Practicing in esports used to be something that you would do from home, either by
yourself or maybe with a team over teamspeak or Skype. Since last year, esports has grown to be something that
you can practice seriously, not just from home, but also at clubs or associations.
Back in the early days of esports, only professional players practiced in their gaming
houses or offices with their team. Now everyone can properly practice their game in local clubs, with all the facilities needed.
You can practice games in a brand new esport center without even being a professional gamer. Practicing in an environment
similarly to the professionals might help transform you from an average gamer to a professional.
Some great tips for getting started with esports training
1) Create a gaming practice schedule
Structure is always important when it comes to practicing something and the same goes for esports.
When practicing seriously, a practice schedule will always be a good idea so you know
when to practice and when not to. It also helps you organize your day around it so there is time for everything.
Even average gamers can take advantage of a practice schedule, it’s not something that
only advanced or professionals should use. If you want a serious schedule then practice
time is not the only thing that should be included. Make sure to make room for solo
practice time, team practice time, and scrim practice sessions or tournament matches that you and your team need extra training in.
The practice time itself includes more than just the time where you sit and play to
better your own skills. Your schedule can also have parts where you get up from the chair to do a physical exercise, so
you don’t lose focus and keep your body in proper condition.
Schedule example (League of Legends):
The example above shows a weekly schedule where esports training is the main focus
everyday from 3PM to 8PM. This schedule is simple and can obviously be modified to meet everyone’s needs.
A schedule like this can fit people who practice on a casual level with their team, or people that are taking things more seriously.
The important parts are the solo practice mixed with team practice, where breaks and physical training are also included.
2) Watch videos or streams of pro gamers
Training by playing the game on your own and with your team is always the way to
improve the most, but watching videos or streams of pro players on the side will be a great supplement.
Watching a professional gamer play will give a brand new insight that you
won’t get from your own games, unless you already play on a pro level. The professionals will give their
thoughts and insight and often explain why they make different decisions.
Watching professionals play can be done through videos on YouTube, streams
on Twitch, and other broadcast platforms. You can also listen to podcasts to get better insight from pros and esports analysts.
3) Research the best tactics and strategies in your game
Researching is key if you want to improve within your game, it doesn’t matter if it’s
League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Dota, or something else. Having knowledge about the game and the
strategies within it is really important to stay on top and be one step ahead of your opponent.
Games constantly change, so being active in your research is really important. You can’t just
conduct research once and use that for a whole year, you always have to be seeking new information and stay updated with the
latest patches and changes within the game. This will allow for you to better plan your strategies and prepare for competitive matches.
Research can be done through patch notes, online forums, videos, or streams where professionals are showcasing some of their new strategies.
4) Hire a gaming coach or join a recreational esports club
Joining an esports club is not only good in the sense that you get better at the game,
but it also puts you in a team environment where you learn how to coordinate better with others. This is really
important if your goal is to be a professional, since being a part of a team is really important. You can be a
master at your game, but it won’t matter if you are not capable of playing with various types of people.
If joining a team or club is not an option, then there are other ways to improve within your game.
It is also possible to hire coaches that will help you improve in the game in ways that you might not be able to by yourself.
A glimpse into a professional gamer’s daily routine
Professional players are living and breathing esports each day. Which means that their daily routine is all about their game and all about improving.
Taking a look at a professional gamer’s routine can be good for inspiration, but also to get some general
insight about the world that you are dreaming of entering. The professional players have a lot of practice time and treat
the game as their job. This includes daily scrimmages and following an esports program, often made by the professional players themselves.
Back in 2016, the professional League of Legends team, TSM, released
information about their daily routine during a bootcamp. A bootcamp is basically a
“training camp” where the team is practicing hard prior to a big tournament.
The routine was released by Doublelift, who played on TSM at the time. He presented the following routine:
7AM: Gym and breakfast.
8AM: 3-4 hours of solo queue.
11AM: Start scrim preparation with team. This is when things start to get serious among the team environment.
1PM-11PM: Scrim time.
11PM: 1-2 hour break to decompress from the day, then he (Doublelift)
goes to bed. Doublelift alludes to Bjergsen preferring to get
his solo queue time in during the late night instead of early morning.
Obviously, this routine is extreme and usually even the professionals will have more spare time,
unless it’s prior to a major tournament. With that said, the routine gives the impression
that being a professional gamer is not an easy job and it requires a lot of dedication.
