, as better technology was the catalyst for a vast increase in video gaming and esports tournaments. Things like the 2007 Championship Gaming Series, offering a one-million-dollar reward, set the scene for an acceleration of professional gaming. These days, global competitions can regularly have prizes of over $40 million, so you can see how it’s possible to make a very healthy living off playing video games.
Tips to Become a Professional Gamer
Becoming a professional gamer is by no means straightforward, but at the same time, it isn’t impossible in the modern world. Of course, you have to be exceptionally good at playing video games to even stand a chance. Otherwise, you can pretty much forget about it. Here are a few tips to help you on your quest to becoming a professional gamer:
- Practice practice practice: As with everything, if you want to become a master of your craft, the most important thing is simply to keep practicing. There are genuinely no two ways about it. So practice your video gaming expertise! It certainly isn’t lazy if becoming a professional gamer is the end goal.
- Invest in helpful tools: There are various things you can invest in to help you become a professional gamer. These can be as simple as getting a high-quality streaming camera for Twitch or a responsive gaming chair for driving games. Here at ATLNightSpots, we have plenty of ideas regarding gaming accessories that can take you to the next level.
- Sell yourself: Unfortunately, being a standout video gamer isn’t solely enough to become a professional gamer these days. You need to sell yourself too. Many people start their careers via streaming platforms like Twitch, which is a great way to spread the word about your gaming exploits. Additionally, reaching out to professional esports players and teams is an ideal way to get your name on the map.
How Do You Know You’ve Made It As a Professional Gamer?
At what point can you phone home and say you’ve made it as a professional gamer? As you can imagine, the main prerequisite here is that you’re earning enough money playing games to support yourself. Most people will also expect you to at least have competed in esports tournaments, with being a paid member of a team is even better.
However, there are plenty of professionals who aren’t part of a team and don’t compete in competitions. Instead, these people earn money playing and streaming games via Twitch. Regardless, you can call yourself a professional gamer as long as you are making enough money from playing video games.
Other Avenues to Explore
Unfortunately, we don’t always get to do what we want in life. Many people would love to be professional gamers but don’t have the required skill to turn this dream into reality. If that sounds like you, don’t fear. There are plenty of other things you can do to make a career out of gaming. You could get into video gaming development, for example, or join the marketing teams at successful brands like PlayStation or Xbox. In fact, there are millions of jobs in the gaming industry out there, so there is still every possibility you can make a career out of your passion for video games!