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Think You Can Make it as a Professional Gamer?

Posted July 8, 2011 by Taylor Stein in Editorials
Professional gamers

Do you think you are the king of Call of Duty, the Counter Strike champion or the Halo master? It’s easy to talk a big game, something which I am particularly good at, but I always prefer to back it up with action, skill, and crushing victory. While playing with friends it’s not too difficult to defeat the competition (of only 3 or 4 people) and build that feeling of supremacy. With utter success comes arrogance however.

I’ve even had it cross my mind; wow maybe I should go pro. I’ve won a few Super Smash Bros Brawl tournaments and consider myself pretty good at Black Ops . While only said jokingly, I at time wondered what it would take to get myself to the professional gamer level and after meeting a few, seeing how much work is involved, I confirmed that pro gaming is not for me.

Let’s be clear, becoming a pro gamer is not something that just happens. It requires tons of time, money, and more time. Daigo Umehara or Justin Wong who are considered to be the best Street Fighter players in the world, don’t just wake up one morning and go to tournaments. Both have been cited for playing, no training 40 or more hours per week.

Even if you enjoy a game, it’s hard to imagine playing it day after day for hours at a time. For most, the fun will slowly turn into a chore which isn’t too conducive to making living playing games. Not to mention, most professional gamers train for months at a time specifically for one tournament. If leaving all your eggs in one basket isn’t for you, then you might want to get a regular 9 to 5 like the rest of us.

If it’s a contract your seeking it’ll generally take years of work to get noticed by the major Gaming Managers which requires you first to make it into the nationals for the Championship Gaming Series. Similar to a sport, big companies draft talent at major tournaments and events in which participants often play for a contracts ranging from $30,000-$100,000 (after endorsements).

For those non-contract seeking gamers, prize money for most tournaments can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands. The real money and fame, if you’re into the unspoken perks, comes from first entering the major competitions and making it to nationals then delving into the international bracket. The compensation increases as rise up the ladder and can be very respectable.

Becoming a professional gamer is by no means an easy task. Maybe even more difficult is deciding whether this lifestyle is right for you and preparing to make the transition from recreational player to hardcore competitor. The long hours, constant travel, nights in hotels, and threat of rejection are all powerful deterrents to wannabe professionals. Though I personally couldn’t imagine making pro gaming my career, I respect those that are able to compete and be successful.

Check out some of the big Gaming Leagues (Did you know they have referees?)
World Cyber Gamers
Major League Gaming

About the Author

Taylor Stein

As an avid gamer and passionate writer, Taylor created Gaming Precision to share her infatuation with others while providing video game insight from a female perspective.

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