Taking something you love and enjoy like esports and turning it into a career that can support you is the goal of many people. “Going Pro” is the dream, and at its base that means being a professional, someone who makes money doing what they love. Technically getting top three at your eight man local might get you your entry fee back, so pro status achieved! But let’s be real, you want to make enough to support yourself and quit your job. This is a tough goal to achieve for most people, but it’s not completely unattainable and giving it a shot might just be fun, heck if it would just quiet the voice in your head that says, “What if” then trying is absolutely worth it! Just don’t rush to quit your job, and let’s start with how best to view this new goal of yours.
I want to stress to you that “Going Pro” means more than just making money, the money part is realistically going to have to come later. Before you are a professional in any endeavor, you are an amateur. Amateur is defined as “one who engages in a pursuit, study, science, or sport as a pastime rather than as a profession”. A huge majority of people engage in their hobbies and sports as an amateur, spending a portion of their time at it, not taking it too seriously and simply enjoying it. By the way, there is nothing wrong with this way of viewing the things you love, but if you want to one day be a professional you need to work to make the switch in your own mind and your actions to treat it like a professional would.
Maybe you’ve heard of the phrase “Fake it till you make it”? While I’m not telling you to read “The Secret”, on a very practical level anyone wanting to go pro needs to begin working in earnest to achieve their goal, or else their want of professional status is just a dream. Being serious means setting goals for the day, week and month that are measurable and achievable, regularly practicing the way a professional would so that those combos won’t drop even if you tried, scheduling intense training sessions with players better than you, asking for advice and criticism, and making no excuses for your play.
In my next post I’ll give some examples of amateur thinking versus professional thinking at work and how the difference can affect not just your hobbies but the way you view all of your personal endeavors.