E-sports professionals may be self-employed—competing in events around the world. Others work for franchises that are affiliated with leagues (such as Call of Duty League, Overwatch League, and League of Legends Championship Series) that are owned by game development companies or other entities.
It will take a lot of skill and hard work to become an e-sports professional. If you think you are good enough to be a competitive player or a lifestyle streamer, start promoting yourself on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Set up YouTube and Twitch.tv channels. If you keep practicing, competing, and promoting yourself, you may be able to build a large enough audience that allows you to earn revenue and/or get noticed by the gaming leagues or sponsors. Continue to follow competitive teams and leagues, build your network of contacts, and eventually reach out to see if they are any openings on the teams. Consider starting out on an unknown team—even one that is not too good—to obtain experience and make contacts. Keep building your audience, skills, and contacts until you begin seeing progress.
E-sports professionals advance by becoming more skilled players, being asked to play on a higher-profile team, earning higher incomes, and attracting larger audiences. Lifestyle gamers advance by building their followers, which generates more income from their revenue streams.
Being a gaming professional is not typically a lifelong profession. Many people burn out after years of competition or are unable to maintain their high level of play. As a result, many e-sports professionals transition to other careers in the field, such as shoutcaster, gaming coach, referee, scout, reporter, marketer, manager, or sales worker. Some e-sports professionals pursue advanced education to become video game developers or software engineers or receive training that qualifies them to work in other industries.
Play videogames as frequently as possible to build your skills, but don’t let game-playing take over your life. Develop a wide range of skills and interest to become a well-balanced person.
Become active in your school’s gaming or computer club or local technology groups.
Read and watch interviews with top e-sports professionals to learn what they did to get to the top of their field.