In case you’re preparing for your first competitive gaming tournament, these six tips might help.
They will come in handy as gaming is not what it used to be a decade ago.
If you’re good at playing video games, you can even become a professional athlete. This is because the world of eSports is evolving and more players are following pro gamers.
Becoming one isn’t easy but taking your chances makes a lot of sense, especially if there’s a game you’re really good at. Once you decide to turn pro, your job will be to take part in gaming tournaments and execute them with style.
These six tips might help.
1. Just do it
No, we’re not talking about Nike. Many gaming enthusiasts think about signing up for gaming tournaments for years before they actually do it.
If this is the case with you, it’s time to stop hesitating and apply for your first tournament.
What you’re facing is something experts like to call “Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt” or “FUD.” Fear is natural when it comes to gaming tournaments.
You’re applying for something you’ve never experienced before. Sure, you’ve spent countless hours playing the game.
However, you didn’t get to see your competitors and thousands of gaming enthusiasts weren’t watching you. Thinking about it may seem scary but here’s something to keep in mind – these people don’t think about you, they just want to watch somebody play a game they like.
In fact, most people outside the tournament will never even learn who you are.
Once you beat fear, dealing with uncertainty and doubt isn’t tough. You’ll be uncertain about what to expect until you sign up and start playing.
All the uncertainties you’ll face are minor, so just relax. You’re not playing for a $1 million dollar prize. Thoughts that you don’t know the map too well or that you need more practice can hold you back until the moment you decide to face them.
2. Set realistic goals
Ask any business owner, investor, or athlete and they’ll tell you that goal-setting is the key to success.
If you want to make it on the gaming scene, you have to think long-term. This is your FIRST EVER gaming tournament.
Honestly, your goal should just be to show up and give your best. If you win it, great, if you don’t, there’s nothing to be upset about.
Some of the biggest names in eSports have been competing for quite a while until they’ve won their first tournament.
Once you realize that your first gaming tournament isn’t only about winning, it’s time to think about what you can learn from it. Your first tournament is all about testing the water and seeing how competitive tournaments really feel.
Track your scores and watch the replays once the tournament is over. That’s how you’ll learn more about how you perform under pressure and become better at it.
Another goal you can set for your first tournament is networking. Whether you’re applying for a local or online tournament, there’s plenty of opportunity to connect with other players.
They may be your opponents this time but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t start playing together and learn from each other.
3. Start practicing
Practice makes perfect. This old saying applies to gaming tournaments and keeping it in mind is a must.
If you want to perform well in your first tournament, you can’t get away without practicing.
However, there’s a huge difference between playing 24/7 and actually practicing.
If you want to improve your skills, your safest route is to create a practicing routine. Take an hour or two a day and spend them only on improving your gaming skills.
This means you shouldn’t care about winning and achieving a new high score. Find areas of your game that could use some improvement and focus on that until you start seeing results.
Another smart thing to do is to prepare yourself for every possible scenario. For example, some of the best CS:GO players usually practice on smoke maps before competing.
That way, they don’t have to guess what they’re shooting in an actual round. These drills may not help you reinvent yourself but they should help you perform better when it really matters.
4. Learn the rules
You’d be surprised by how many players sign up for a tournament and don’t even bother to read the rules.
Ignorance is not an excuse and getting familiar with them on time is essential. You’re used to playing at home and playing however you want.
But now, you’re on the big scene and not everything is going to suit your likes. Your job is to accustom to those rules and try to win it all that way.
Do you think we’re exaggerating? Just take a look at some of the rules in eSports and you’ll get the idea of what we’re talking about.
For example, some tournaments don’t allow any sort of hats or smartphones. Also, depending on the game you’re playing, you may not be allowed to use the in-game chat as it can be seen as a distraction.
Another thing to pay attention to is taunting. When playing at home, you make your own rules and taunting isn’t something you be careful about.
However, some tournaments don’t tolerate any sort of taunting and not following this rule can get you disqualified.
So, if you’re used to making sarcastic remarks or insulting others, try avoiding it when practicing. This could save you a lot of embarrassment.
5. Do your homework
We already talked about practicing for your first gaming tournament. However, there’s more you can do to prepare for this new experience. There are so many gaming tournaments taking place all over the world and you can learn from all of them.
Watching tournaments or pros play can help you in many ways.
First of all, watching their gameplay can help you learn new moves and take your game to the next level.
Luckily, all the gameplay you need is available on sites such as YouTube and Twitch. Another reason to watch the pros is that it can help you learn more about your own playstyle.
Perhaps you do something wrong but you never realized it before seeing someone else make the same mistake.
Also, keep a close eye on their behavior and you might find it easier to stay calm while playing.
The amount of information available online is never-ending. No matter what you want to learn about, there’s online content you’ll find useful.
This applies to gaming tournaments as well. Look for articles and blog posts that can help you learn more about these things.
Let’s say you’re about to take part in an online casino tournament. You can find detailed information on how slot tournaments work on sites like AskGamblers. Expert-written articles might end up helping you take your game to the next level.
6. Keep calm and have fun
Signing up for a gaming tournament is supposed to be fun. There’s no point in taking part in one and only feeling stressed out.
Once your first gaming tournament is over, you’ll have a new experience and every subsequent tournament will be less scary.
You’ll know what to expect the next time and the nervousness will go away. In fact, it only takes a few competitions to get you hooked.
Soon, you’ll find yourself ending one tournament and looking for a new one as soon as you can sign up for it.
If you could use some help, don’t hesitate from bringing a friend or a family member to support you. You’ll have even more fun when someone you know is there with you.
The bottom line
Competitive gaming tournaments are something most casual players never got a chance to experience.
Taking part in one may sound scary but once you’re there, you’ll learn there’s nothing to be afraid of.
Keep all these tips in mind and there’s no doubt you’ll have a lot of fun.
Emma Sumner is a business strategist-turned blogger and CEO at Sumner Academy. She lives in Auckland, New Zealand. Emma is a passionate traveller and yoga aficionado. She is in love with coffee, interior design, books, and good vibes. 🙂 You can find Emma on twitter here.
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