For many young gamers, it sounds like an absolute dream job to turn their hobby into a profession and become a professional gamer. Spurred on by young players not much older than themselves competing at massive televised and live streamed tournaments with prize pools in the millions of dollars, the attraction is strong. But aside from being really good at a game, what does one have to do to become a professional gamer?

The first step is to pick your game. The next step is to practise a lot, every day. For hours every day. Do you love your game enough to play it for more than six hours a day, every day? If the answer is yes, you may have a chance to become a pro. You may continue to the next step.

The next step is to study a lot. Yes, obviously that includes your schoolwork. You need some kind of fallback in case gaming doesn’t work out, since most careers are over by 25. But you also need to study games of top players, so you can learn from the most skilled players in the world.

Once your skills get good enough, you need to find a team. You will have to be in a competitive environment in order to grow further, and if you play a team game, you will need teammates in order to enter tournaments. Find your teammates, and learn some people skills and communication skills, because basic things like that can turn a team of top players either into a killing machine or a bunch of losers.

Once you enter the competitive professional scene, you need to refine your skills by working on specific weaknesses in your game. Identify these, and work on them on your own until it improves.

Lastly, be active in your game’s community, so that you can get their support when you need it.