A Short But Sweet Guide to Becoming a Competitive Esports Player

Gaming has come a long way since the days of Legend of Zelda, Pac-Man, and Pong. Back then, coming first meant having bragging rights at the local games arcade. Now, winning means global recognition, along with thousands of dollars in prize money.

Take the Fortnite competitions for example; for the 2018-2019 season, Epic Games released $100 million to fund prize pools. With such resources, it’s no wonder that Esports has become a full-fledged career for gamers across the world.

With so many players pursuing gaming as their primary profession, competition in the virtual arena is now tougher than ever.

How Can I Get Into Esports?

The best part about Esports is that it requires very little investment; typically, gamers have to buy a gaming platform (mobile, desktop, or console) and purchase some games – many games are also available in a freemium version, with paid add-ons as optional.

This doesn’t mean that professional Esports players can get by with the bare minimum. If you’re interested in competing on international platforms, you’ll have to invest in the latest gaming gear (such as a specially designed mouse, keyboard, and headset etc.). This allows Esports players to position themselves a step ahead of the rest, in terms of their ability to react better to in-game situations.

While there are minimal barriers to entering the Esports industry, building a successful career will require you to invest in more than just a standard PC.

Develop Your Career Focusing On One Game

Being an all-rounder might mean playing for multiple teams, but if players are serious about building a career in Esports, they need to specialize in one genre.

Personal preferences and interest play a crucial role in determining which genre to specialize in. While some players tend to be better at FPS (first person shooter) games, others excel in strategy-based gaming.

Focusing on a single game allows players to learn all the ins and outs of the game; in short, gamers can truly master the game!

Select a Good Gaming Platform

Esports can be played on multiple devices – from modern consoles and PCs, to the increasingly powerful smartphones, different genres and games are suited to different devices.

Gamers need to also account for display power, as only PC and consoles can support the latest ultra-4k HD technology. Then there’s the cost factor, as high-end games available on console and PC platforms are more expensive than mobile games.

The right platform for you is one you are most comfortable with; it should allow you to make the best use of your skills, without overstraining your budget.

Develop Tactics and Study the Game

A successful career in the Esports industry is almost always the result of continuous learning and dedication. This is the main reason professional gamers are able to outsmart and outperform highly skilled competitors from around the world.

The gaming community has grown exponentially in the last decade, and with online resources readily available, players can easily walk-through user-created strategy guides.

If you want to improve your gameplay, you can search YouTube for tutorials and recorded gaming sessions, from professionals who can show you a glimpse of how it’s done.

Practice, Practice, and Practice Some More

Practice makes perfect, and that certainly holds true for Esports professionals. There is a false notion that devoid of the physical demands of traditional sports, Esports requires lesser practice.

Esports players require constant practice as games are updated often, and even the slightest of changes can affect your overall team strategy.

Professional players, such as those in the former League of Legend Champions, practice for more than 8 hours a day against competitor teams.

What’s more: the team’s leading duo, Chae “Piglet” Gwan-jin and Kim “Fenix” Jae-hun, practice for more than 12 hours a day!

Going Professional

The hallmark of the best Esports players is their association with reputable teams, and gaming organizations. This allows them to have access to proper gaming infrastructure, which can boost the skills of their gaming crew.

As players become better at specific games, they upload their gameplay videos on a variety of different channels. When scouts, on the lookout for talent, spot such videos, they contact the players with an offer to partner with a professional team.

Professional players are very particular about their content creation and distribution routine, as this determines their reach, and increases the probability of a possible sponsorship. This is the primary behind the increase in the use of gaming virtual assistants, such as Fridai.

An AI-based gaming assistant like Fridai helps players record videos in-game, and take pictures through voice commands.

Fridai can also be configured to share content automatically, which can seriously help aspiring players get noticed by talent scouts. This allows gamers to concentrate on what matters the most; mastering their skill, and leaving the rest to their AI-powered assistant.


5 Useful Twitch Tools That Deserve A Lot More Hype

Anyone who broadcasts live video will tell you that streaming ain’t easy. Aside from finding creative ways to capture and hold your audience’s attention, you also have to fiddle with a whole bunch of tedious technical stuff. It’s a lot of work to learn how to stream on Twitch successfully! Thanks to the explosive growth of the industry, though, there’s now a ton of virtual gadgets to help you grow your channel effectively. Apps, extensions, widgets, platforms; call ‘em what you want, these tools were designed with the serious streamer in mind.

Just a disclaimer: this week’s post isn’t going to be your run-of-the-mill list of must-haves. Instead, I wanted to highlight some lesser-known Twitch tools that provide innovative solutions for all aspects of managing and marketing your channel. And not to sound clickbait-y, but you definitely haven’t heard of number one (yet).

#5 – Record Gorgeous Clips and Highlights with Shadowplay

GeForce Experience is a suite of streaming tools that serves as a companion app for PC gamers with Nvidia graphics cards. It takes the concept of Nvidia’s classic control panel a few steps further. For one, the GeForce Experience interface is much easier to use, and it has an array of timesaving features. Like Shadowplay, which can be set to run in the background and record 4K gameplay without screwing up your PC’s performance. There are social media integrations as well, so all it takes is a few clicks to share clips and highlights across your channels — you can even turn 15-second clips into gifs! It’s a fast and easy way to share high-quality videos and improve your social media presence.

