In the first article we looked at the fundamentals you need to think about if you want to go pro in Esports. Knowing the risks, rewards and amount of dedication you need to put in are important, and should not be overlooked. That said, some of the more difficult aspects of going pro are actually getting noticed in the first place, strategic networking and emulating the success of pros on your way to glory.
In This Article:
How To Get Noticed
With millions of players all over the world aspiring to become pro Esports players, your chances of getting noticed are significantly improved if you are willing to share your gaming skills on platforms like Twitch, YouTube, TikTok and on social media.
Once you have started creating content, you will then need to get noticed by team scouts, managers and players. Most people believe that this is the most difficult part, and can take years, but it can be much simpler than you think. In order to stand out, and for other professionals to take notice of your skills, you need to follow the C.O.P.Y. rule: -
As with most successful businesses and professional journeys, consistency is key. You should have a schedule that you keep to religiously, uploading your content regularly to your chosen platforms, and ensuring your followers know your schedule. This doesn't mean you need to upload or stream content daily, but if you are consistent at anything on any platform, you significantly increase your chances of being picked up in an algorithm. For instance, the Twitch algorithm is based mainly on your rank as a streamer, and this is determined primarily by user engagement. If you are streaming content four times a week, and your followers engage with you on most of those days, then the algorithm will begin to notice this pattern emerging.
The more you engage with this audience, the more likely you are to see regular fans appearing in chat, and the more rapport you build. At this point, your audience will be more likely to share your stream with others, and your followers grow your channel organically. The content created on Twitch can then be edited and uploaded to YouTube, which will help grow your channel on this platform (which also looks for consistency). Engaging with subscribers on YouTube will create a rapport with this audience, too.
Don't forget, most Esports are played in teams, so you will most likely build a team over time, and you can absolutely capitalise on this by sharing each others' content. Promote each other and show off as much as possible with each other!
How does this help you go pro?
The followers, fans and subscribers that support you will happily tell the world how good you are. When you have a passionate audience sharing your content, this can result in professional management or players seeing such content in their feed.
Originality is a key part of the formula when it comes to going pro, because if you are the exact same as someone else - why would anyone care about your content? When you are trying to get noticed you need to offer something that fans, followers and subscribers can't get anywhere else. This may be something as simple as a catchphrase you use, the way you dress, or the characters you play in a game. Mostly, it is the personality you share with your audience.
If your team has a unique way of approaching a challenge in a game, this can often be very interesting for viewers and followers. For instance, in the game Valorant, the character Skye has a 17.2% pick rate according to ValorBuff.com. This is mainly because other agents are better suited to the map.
Creating a video explaining how to play as Skye on Icebox and providing tips on how to use her abilities will set you apart from other creators producing content on Valorant. Think about it - 17.2% of the 13 million monthly users of Valorant pick Skye on Icebox, whereas 71.5% pick Sage. That means there's a lot more content around Sage/Icebox than Skye/Icebox, and much more competition when it comes to content.
You must, at all times, conduct yourself professionally as a gamer and a streamer on your journey to going pro. The entire gaming community abhors toxic behaviour, and welcomes sportsmanship. When you play against a team that dominates you and beats you fair and square, then posting your congratulations on Twitter and letting your followers know you are magnanimous in defeat will go a long way. Berating them and calling them cheats will seem unprofessional and downright childish. Anything you post on social media can be taken out of context or used against you, so you should always think twice before hitting send.
Moreover, managers and players from other teams will potentially see how you conduct yourself before, during and after a match. nobody wants to play with a sore loser, do they?
Above all else, you should understand that being yourself is the most important factor. Without sounding too cliché, you are unique and there's nobody else who talks, acts or plays like you. Your personality, playstyle and other factors are why people will choose to follow and support you, and you will connect with your audience on a personal level first and foremost. Show off your sense of humour, kindness, professionalism and any talents you might have. Even if it is rapping or performing your dance moves for your audience like Fnatic Boaster...
Networking With Pro Gamers
One of the most powerful ways to get noticed is by networking with other gamers who have large follower counts or already have a career in professional Esports. Commenting on, reacting and responding to social media posts and published content is a smart way of appearing in people's feeds on a regular basis. Your comments should absolutely make sense and be part of the conversation (and illicit a response where possible), and eventually your name will be recognised by the players when they are scrolling through. An example of this would be asking questions about a play that the pro made in a game, or pointing out something awesome that happened in the clip that nobody else has commented about. Put some thought into every comment you make on a pro's content, and resist the urge to post one and two word comments like "GG".
When you enter competitions, tournaments and leagues, this is your time to shine professionally, but also an opportunity to network with every player in the event. Here are a few pro tips: -
- Take time out to chat with other players and keep a line of communication open after the event.
- Follow everyone and comment on their social media whenever possible.
- When you post clips from games, be sure to tag opposing players, and congratulate them on their play.
