[Editorial Tuesday] Getting Into the World of Competitive Gaming

In recent years, one of fastest expanding entertainment industries is competitive gaming. From gaming's earliest days of arcades, gaming has also shown hints of becoming a great sport to watch and compete in. Before, gaming as a competitive sport was mostly a matter of bragging rights. Gamers exhibited their skills in the local arcade and became well known around their city, but the promise of massive winnings and international fame was never even thought possible. Making the most of the technology, gaming's popularity, and players' increasing skill, competitive gaming has spread from arcades and community centers to the international stage, becoming a new form of entertainment.

For some people, gamers and non-gamers alike, competitive gaming is a foreign idea. People playing video games against others professionally is a hard concept for some to grasp. While there may be an interest in competitive gaming, the sheer size and novelty of competitive gaming make it hard for people to get into it. Casual gamers and non-gamers are usually interested in finding out what the hype is all about, while there are many gamers who are interested in becoming competitive gamers, themselves.

Regardless of which category you are in, don't worry, we here at Honey's Anime are here to help you figure out how to get into competitive gaming.

You Always Remember Your First

It's actually very easy to get into competitive gaming as a spectator. In fact, all it requires is a love of and interest in games. In many cases, this is all that is needed to enter that world of competitive gaming. Many fans of gaming are naturally interested in games and competitive gaming, so the question isn't 'How do I get into competitive gaming?' but instead, 'Where do I start?' With the number of scenes that there are it's hard for many people to not feel overwhelmed when thinking about which popular eSport to watch.

For beginners to competitive gaming, starting with popular games because they're popular, while extremely tempting, is probably the worst way to get into it. Many times, the same intricacies, mechanics, and complex strategies that make the game exciting for its viewers are the same things that scare new viewers away. To avoid this, it's best to start off with a game or genre that you are familiar with.

It requires a bit of research and depends on the type of game, but finding a player that uses the same character or has a similar or unique play style helps make the transition to becoming a spectator easy. If you're not a big gamer, it's just as easy to find a player to follow, perhaps easier in fact. All you need to do is find a player or character that you find interesting, for whatever reason. The point of following a specific player is to ensure a slow entrance into the world of competitive gaming. With one player to follow, as opposed to an entire league of players or games, it's easier to not feel overwhelmed by the size of the world of competitive gaming.

Don't Be a Stalker, but Start Following the Scene

Regardless of the game, if there's some sort of competitive aspect to it, there's also a major scene attached to it. The best way to follow these scenes is to follow the game and its players on social media. Beginner viewers of scenes often are unaware of when big tournaments and marquee matches occur, so following members of the scene helps to keep them in the loop.

Tournaments are especially important for viewers of eSports and competitive gaming, as it's where players can stay on top of the game's meta, as well as find other players to watch. Each scene has its personalities: exciting players, fan favorites players, and colorful commentators. These commentators and players are an integral part of understanding the culture of your favorite game.

Thanks to the internet, no longer are your ability to watch top notched players limited by location or even time. With streaming services like Twitch and YouTube, it's now possible to watch the best players compete from the comfort of your home at any time. The exciting thing about streamers and commentators is that they make an effort to include information and explain the game to newcomers, as well as put in the effort to make the entire experience an exciting one.

Expand Your Horizons

Many players and commentators don't stick to one game or even genre. For some people, they get into competitive gaming by watching one game and never moving on from there. With an understanding of how competitive gaming works and the excitement that comes along with the high skill level of pros, it's easy to understand the appeal of competitive gaming and become interested in following other games.

The question about which games to follow is still ever present but is a lot easier to answer than before. Much like finding the first competitive game to get into, choosing games that you like is the easiest way to find a new game to follow. But finding new games is a more exciting way to expand your understanding of the world of competitive gaming.

Pro gamers and commentators are a great way to find new games to get into. Players, while usually only focusing on one game professionally, also dabble into and play other games on their streams. Not needing skills specialized for a single game, but just an in-depth knowledge, many commentators also provide commentary – and play – different games as well. Following personalities that you enjoy is a great way to start following games that you might otherwise not have been interested in.

Git Gud

Watching professional eSports athletes, it's easy to get excited and think about becoming a competitive player. The idea of playing video games competitively as a career seems like a dream come true for gamers. In order to become a professional competitive gamer, it is imperative that you "git gud".

