Since its inception in 2007 at a small booth in a German technology fair, the Intel® Extreme Masters (IEM) tournament has expanded from a regional competition to a global spectacle played out in front of sold-out stadiums and seen by millions1. The history of esports is consistent with that of any other sport.

Esports tournaments, such as the International DOTA 2 Championship and the Intel® Extreme Masters Grand Finals, are where the world’s best professional gamers battle for fame and fortune. Meanwhile, Blizzard* constructed a purpose-built venue in Los Angeles to hold and broadcast Overwatch League matches. There are Esports scholarships available at some schools.

Becoming a professional gamer is a goal of any gamer who has played the game seriously. There is a road map to starting a career in gaming, whether your interest is in solo or team play.

Steps to Become a Pro Gamer:

Find your Motivation:

Like any other activity, participating in Esports should be motivated by the appropriate things. You should participate because you enjoy competing, want to improve as a player, and feel like you’re positively impacting your team and community.

Positive motives are what keep players interested over the long haul. However, players only interested in money, popularity, and instant success are likelier to give up long before they reach the professional level. Having a genuine interest in the sport will make a huge impact as you hone your talents daily in preparation for a professional career.


Photo by cottonbro studio:

Pick your Game:

The next thing to do is to locate your game. You can choose a newer game with a lot of potential, or you can go with a tried-and-true classic.

The infrastructure and resources necessary to enable professional gaming are already in place if you choose a game that is already well-established as Esports. League of Legends, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) are long-running Esports with enormous, devoted player bases and lucratively sponsored competitions. The challenge for newcomers is greater in these subcultures.

At the beginning of a game’s life cycle, the metagame is more fluid and open to various play styles, giving players a chance to contribute to shaping the game’s development. For example, the original players of popular games like Rocket League2 and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds3 have risen to the top of the Esports scene. However, the competitive environment for a given game could die out, forcing you to look elsewhere.

We recommend that you try a few before committing to one. You may expect to spend a lot of time with it.

Join the community:

Professional video gaming is as much about teamwork and camaraderie as it is about skill. Spend time observing other players’ in-game communities before devoting too much time to mastering the game’s mechanics. The future will become clearer to you and whether or not the professional player path aligns with your goals and motivations after gaining this experience.

Enjoying the company of other players is important for your career progression because it helps you become more immersed in the game’s scene. Online communities like discussion boards and video-sharing websites uncover a game’s meta. To succeed, players must coordinate with one another, stay up with the ever-changing meta and iterate on it and give something back to the community they call home.

Gear Up:

Get a nice gaming mouse and mechanical keyboard as your first pieces of equipment. There is a wide range of peripherals to pick from, each with its optimal size, shape, and level of sensitivity. Hear what the pros in the world of electronic sports have to say about the gear they use to play.

It’s recommended that you stick with the same mouse and keyboard setup for every practice and match. Think about the current professional elite. They will use the same gear they practice in the gaming house in their competition. Becoming comfortable with your peripherals before entering a competitive setting will help you perform better under the added stress and tension.

Hardware consistency is also an important consideration. Professional gaming tournament organizers put careful thought into choosing hardware that won’t slow down or otherwise disrupt play. The functionality of your portable gaming device or home computer should mirror this. Read our buying guides for a processor, gaming display, and storage space to discover all you need to know to maximize your gaming experience.


Finding others to play against is simple with in-game and premium third-party matchmaking services like ESEA. But you’ll need to work to come out on top.

Get a firm grasp on how to play the game first. Focus on mastering the in-game abilities required to succeed until you can do so automatically. These abilities are always useful, whether trying to get the last hit in a MOBA, hitting your target with pinpoint accuracy in an FPS, or maximizing your APM in an RTS. Professionals spend many hours honing their mechanics to maintain their edge and make incremental improvements, but even amateurs should see significant growth as they perfect their craft.

Start learning the game’s overall strategy while you practice your skills. From situational strategy (such as the jungle’s job of skulking between lanes) up to the highest tier of meta, a good Esport has several stratagems to choose from. As the meta employed by the pros, such as the virtually unstoppable GOATS approach that dominated Season 1 of Overwatch League, can be too intricate for beginners to coordinate, knowing your job in a given situation is a smart place to start.

Climb the Ladder:

To reach the highest levels of competitiveness, one must have an intense drive to succeed. Success in this context is measured by finishing first in matchmaking, raising the rankings in pick-up games, and winning tournaments.

Learn the structure of the many tiers of competition, as each electronic sport has its method of introducing new players to the scene. For example, in CS: GO, a player will start off by joining public games before moving on to matchmaking and, eventually, competitive play in leagues and tournaments. Different electronic sports will follow unique development paths.

Young athletes can build a reputation by working their way up the ranks. This can help them join an amateur team (or settle into a niche community for lone players) and take the next step toward joining a professional gaming squad.

Find a Team:

After you’ve established yourself as a formidable opponent, it’s time to join a squad. One of the most beneficial things a player can do is play with other people, especially those who are better than them or who have diverse skill sets.

A team will likely come looking for you if you’re particularly talented. If that’s the case, you can always join a team! For example, Teamfind provides a forum and other features for team and player communication. As with professional teams, amateur teams can find many potential members in places like Discord servers, subreddits, and Steam communities.

CS: GO and Dota 2 are team-based games; thus, learning to play well with others is essential. Find a part you enjoy playing and a team you click with. However, finding other players with similar interests might pay even in player-versus-environment games like Hearthstone or StarCraft 2.

Compete and Get Noticed:

Learning the rules is merely the beginning. The second half is establishing personal and professional relationships to advance your career. Start making connections after you feel confident in more contentious lobbying settings. Use your standing as a formidable foe to network with even stronger competitors.

If you put in the time to get to know better players, they may invite you to their secret Discord channels, where you may participate in invitation-only scrims and mingle with other top pros. Professional teams often scout at events like this to find new talent.