Tips on Entering the Esports World
Competitive esports has become more and more popular as the years have gone by. Starting as a mere hobby or friendly competition to see who was the best, electronic sports has become a worldwide phenomenon. Players can now turn playing video games competitively into an actual profession. Teams of players can win thousands and thousands of dollars doing what they love most. However, I understand that newcomers interested could see entering as a daunting task. With this in mind, I thought I would give some tips on how to enter the esports world. Since my background is mainly in the Super Smash Bros. franchise, these tips will apply to all games across multiple genres. With that all said, let me get started.
- Decide how you want to leave your mark
This may sound a little redundant since many want to be involved with esports. What I mean by this is how do you want to be involved? The majority of people are going to want to be competitive players and show off their amazing skills. However, there are other aspects. There is commentary, where you could call a play-by-play of all of the action going on, much like sportscasters when they call a professional basketball game. You could give insight as to what tactics and maneuvers players and teams should do in order to win. There are tournament organizers (TO’s), where people set up the entirety of the action. From setting up rule sets to determining stream layouts and stage displays, you would be in charge of a lot, including being the judge if a dispute were ever to occur. Some teams could afford coaches, in which you would give your advice and help to one specific person or group. Rarely, teams also hire content creators, such as YouTubers and Twitch streamers. You can make content about your favorite competitive games. Regardless of which mean you choose, there are many opportunities for you to make your mark aside from an actual player.
- Decide which game you want to master
This also seems pointless to mention, but nowadays, there are many different games to play for you to choose. The most popular esports games are fighting games, shooting games and multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games. Some examples include, but are not limited to, Call of Duty, Halo, League of Legends, Super Smash Bros., Counter-Strike, and Overwatch. That being said, however, there are some tips I could give here to choose your game. For one, I would pick a game you thoroughly enjoy and would not mind spending thousands of hours into (which I will go over later). Personally, I have no problem with League of Legends, but I have never played the game and never had any interest in the game. Therefore, I would not choose that game. Another aspect is money. I understand that money should not be a factor when choosing a game to play that you enjoy competitively. I feel that money is an important aspect. For comparison, The International 2017 Dota 2 Championship winners, Team Liquid, won over $10 million for taking the tournament. Armada, the best Super Smash Bros. Melee player in the world, holds the record for the largest winnings in Smash history. His winnings: $18,000. That is quite a difference and something to consider when choosing your game to play.
- Practice, practice, practice
Many athletes in professional sports, such as tennis and hockey, reach the pinnacles of their respective sports by practicing for hours on end, day in and day out. The same can be said for esports. As said before, Team Liquid’s Dota 2 team won over $10 million in just one tournament. I can guarantee you those players (GH, Matumbaman, Miracle, KuroKy, and MinD_ContRoL) did not just pick the game up a week or two prior. Super Smash Bros. Melee, one of the largest-viewed competitive games, released back in 2001. That is 16 years of experience that players, such as Ken, Isai, Mew2King, and Bombsoldier, have over new players. I do not want newcomers to be put off by this. Zain, a Marth main from the MD/VA region, has only been playing for three years, yet he defeated Leffen at Smash ‘N’ Splash 3 earlier this year. If you are willing to put the time and effort into your craft, you will see results.
- Never give up
Let me explain so that I do not sound like a Hallmark movie. You are going to experience defeat in some way, shape, or form. Maybe you go 0-2 in your first tournament. Maybe you stumble all of your words on your first commentary debut. Maybe your first tournament you organize goes horribly. Maybe you coach your team straight to a defeat. That is okay, believe it or not. If you are just starting out, you are going to mess up. Use these failures as learning utensils to better your material. If you are a player, study your gameplay to see what went wrong. If you are a commentator, practice on your speech and speaking in front of audiences. I firmly believe that who you were in your past shaped who you are today; who you are today shapes who you are in your future. You are your own worst enemy, and if you let failure fester in your mind, your performance will continue to drop. Never give up, and you will not regret it.
- Have fun
Yeah, I have no real input here. Have fun. Enjoy the game. Remember the reason you wanted to do this and join esports in the first place. I have been an esports writer since March of this year, and I have been having more fun writing than ever. Have fun.
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