#4 – Make Tweeting a Breeze with Kapsuli

Speaking of social media, we all know how useful Twitter is for marketing. A carefully chosen hashtag or a perfectly timed tweet can instantly boost your viewer count – but that comes at a cost: your time. Kapsuli, like many other social media management apps, aims to solve this problem. But unlike other apps, Kapsuli is a tool made just for streamers. Not only does it allow you to schedule tweets to go out before, during, and after your stream, it also lets you save tweet sessions for reuse. You can even group the sessions into themes if you want, so, for example, if you stream a certain game every Tuesday, you can quickly queue up your pre-written Tuesday tweets before you go live. Best of all is the option to embed a customizable livestream player in your tweets to automatically drive traffic from Twitter – while you get to focus on the fun stuff.

#3 – Offer Cost-Free Donations with Rechaaarge

There are a bunch of ways that Twitch viewers can donate to streamers. Unfortunately, all of them cost money, and, uh, not everybody has money. Twitch tried to fill this gap with its Bits for Ads feature, but it wasn’t long before they ran into a plethora of problems ranging from bit farming to reports of the feature just straight up not working. Enter Rechaaarge, a way for streamers to get donations at no cost to the viewer. It works like this: streamers can sign up to get a personalized link to share on their streaming and social channels. When a viewer clicks the link, they’ll get an invite to test a free app or game in exchange for a few donation dollars. Streamers can choose to keep the money for themselves or donate a portion to a partnered charity. Rechaaarge is fully compatible with other Twitch tools and comes with a variety of widgets and badges, so streamers can keep track of their top donors and reward them for their generosity.

#2 – Create a Voice-Activated Sidekick with Fridai

We couldn’t resist the urge to include ourselves on this list! Inspired by the concept of a sidekick, we created Fridai, an AI-powered virtual gaming assistant that responds to your voice. Fridai lives in your PC or smartphone and is capable of learning different voice command skills when integrated with other Twitch tools. As of right now, Fridai is able to learn your gaming style, record short videos, make social media posts, and connect you with sponsorship opportunities – but we have even bigger plans for the future! Eventually, you’ll be able to customize his skins, skills, and speech modules using the Fridai marketplace, so you can turn Fridai into the personal sidekick you’ve always wanted.

#1 – Engage Your Supporters (and Find New Ones) with StreamCrux

Finally, I bring you our favorite Twitch tool on the list: StreamCrux! Essentially, StreamCrux is a streamer discovery platform that helps viewers find new streamers to watch and support using multiple leaderboards, filterable attribute tags, and streamer profile pages. Streamers can use the platform to get exposure to new viewers and encourage their fans to vote for them. In other words, it’s a community unlike any we’ve seen before. We wanted to dive in and learn more about what’s in store for StreamCrux, so we had a chat with the founder, Jakob Knutzen.    

What is your vision for StreamCrux?

We created StreamCrux to help connect viewers and streamers through the power and dedication of both. We want to build the biggest community for viewers and streamers, globally. We truly hope that StreamCrux will bring streamers and viewers together in a meaningful, fun, and supportive way.

How does StreamCrux work?

The site features multiple leaderboards and attribute tags, and users can upvote streamers they like and set attributes that they think best define a streamer’s personality. You can filter the leaderboards by personality attributes, viewership, streaming frequency, and more to find streamers that perfectly match your preferences. So, let’s say you’re looking for an emerging Dark Souls streamer who is informative, chat-responsive, and sarcastic. You wouldn’t really have any way of finding them on Twitch aside from manually watching each stream until you found a match (a real pain in the ass). With StreamCrux, you’d simply input those parameters to pull up the leaderboard for streamers who fit that criteria. From there, you can explore a streamer’s individual profile page to find out more information about them and see their embedded stream. In the future, streamers will be able to use their profile page as a central hub for all relevant information that their users might desire. In this way, users can find and support their favorite streamers, and streamers can get exposure to intentional viewers – and not just the ones who are only passing through.

Why did you build StreamCrux? What inspired you?

We’re a small group of gamers and Twitch users ourselves, and we were getting pretty fed up with how hard it was to find smaller, interesting streamers. So, we decided to create a community built on discovery. We wanted to make a platform that didn’t just cater to the top 1000 streamers – but one where streamers with the best content (and not with the best marketing plan), would be found by interested viewers. On the flipside, we also wanted to support smaller streamers by putting them in the spotlight, since we know a lot of viewers enjoy communities that are tight-knit and highly engaged.

What features/integrations do you see in the future?

We get a ton of feedback from our community, and we use that feedback to prioritize the features that streamers and viewers want to see most on the platform. Right now, our first order of business is to make the streamer profiles claimable and even more interactive so streamers can use them as a central hub. We’re also working on a handful of smaller (but equally important) updates, like bug fixes and better functionality. You can check out our Devlog to stay up to date – we’ll be posting a new one soon!

And the most important question of all: what’s your favorite video game of all time?

Horribly difficult question! The competitive gamer in me would say Starcraft: Brood War, whereas the RPG fan would go for Baldurs Gate II.

Twitch Tools Are Getting Cooler by the Minute

It’s not hard to find the most popular go-to Twitch tools for streamers; a simple Google search will return PUH-lenty of posts for your perusal. And that’s fine! It’s super important to know what’s available to you if you’re just starting to learn how to stream on Twitch. Being a startup ourselves, though, we wanted to show support for some of the smaller companies that may have flown under your radar. We chose the tools on this list not just because they’re useful, but also because they show that developers are thinking creatively about the future of streaming technology – and they deserve a lot more hype for that. What can we say? We’ve got a thing for the underdog.