The world of sports has advanced at an overwhelming pace. The sports industry has grown from just being purely physical. With esports’ popularity skyrocketing over the past years, many financial opportunities for pro-gamers also popped up.
A decade ago, if you wanted to be a highly paid athlete, you’d have to get into the biggest sports organizations like the NFL, NBA, or FIFA. If you check the highest-paid athletes in the world around 2011, Tiger Woods (golf), Kobe Bryant (basketball), Roger Federer (tennis), and David Beckham (soccer) are the names you’d see. But as the 21st century progresses, everything is starting to change.
Johan “N0tail” Sundstein has earned almost $7 million by playing Dota 2. Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka has earned about $6.5 million before retiring at the age of 28. Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf won $3.2 million by having a dominant performance at the Fortnite World Cup in 2019 alone. And Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok got prize money of over $1.3 million by playing League of Legends. Combined with their many endorsement deals, merchandising fees, and gaming company salaries, they have surely earned even more than most people who work a nine to five.
This could be you, too. You know you can do it. You know you can be great at it. If you want to be an esports athlete, then this guide is just what you need. Here are the five most common problems you should know before you use gaming as a source of income and how you can easily solve them:
- Addiction – Playing video games is a fun way to escape the real world. And whether it’s through drugs, alcohol, gambling, or gaming, escape as a coping mechanism usually becomes a key component of addiction.
- Aggression – The connection between video games and violence is a tale as old as time. But one thing people don’t really talk about is how aggression usually starts with the people you play with and not the game itself. Trash talking is a part of any sport. However, when it comes to playing online safely at home, people tend to go overboard. Getting used to this aggression may lead to personality changes in real life as well.
- Physical health – Being a gamer often comes with a sedentary lifestyle. For people who play to earn, more than 15 hours a day are spent sitting down. Being glued to the screen for long hours can create many problems. From something as simple as muscle pain and eye strain to the more severe ones like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction.
EXERCISE – Lead an active life. Have multiple breaks and use that time to stretch and work out. This can even help your performance since exercising can boost the brain’s dopamine and serotonin levels which affects focus and attention. There are also many exercise equipment developed solely to cater to those who don’t have time to leave their workspace. No excuses, get your ass up and start moving.
FIND THE BALANCE BETWEEN VIRTUAL AND REALITY – No matter how fun living in the game world can be, you must still be rooted in reality. Remember that your actions have consequences and you cannot just simply respawn if you get in trouble.
SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP – Whether it’s mental or physical, getting advice from an expert would be the better option. Contact local psychiatrists to make sure you’re ready to cope with the changes of turning your hobby into a job. Visit the nearest eye clinic to check for MGD treatment options and look for orthopedic specialists for wrist or any bone-related pain.
- Longevity – If there is one thing certain in the Esports industry, it’s the fact that it’s always changing. It’s fairly easy for someone to lose relevance instantly. There are millions of gamers all over the world and unlike the NBA or NFL, you can simply go pro at home. With this many people competing to use gaming as a living, it gets a bit troublesome to depend on gaming for life.
- Stability – There are two main things to consider when it comes to the amount you’d earn in gaming. First is the popularity of the game. And the second is your popularity in that Most famous players admit that they had a hard time at the start. With such a crowded talent pool, getting support can take a long time.
BE GOOD AT IT – First, you have to find your niche. You can’t go pro if you suck. Choose something you enjoy and practice. This may take some time, but it’s the only possible way to stably generate income.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE – Pro-Gaming and content creation is just like any other business. Find your target demographic in order to be marketable. Do your research. Find out which genre of game is consistently in demand. Join virtual communities and listen to what they have to say. Look for an interesting angle you can use to present your gaming skills. And of course, be visible on social media.
TAKE IT SLOW – Do not put all your eggs in one basket. Start slowly and make sure you have other means to earn. Depending solely on gaming to survive is dangerous especially when you’re just starting. The key to a successful gaming career is to always enjoy playing. And you can’t do that while worrying about the next meal.