How to go pro: Top British esports players share their advice
Education - 16 Feb 2017
One of the most common requests we receive here at the British Esports Association is players asking us how they can make the leap from amateur to professional.
So we asked some pro British esports players for their advice.
'Keep a cool mind' - David "Dqvee" Davies
"Make sure you put the time and effort in to improving. Not just playing the game, making sure you're realising where your team are going wrong and the best way to improve," says David, a pro Call of Duty player for Epsilon Esports.
"When practicing, make sure not to moan. I know how stressful it can be to play and keep a cool mind. But if your team have to focus on telling you to stop moaning, it will be more difficult for you to succeed.
"Make sure to go into every game with the confidence of winning. When coming up against players who are proven and are distinguished in the scene, it is important to have confidence because if you go into the game thinking you're going to lose, you most likely will."
'Don't expect instant results' - Jack "Trap" Saunders
Jack (pictured right) of Torpedo's Gears of War team, offers his top three tips:
- Do not waste the time you have to play - quality of practice is vital to success.
- Don't expect instant results, you get back what you put in. Take time to practice with your team and don't give up because things don't work immediately.
- Be as professional as you can, represent yourself the best you can both in and out of the game.
'Learn from your mistakes' - Nate "Ataraxia" Mark
The British SMITE pro shares his top three pieces of advice:
1. Have passion. You've got to play a game you love, and you've got to love the competitive nature of it. People are usually better at things they love, so the most important thing is to find a game you love!
2. Work hard. Not surprisingly, competitive gaming is VERY competitive. You've got to be in the top 1% of the game's population if you want to make it, and that means actively working at it. You've got to learn from your mistakes, put the hours in and grind. You won't make it otherwise.
3. Be kind. Competitive games bring out an unhealthy amount of toxicity in even the nicest of people, and over the years I have seen some absolute incredible talents in SMITE that have been held back by their awful and downright abusive attitudes. Being kind to your fellow players is important for a number of reasons, as well as being the golden rule to life, which is 'don't be a dick'. It'll increase the likelihood of you being recognised as a strong player, someone that can work well in a team and it'll make the necessary grind you have to do more enjoyable.
'Never give up' - Ryan Hart
The veteran Street Fighter player - and member of the British Esports Association's advisory board - has four valuable tips for aspiring pros:
- Play what you enjoy and enjoy what you're playing.
- Always keep creating.
- Never give up.
- Keep pushing your tournament results. As long as you're winning, you'll be noticed. If not, then you'll have something else that may have value for sponsors.
'Question your decisions' - Seb "numlocked" Barton
The NRG Overwatch pro and former Team Dignitas player shares his tips:
1. Be prepared to fail. It isn't easy getting to the top.
2. Always question your own decisions. You're never always making the right move.
3. Watch current pros and question their decisions.
'Patience is key' - Tom "Tommey" Trewren
Top British Call of Duty player Tommey (who is currently with Fnatic) says: "Whenever I get asked how to go pro, the first thing that pops into my head is that you should never think it'll come easy or quick. It takes time. You need to prove yourself within the game and outside the game, as attitude and mentality plays a massive part in being a professional gamer."
How James "Bakery" Baker went pro
Team Dignitas Heroes of the Storm captain explains: "After a brief, unsuccessful stint of CSGO I got invited to the Heroes of the Storm Alpha, and I instantly knew it was the game for me. I immediately dropped all other games and focused all my attention on improving, and after just a week playing the game I joined one of the better teams in the scene. From there I climbed the team ladder until I became a professional player."
'Be assertive' - J Miller
Top British Smash Bros player J Miller says: "Be assertive and persistent with what you'd like to achieve, it doesn't even have to be about results in tournaments, but you have to know what you want and strive for it.
"Research and understand the game you want to take to the next level. My description of this is having the time and interest to practice, analyse, learn from previous mistakes - and improve at a pace that suits you."