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Joshua Forbes is an Australian ex Counterstrike player, world ranked for a season. He has a clear view on how you can become a Pro-Gamer. As a consequence he also founded e-sportsleague.com to facilitate gamers who want to become a pro. Please enjoy the article and share it if you feel like it. 

Tips to becoming a professional gamer

There are many different articles about how to become a professional gamer and most of them will tell you the same kind of things. Whilst practicing hard, networking and controlling your temper will get you part of the way, there are actually much more important things that need to be understood if you’re going to have any chance at reaching the top level. I’m Joshua Forbes the founder of e-sportsleague.com and today I’m going to be sharing my experiences in the professional gaming industry and giving you some pointers on how you can improve your game to the point where you can feel confident playing against anyone. 

E-sportsleague Australia

Choosing the right game

Most people think that because they like a particular game and feel they are good at it, then they should pursue this game for their E sports career. This is a big mistake. You need to choose a game where you can actually have a chance of success in your area. Research tournaments and make sure there is something happening first and if there isn’t you know you’ll either have to move or find a new game. 

Just because you are good at a game doesn’t mean you wouldn’t be better at other games if you put in the work. Everyone knows it takes a certain amount of dedication to reach the top level. So who is to say you wouldn’t be as good or better playing a different game once you have put in the hours? In order to find the right game you need to play lots of games for many hours until you are sure you have found the right one. Otherwise you could be selling yourself short. 

Personal reflection 

One of the most important aspects of being a professional gamer is to be able to look at your own game, find weaknesses and fix them. There are certain ways that people view situations in games and this view is important to understanding the difference between having winning characteristics or losing ones. For example, you happen to get fragged in a game of Halo. A professional gamer would realize that it was his own fault for being fragged and look for ways of improving his aim and awareness, where as an amateur might say that his opponent just has better reflexes than himself and that there was nothing he could do. Professional gamers take responsibility for their failures whilst amateurs will always try to shift the blame and change the focus from themselves onto others. 

It’s one thing to know that you are doing something wrong. Having the power to actually make changes to your game is an entirely different issue altogether and takes time and practice. A good way of thinking about this is to examine the way you play games and consider changing your style. When most people play games there is an underlying feeling that they are enjoying themselves. Professional gamers only think about the win and there is very little enjoyment in playing. The game is just a formality and it is with this cold and calculated style of playing which makes it easier to make major improvements. If you take all the fun out of it then it becomes more real and your interaction with the game will become more precise and more easily controlled and modified. 

Work on dealing with conflict 

Phil Ivey at homePhil Ivey

Professional gamers are masters of conflict and conflict resolution. Not only just in games but also in the team environment or when tackling personal issues. The very best professional gamers, people like Phil Ivey, very rarely allow themselves to get upset or show any true emotion. You need to learn how to cut yourself off from your feelings and view things without bias and for what they really are. It is important to remember that the way to solve a problem is always there and waiting, it’s peoples personal bias and unresolved emotional states which prevent the right path from being chosen. Once these things are resolved, choosing the right way to resolve conflict becomes easier and easier. 

In most professional eSports you need to learn how to be a people person. It isn’t good enough that you are nice and easy going. Your team mates are there to challenge you as much as they are there to challenge the opposition. Always treat your team members with respect and try to learn from their mistakes as well as your own. Set firm boundaries early so people know where they stand with each other and know what is acceptable behaviour. Teams are only as strong as their weakest link so it’s important to try and make the whole team as strong as possible and this comes with understanding.

Exercise and stay healthy

A big problem a lot of professional gamers face is that they spend so much time sitting down that their bodies fall apart and become weak. When this starts to happen it can be already too late to reverse so it’s a good idea to have an exercise plan ready to compliment your gaming time. I myself have suffered from a spinal condition from playing too much and it affected my game and playing ability. It’s true that younger gamers are sometimes faster and more accurate than older gamers, this is because older gamers don’t exercise so they lose the competitive edge.

Understanding the concept of giving up

A real professional gamer never gives up. They can know when they are beat, but there is always an underlying feeling that they can do better next time and win. Amateurs often have given up before they have even started playing because of their poor mindset. They don’t realise this obviously and even though they may be giving it their very best shot, inconsistencies in the way they are feeling and approaching the game lead to a subconscious belief that they can’t win and have no hope. You need be able to face terrible adversity and believe you can overcome it. You need to believe that you can do the impossible before you can actually do it. 

Always be present and in the moment. Remember that you are not defined by what you have done or how you have played in the past, but by the way you approach the game now and how you apply yourself in the future. If you are serious about your game and you want to make it to the very top level you need to accept that you are not there at the moment and that you are going to have to make some changes. Embrace this feeling and take pride in yourself that you have the courage to look within yourself and find your inner professional gamer. 

Joshua Forbes

By Joshua Forbes

Founder of e-sportsleague.com  

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