Like most sports, the road to becoming a professional gamer also starts at the grassroots level. India doesn’t yet have many bootcamps and training grounds for gaming, which makes the process informal.
At the most basic levels, players need to start with the online leader boards that most games have. The goal is to improve one’s skills enough so that they can rise up in the online leader boards.
According to professional gamers, YouTube is a great source for training material. It’s free, easily accessible, and allows amateurs to hone their skills based on tips and tricks from others who have gone pro already, or are on the road to becoming professionals.
The next steps include taking part in LAN gaming tournaments, local events, and school/college level competitions. This allows gamers to increase their scope and get noticed by other gamers, brands, and even professionals. If you are consistent and remain among the top few in local competitions, you will eventually be invited to other tournaments. Knowing other gamers also helps you stay aware of other events that you can enter online.
Companies like GamingMonk, Neon Gaming Studio and others arrange online events in various cities, inviting gamers to play. They also maintain leader boards to showcase the progress that gamers are making.
That said, the road to becoming a pro gamer isn’t just about persistence. Professionals like Ankur Diwakar recommend maintaining a calendar that balances the time you spend playing games and other activities. Diwakar trains many amateurs in FIFA and he creates a schedule for them, where they have to play a certain set of hours, reach certain goals, and even go out and get a taste of real football on some days. He says just being at it won’t necessarily help you improve as a gamer.
At the moment, the support gamers get from brands in India is also increasing. While this was earlier limited to gaming or tech brands, brands from other industries are now stepping in. As a result, gamers should also use social media to amplify their reach, because brands want to sponsor or collaborate with those who will give them maximum reach.