Looking to take your video gaming skills to the next level? eSports are becoming more popular and competitive every day. According to a study by Newzoo, a gaming market intelligence firm, there are 192 million gamers around the world and 20 million eSports competitors.
If you want to compete at the highest levels, there’s no substitute for practice. Professional gamers dedicate themselves to training just like any other sport. Poor training habits, however, lead to poor play. Below are five tips from professional gamer Arturo Sanchez (Twitter: @NYCfurby // Twitch: TeamSp00ky) on how to train like an eSports professional.
Get Speed on Your Side
As most gamers today are playing each other online, Internet connectivity is tremendously important for Esports competitions. Speed is a critical factor in game play, and if your Internet connection keeps slowing you down, you’re at a huge disadvantage when practicing or playing in an online tournament. Fiber optics connections like Fios Gigabit Connection are the only technology that can offer speeds that mimic in person play, with virtually no lag between what happens on your controller and what happens on the screen. Don’t let a slow Internet connection slow down your game – get the fastest Internet that you can.
Your Weaknesses Make You Stronger
Make sure you are recording your practice sessions to watch later. Several consoles now have built-in capability to capture your gaming, and there are a number of tools and services that will allow you to do the same. These recordings become a valuable tool for you to learn how to improve; it’s hard to think about what you did right and wrong in the heat of the fight. Competitive players always analyze their own replays, especially their losses.
Play the Right Competition
It's vital to have a circle of players that can identify your weaknesses and help you work on your strengths. It may be fun to play with your friends, but if you are serious about gaming, you have to play with other serious gamers (assuming your friends are not). After all, you're only as good as your competition, and you need strong competition to push your own game to the next level.
Gamers have been known to have long, marathon sessions, but that may not be the best way to train, and may even be dangerous. Many professional gamers say that shorter, more intense sessions are better for improving your play. If you are playing with friends for 5 or 6 hours, it’s hard to maintain focus and concentrate on the skills you need to develop. Moreover, gamers have been known to burn out or even hurt themselves through excessive play.
Take Care of Your Health
Tournaments are draining both physically and mentally. It’s not just your hands; it’s important to keep your entire body in good shape. That means eating well, exercising regularly and getting plenty of sleep, especially when you are getting closer to an actual competition. Always remember the nature of traveling when attending a competitive event - quite often, events can be on a completely opposite side of the country or around the world. You cannot perform at your best when you are extremely tired. Just like any other sport, you have to be in top condition.