Spicy memes aside, the most important thing necessary to join the world of eSports and to become a professional competitive gamer is skill. True skill. It's one thing to be good at a game, but in order to be a professional, being the best among your group of friends isn't enough. Professionals are the best in the world at their respective game. Fortunately, despite plans to include eSports in upcoming Olympics, professional competitive gaming does not require an innate ability to be successful.

There are some gamers who are naturally better at understanding certain games and their mechanics, but those and many other world-class athletes have put in countless hours of practice to get to their current level. For many people, the appeal of professional gaming is the idea that playing games professionally means that you get paid play videos games. While this may be true, there's a whole lot more that goes into being a competitive gamer.

The practice required to be a good competitive gamer is much more than playing the game for hours on end. While this is a part of the process, how one's practice is just as important as how much other's practice. Pro gamers have a deep understanding of their game that helps them know how to react in any situation. In order to understand the game to such a degree, it's important that some of the hours with the game are spent studying every aspect necessary to become a master of the game.

All the hours spent studying the game, strategies, and other players will make parts of the game feel less like a game, and more like a job. The amount of work that goes into studying a game can sometimes take some of the fun out of it, but the high level of play and skill that comes along with it makes it all worth it.

Skill Means Nothing If No One Knows You

Of course, being good isn't an automatic ticket to eSports stardom. There is probably a large amount of truly talented athletes in eSports and "traditional" sports who never became professional for one reason: a lack of exposure. Perhaps there's someone who is undeniably more talented than Michael Jordan, faster than Usain Bolt, or a better gamer than Flash or Faker. Unfortunately, those guys will never be household names, thanks to the fact that they were never able to get their names out there. Fortunately, it's easier than ever as a gamer to gain exposure.

The most common way to be known, nowadays, is streaming. Home consoles, broadcasting software, and an increasing number of streaming platforms make it possible to gain fans long before your eventual professional competitive gaming debut. It's important to understand that you won't become a streaming success story overnight, even with if you're the most skilled player. The most efficient way to make time for streaming, as it is an almost indispensable step to competitive gaming, is to stream those long practice sessions. The benefit of this is not only are you killing two birds with one stone, but your viewers will also be able to see your progress over time. These signs of growth will give your viewers a reason to root for you, as well as help establish a steady fanbase further along in your professional career.

Of course, streaming hasn't been around forever. In fact, live streaming only became as popular as it is now around 2010. Before the advent of live streaming, many professional gamers were scouted at offline LAN tournaments. In fact, many games still have offline tournaments where hopefuls participate hoping to become the next champion and make a name for themselves. In addition to offline tournaments, there are also online tournaments that help to make the competitive scene more accessible for some people, who would rather not travel hours for a tournament they probably have a small chance of winning.

Of course, tournament performances are not all about winning. There are many ways to perform well outside of taking home the trophy. It's very easy to make a name for yourself by making a deep run at a tournament or playing well against one of the tournament's bigger names. It's not enough to do well in one tournament, of course. Participating and doing well in multiple tournaments is the best way to make your name known. Several good performances at tournaments will result in being noticed by fans and teams alike.

With all the options available to players now, it's very easy to get noticed if you're good enough. Of course, there's no problem marketing yourself to teams and viewers if you believe that you are missing out on the recognition you deserve.

Final Thoughts

ESports and competitive gaming have quickly expanded into successful industries of their own. As with new industries, everyone wants to get in on the action. Thanks to the diverse nature of competitive games, there's an option for everyone out. The target audience and most eager to get into competitive gaming are gaming fans themselves. Whether as a spectator, spectator, or gamer, there are many ways to get into competitive gaming.

The competitive game scene is ever changing. Much like tournament results, it's hard to predict which game will be on top at any given time, or for how long. The most popular games never exactly equate with the best, and that's why it's important to follow scenes of games that interest you personally. From there, it's very easy to truly understand and appreciate the appeal of competitive gaming.

Let us know how you got into competitive gaming in the comments below!

Marvel-Capcom-Deadpool-560x315 [Editorial Tuesday] Getting Into the World of Competitive Gaming


Author: Jabulani Blyden

This feels like I'm writing a dating profile... Am I pretty enough? In addition to watching anime I like playing video games, mostly RPGs and indies. I lose a lot of Otaku street cred for the games and shows on my backlog (TTGL & FFVII for example #FeelsBadMan). I run a podcast with my friends where we talk about video games and anime. Nice to meet you... or something.

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