Perhaps your inspiration to become a professional gamer is every popular pro gamer in the world who earns millions of dollars playing video games. That dream of yours is valid considering that it’s hard to find a career that’s lucrative and fun at the same time.

But before plunging into the video game industry, you have to consider these six critical things so your journey will be easier and smoother:

1. Gaming Equipment

For doctors, it’s the stethoscope. For engineers, perhaps it’s CAD software. And for lawyers, it’s the official lawyer’s handbook. Those are the tools of their trade.

Similarly, to succeed as a professional gamer, you also need industry-specific tools and equipment. These may include the following:

  • A gaming headset
  • Controllers
  • Gaming CPUs
  • An HD webcam
  • A gaming mouse
  • A backlit keyboard
  • An ergonomic chair
  • Stereo speakers
  • A high-resolution monitor

Some of these may seem obvious but remember that they must be specifically designed for gaming. For instance, the mouse you use for everyday tasks on your PC or laptop may not be good enough for video games. You need a gaming mouse with a DPI button to adjust sensitivity, perfect tracking speed, palm and claw grip, programmable buttons, backlight LED, and low lift-off distance.

Buying all these types of gaming equipment will cost you a few thousand dollars. So make sure you have adequate funds if you plan to start your professional gaming career soon.

2. Time For Practice

The best pro gamers out there spend up to 10 hours daily playing their favorite video games, which is why they excel at what they do. Likewise, you must be psychologically prepared to dedicate many hours every day for practice. Don’t assume you can spend just an hour or two per day and beat the seasoned gamers who’ve been in the profession for several years, if not decades.

With this in mind, ask yourself if you’re willing and able to spare such an amount of time for gaming. If it doesn’t seem possible, it might be better for you to play video games as a hobby and not at a professional level.

3. Training

To be one of the top players in any given game, the intensity of your training should closely match that of the current champions. As such, it’s not wise to forever lock yourself in a room to practice playing your favorite game.

Once you’ve mastered the basics, consider joining gaming events or tournaments. You’ll benefit in one or more of the following ways:

  • Cash Prizes: Many tournaments involve rewarding winners and runners-up with cash. It’s good to get some money for your hard work, no matter how small the amount may be in the beginning. You may want to check out online platforms that host Call of Duty tournaments with cash prizes.
  • Networking: Tournaments introduce you to other gamers who may also be looking to become professionals. Working with such people gives you a much-needed sense of belonging, which would do you a world of good if you intend to stay in the video game industry for a long time.
  • Sponsorship: Potential sponsors attend tournaments to search for new talent. If you happen to impress any of them with your gaming skills, you can land a sponsorship deal and earn thousands of dollars out of it.
  • Confidence: By playing with skilled gamers, you’re able to gauge your skill level and identify opportunities for improvement.

4. Income

Young people playing video games on computers indoors. Esports tournament

Tournaments aren’t the only source of income you can tap into. As a professional gamer, you can earn money in any of the following ways:

  • Ads: You can set up an account with a popular video streaming platform and monetize your channel for ad revenue. The amount of money you earn depends on the number of views you get and how much your viewers interact with the ads that show up in your video.
  • Endorsements: You can partner with a business selling products related to gaming—say a gaming headset company—and promote their offerings to your online followers.
  • Fan Donations: Some of your fans who’re enthralled by your dedication and gaming skills can send direct cash donations to you.
  • Subscriptions: If you’re exceptionally good in gaming, you can charge a standard monthly fee for anyone who wants to watch you play.

Although these income streams are certainly promising, keep in mind that it takes quite some time before you’re able to make enough money from your online gaming channel. As such, you’d want to have another source of income as you build your professional gaming career. Once your gaming channel consistently generates good revenue, you can quit all your other sidelines and focus on gaming.

5. Health

As earlier mentioned, professional gaming calls for several hours of practice every day. That means you’ll spend most of your day seated in front of your computer.

Sitting for extended periods has some negative health implications, including:

  • Increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, deep vein thrombosis, obesity, and cancer
  • Increased risk of dementia
  • High anxiety levels
  • Lower back pain

Fortunately, you can counter the effects of too much sitting through measures such as:

  • Incorporating deliberate movements throughout your day like standing up after every game and moving around
  • Using a standing desk
  • Maintaining the right sitting posture
  • Exercising for 30 to 60 minutes every day

You can’t thrive as a professional gamer if you’re not healthy, so see to it that you look after yourself at all times.

6. Specialization

Don’t be a Jack of all trades, master of none. While it’s true that there are thousands of video games out there on the market, don’t get overwhelmed by the large number of choices, and don’t try playing as many of them as you can. In doing so, you’ll know the basics of each game but you’ll never become an expert in any particular game.

The best thing to do is to focus on just one game. Read and learn everything you can about it. Know ins and outs of the game to the extent that you can play it well even after you’ve just woken up from a deep sleep. This way, you can become one of the top players of that game in the world.

The Bottom Line

Becoming a professional gamer is possible if you invest enough time, effort, and financial resources. A career comes with its own challenges, but they’re not so hard that you can’t overcome them. If you stay focused, you can quickly rise through the ranks and be among the top-earning video gamers in the world.