Who could have imagined the amount of growth that the gaming industry has seen in the past decade? Though it is still considered a hobby by most, several new opportunities have emerged from within this field. Someone looking to build their career in gaming can choose to be a professional video gamer or a video game streamer. Both roles involve elaborate computer equipment, building an audience, and, above all else, becoming skillful in the video game of choice. But both occupations are different and require some separate skillsets as well. For those who desire a future in gaming, here are some things that they will need to have.
Joining the League of Pro-Gaming
Professional gaming leagues have been around for a while, some dating back to 1997. Some of these leagues can focus on one specific game (e.g., Overwatch, Dota, League of Legends, Valorant, etc.) while others focus on a genre of games. Either way, the best way forward for an aspiring professional gamer is to choose a game and learn that game inside and out. Then, they will need to join a group (not a gaming league just yet) and learn to hone their skills in that game. Overall, the best way to know if professional gaming is the best path is to watch how its done. Once the decision is made to move into this field, a much more expensive one will take its place: how to buy the equipment.
It takes a lot of power to run a modern game on a PC. In addition, there will need to be display equipment, audio, and other accessories (steering wheels for driving games, VR headsets, etc.). A basic gaming desktop can start at $900 with an entry level gaming laptop starting at $700 (per HP). Though buying a PC with the upgraded equipment may be more convenient, sites like Newegg.com and TigerDirect can assist with locating the parts needed to build a gaming PC from scratch. In the long run, this may be the less expensive option.
But Leagues Aren't for Everyone
For those who aren't interested in gaming in a league, there is still a way to game for fun and for profit. Apps like Twitch, Facebook Gaming, and YouTube Gaming make it possible to play video games and build a community online. Similar to ESports, a video game streamer isn't bound to one game or even a genre. A streamer can play any game that they want and don't necessarily have to be the best at that game because, though they are playing for an audience, there is no competitive component. Though gaming to build a community may be incentive enough for some streamers, it is possible to make money streaming certain video games on certain platforms. All three of the aforementioned apps allow for a streamer to make money from their streams and provide their viewers with ways to donate and support their content.
However, none of that is possible without the right equipment. Since streaming is both gaming and broadcasting to the internet, the pricing for gaming equipment alone will be about the same (entry-level desktop at $900 and laptop at $700). But the streaming portion will require a video capture card, a microphone, headset and a camera. Some streamers also use multiple displays for gaming and ensuring that the software supporting the stream is working.
Like most things, making gaming a career takes dedication. It takes dedication to honing skills, building an audience, and connecting with other people with the same passion. And even if Esports and streaming aren't the best fit, there are hundreds more careers in the growing gaming field that may make more sense. After all, just like no one could have predicted how we got where we are now, who can say where we'll go from here?
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