- Post clips from other players and games you were not in. Doing this can make people feel like they owe you the same in return.
- Invite players to future events and any opportunities for their team to get publicity.
- Set up collaborations on YouTube and Twitch.
- Play fun challenges and create collaborative content that is good for your followers and theirs
The easiest way to increase your profile as a pro gamer is to emulate those who have already made it. Study and research players who became successful and look at how they started and progressed. You will be able to look at the historical content they produced and the public conversations they had on social media with other players. The great thing about looking back is you can pinpoint anything that gained more attention than regular content.
For example, Martin "Wunder" Hansen, top laner for Fnatic's League of Legends team, posted regularly on Twitter, and there are visible peaks in the number of monthly gained followers that can be attributed to his career journey:
In the above chart from SocialBlade, you can clearly see that his Twitter following began to increase significantly from April to May 2019, and then again July to September 2019. This ties in with his performance in the LEC Spring 2019, Mid-Season Invitational 2019, and Rift Rivals 2019: NA vs EU where Wunder's team, G2 Esports placed first in each event.
So, the secret to increasing your following? Win!
By entering even smaller competitions and tournaments, you can build your reputation as a team as well as an individual player, and then engage with your audience as much as possible. Of course, winning helps, but taking part does too.
On October 1st 2018, Wunder was adding 50 - 100 followers on Twitter in an average week. In the week commencing October 8th 2018, he added a further 1069, and by w/c October 17th he added another 2731 followers. This was the exact time of the 2018 World Championship. Wunder's team placed 3rd/4th in this Championship, but the coverage from the group stages alone were enough to catapult his following. Even though he did not win, he still increased his following significantly.
Every tournament and event for your chosen game in Esports is worth entering, even if you know you are up against serious competition. Losing is a part of growing, as any professional will tell you, because each game you play offers valuable experience and exposure. Though you may lose, you may find you gained a follower who could later influence the future of your team. Better yet, if you stand out as a player in a competition, you may receive a DM that offers you a role in a bigger team.
Your Pro Gamer PC Setup
It is truly remarkable that professional gaming does not require the absolute best components to play at the top level. Competitive gaming is so popular because it does not rely on a huge spend when it comes to your PC setup, and most Esports titles can be played on low specification systems. That said, when players get a chance to upgrade their PC, they increase their skill level.
Playing a game with the bare minimum specification will eventually have its drawbacks once you start playing against professional teams and players. Your 60Hz monitor and limited FOV, coupled with low graphics settings will soon give your opponent and edge, if they are rocking a 240Hz widescreen monitor, competition-grade mouse and keyboard, and a 3080 Ti for crisp visuals.
What PCs do pro gamers use?
Whether you need an entry level competitive gaming system or the full throttle, white-knuckle performance of a pro gaming rig, thanks to Chillblast's partnership with Fnatic, you have options.
The Choice of Champions
Chillblast Fnatic Strike Specification
- Exclusive Fnatic Customised Case Livery
- CPU: i5-12400F
- GPU: RTX 3060
- RAM: 16GB 3200Mhz Corsair Vengeance RGB
- Motherboard: Gigabyte B660M DS3H AX D4
- CPU Cooler: Fractal Lumen RGB 240mm
- Case: GameMax Commando M-ATX
- PSU: Corsair RM650 80 Plus Gold 650W
- M.2: 1TB Samsung 970 EVO PLUS
The heavyweight punching power of the 12th-Gen Alder Lake processor and knockout performance of the RTX 3060 come together in the perfect entry level combo with the Chillblast Fnatic Strike. This specification has been designed and influenced by Esports Valorant champions, Fnatic, designed to give you an edge in competitive gaming across titles such as Rainbow Six Siege, DOTA 2, League of Legends or CS:GO and more.
Chillblast Fnatic Champion Specification
- Exclusive Fnatic Customised Case Livery
- CPU: i7-12700K
- GPU: RTX 3070 Ti
- RAM: 32GB 3200Mhz Corsair Vengeance RGB
- Motherboard: ASUS TUF GAMING Z690-PLUS WIFI D4
- CPU Cooler: Fractal Lumen RGB 240mm
- Case: Fractal Design Define 7 Compact
- PSU: Fractal Design ION Gold 850W
- M.2: 2TB Seagate Firecuda 520 M.2
When you absolutely have to dominate every last opponent in a match, the Chillblast Fnatic Champion delivers gaming performance by the bucket-load. The RTX 3070 Ti offers buttery smooth high framerates, and crystal clear visuals no matter how much mayhem is on-screen. This raw power is paired with the superior Core i7-12700K to unleash all manner of aggro in competitive & Esports play, but will also serve up stunning visuals in most demanding AAA titles - even at 1440p and 4K resolutions.
Designed with the modern gamer in mind, this pro system from Chillblast & Fnatic allows you to broadcast flawless Twitch and YouTube streams as well as release your creativity, handling Full HD and Ultra HD (4K) video editing with ease.