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The Roadmap To Earn A Living Playing
Video Games Competitively

Video Games


In the past decade, the video game industry has witnessed a continuous year-on-year growth in both player base and revenue. In 2019, the industry recorded US$134.9 billion in revenue, and in 2020, it is predicted to generate US$159.3 billion. 

In games that pit players against each other, this has naturally created its own sub-industry of video game competitions. Competitive video gaming, also better known as E-sports, has evolved into large scale sporting events where there are even huge arenas set up in convention centers to host games, complete with live spectators cheering for their teams and players. Furthermore, these games are also broadcasted live to a worldwide audience, which brings the total viewership of such events into the millions. Not to mention that trusty and good gaming equipment, like this wired gaming mouse has become all the rage these days. 

You may notice that there is a striking similarity between competitive video game events and traditional sporting events, and you would be right. Of course, with any profession, there is money involved. The DOTA 2 competition, for instance, had a prize pool worth US$30 million. Keep in mind that this is only one competition. With hundreds of competitions held yearly, there is immense unfulfilled potential in E-sports.

Now that I’ve given you a peek at the prospects in E-sports, let’s go into how you can be one of these elite players.

1. Choose your ‘sport’

This decision should be made based on your interest, or even, the talent that you have discovered while playing it casually. Below are the most popular games in their respective genres:

Massive Online Battle Arena(MOBA)

Dota 2; League of Legends

First Person Shooter(FPS)

Counter Strike: Global Offensive; Overwatch

Real-Time Strategy(RTS)

Starcraft 2; Warcraft 3


Street Fighter; Super Smash Bros




FIFA; Rocket League


Formula 1; Gran Turismo Sport

The racing category is an interesting genre as some of the world’s biggest racing brands like Formula 1 use these virtual competitions to scout new drivers to enter real-life competitive races. So, if you have an interest in becoming a Formula 1 world champion, take up this opportunity!

2. Study the game

Video games may have a preferred character or equipment based on in-game statistics. These may seem like the best pick at first glance. Unfortunately, just playing the game with the baseline stats in mind will only get you so far.

Every game has its own intricate strategies that take into account the various combinations of characters and abilities that should be used at specific times in order to take advantage of the situation. The synergy of all aspects within the game is called Metagaming, which will elevate your game to another level.

Talking about the labyrinth of considerations when playing may seem overwhelming, but fret not. Platforms such as Reddit, Youtube, and Twitch are incredible archives of information on such intricacies. To grow your channel fast, you can get Twitch viewers. There are both amateur and professional players sharing their wealth of game knowledge. Furthermore, engage in discussions on forums that examine and analyze ever-evolving strategies when new characters or maps are added into the game.

Video Games

3. Practice makes perfect?

After watching thousands of hours of footage of the best players battle it out, and reading hundreds of threads to find the best combination, you can step back into the game to hone your skills. However, how do you ensure that you are practicing the right things? One tip is to capture footage of your gameplay and examine it frame by frame in order to understand what you did wrong so that the mistakes can be corrected.

Another tip is to train in moderation. You might be thinking of training for 8 hours each day with no breaks in between. However, this may be counterproductive to what you want to achieve. In conventional sports, athletes suffer from injuries due to overexertion which will jeopardize long term training plans. In E-sports, this comes in the form of reduced concentration, which results in less than optimal performance at the end of the session. Ultimately, this may diminish the progress made.

4. Help me, coach!

You may have studied the game thoroughly and practiced it consistently but you would like to elevate your performance. This is where a coach will come into play. Instead of reviewing your own gameplay, get a coach who is more experienced and has a better perspective of the game in order to spot minute details to work on. Furthermore, a coach would also be able to give you more personalized tips that suit your playstyle, as compared to online tutorials which have tips aimed at a wide audience. Thus, you will be able to improve your skills and rank more quickly.

A coach may look hard to come by on the surface, especially for an amateur. However, 1-on-1 coaching services come about much easier than you think. Platforms like Fiverr allows you to get coaching for a small fee that can go a long way in improving your game.

5. Join a team

Before getting picked for professional teams, one needs the experience of playing in teams at lower-tiered competitions. Joining a team would allow you to get in contact with people who are as invested in the game as you are, albeit with different skill sets that complement each other. This allows for a holistic team composition that would improve the performance of everyone in the team across the board.

Check platforms like Reddit and Discord to find like-minded people from around the world whom you can train with and build up team chemistry. Besides individual skills, good team communication also would improve your team’s competition performance.

6. Climb the ranks

Now that you are part of a team, the next step is to enter amateur tournaments both locally and internationally. Treat these competitions as opportunities to learn regardless of whether you win or lose. If you come short, learn from what your opponents did better than you and improve your game before putting it to the test again. If you do win tournaments, then this guide has done you well. 

Video Games

More importantly, you may have impressed a professional team’s scout by besting the competition which can lead to your final goal: joining a pro-E-sports team and competing against the best in the world for millions of dollars.


Ultimately, the journey towards E-sports stardom is not a straightforward path; rather, there will be twists and turns along the way. Thus, the tips in this guide should not only progress chronologically, if there is a set back during a competition, go back and study what went wrong and practice not making the mistake. Then, test yourself again in another tournament until progress is made. Consistent hard work is what will truly allow one to succeed in competitive gaming.

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