The professional players are always busy and playing the game for a living is more than a
fulltime job. An esports program like the one above requires drive, motivation, and a lot of time. Schedules like
these help the player’s performance a lot, which is required when an esports organization wants to play with the best in their division.
Practicing with an amature esports scrim team
“Scrims” is a word that we have mentioned a lot already, but what exactly are
scrims and why is it important for practice in competitive gaming?
Scrims is the term usually used for “practice matches”, where you and your team
play against another team for practice. Scrim practice sessions usually last for around 3-5 games,
depending on the agreement you have with the other team.
They are often called “a scrim block” which is one round of scrims against the same team.
Usually professional teams have a scrim block against one team and then they move on to the next scrim
block afterwards. Professional training usually ranged from between 2-3 scrim blocks, depending on the game.
Using scrims to improve as a team is really important because you get some practice that you wouldn’t
normally get in solo queue matchmaking. The scrims are a lot like real tournament
games because you are playing as a team against another full squad.
As an amateur team, scrims can be easy to find. Professional teams obviously scrim each other
through internal communication, but amateur teams can find other teams through
various websites such as “Esport-Scrim” or “Pracc”. You can also challenge other local esports teams that are at a similar level to yours.
How much time should you spend practicing your game?
It’s hard to give an exact answer to this question, because it all depends
on your motivation and how much time you are capable of focusing on a game. The most important thing
is to find your own flow and get a sense of how long your body and brain are able to focus.
The most important thing is to practice in a sufficient amount of time, to prevent burn out or physical injuries.
Practicing too much can backfire in many different ways and counteract your goals.
The average amount of time professional gamers practice per day
The average practice time per day for a professional gamer will be around 7-9 hours.
This includes team practice, strategy talk, team building and anything else on their daily routine. In-game time might
be a bit lower, but don’t doubt that these professionals play a lot of hours each and every day.
Players obviously also have spare-time, but even in that time they usually tend to
play the game, because it’s both their job and hobby at the same time. Some
players are better at taking breaks from their game than others.
Professional players are capable of playing the game for many hours
day in and day out, because of their love for competing and for the
game. This is one of the reasons most professional players make it to the top, just like in any other sport.
The practice time also depends on the player’s schedule. If players have important
tournaments or matches coming up, they might be more inclined to practice even harder. If it’s on their
“off-season” and no current tournaments are going on, they will play at a more casual level, where team practice might be on a break.
Avoiding esports burnout
Esports burnout is one of the biggest things that you need to avoid when practicing
towards becoming a pro. Burnout can happen from everything you do and it will eventually happen if
you do something too much. Many of us might know it from school where you can
feel completely burned out after years of playing a sport or studying a specific subject.
Burnout can not only take away your motivation for playing, but it can also put a
possible pro career to an end, maybe even before it started. This is why a fitting practicing schedule is
important to follow, because it is designed to prevent burnout.
Being burnt out can happen to the best of us and that can especially be seen in the professional
scene where players that have competed for years suddenly lose the motivation to compete and improve. This
is something that has made plenty of esports athletes stop their career and go into retirement.
So, avoiding burnout is all about managing your practice time by not over-playing. Listen
to your body and your brain! Take breaks whenever something doesn’t feel right and
don’t do that extra game because you feel the need to win more games.
Joining an “official” esports team
Anyone that is practicing seriously in a specific game, will at some point want to
take it a step further and join a “real” esports team, where you have the possibility to compete at a high level and make a
living of it. But how do you make this transition and how do pro/semi-pro teams even spot you?
Getting spotted by a team can be hard in most of the big esports games since there are many players that want to reach
the exact same thing. The first thing you have to do might sound simple, but it really isn’t. You
have to get better than everyone else, and climb the ladder to a point where you are noticeable. This could as an example
be reaching a high Challenger rank in League of Legends, or reach a high level on FaceIT for CS:GO.
When you finally get noticed by a team and a real offer is ticking in, there will obviously be some consideration to do
before you jump into it. Find out what the team requires of you and if their ambitions fit your own.
Is the team even competing at a high enough level, or maybe too high?
Are they acting professionally and have players that you can cooperate with?
All these things are important to find out before joining. After that, there is also
some formal paperwork to be done – at least if you are joining a pro/semi-pro team that pays a salary and has contracts. Have a
parent, or even a professional, look over the paperwork so you don’t sign up for something stupid.
You don’t want yourself caught up in a bad contract that limits your options in the long run.
If you now understand what competitive gamers need to do in order to reach
the pros and want to help gamers you may know better their skills then be sure to share this article on social media.
Created by Vejvad & Dan