How to be a pro gamer: E-sports trainers share tips on ruling the virtual arena
One treats gaming as a hobby, the other lives, breathes and thinks only about the game.
That's the difference between an amateur gamer and a professional e-sports athlete, e-sports trainers Check Ho and Ruth Lim told The New Paper.
They are part of the Esports Academy, which was launched by the Singapore Cybersports and Online Gaming Association (Scoga), a non-profit organisation supported by the National Youth Council, last month.
The academy will hold classes to train gamers hoping to go professional and on other gaming-related fields, including live-streaming and shoutcasting.
Mr Ho has been coaching since 2008 and has guided his teams to over 40 podium finishes in tournaments while Ms Lim, 24, who has been in the scene for five years, is the lead Dota 2 trainer for the academy.
Last week, the duo shared with TNP some tips for amateur multiplayer online battle arena (Moba) gamers looking to make the step up to go pro.
GET YOUR FUNDAMENTALS RIGHT
What separates an amateur from a professional gamer is how well the player masters his basic gameplay and knowledge of the game, said Ms Lim.
It's just practice, practice, practice until the game becomes muscle memory,Esports trainer Ruth Lim
To do so, professionals usually dedicate all their time practising every hero, learning every ability and developing strategies and counter-strategies, said Mr Ho.
"Perfection is a choice. It matters because at the competitive level, every flaw or mistake could cost you the game," he said.
SCALE THE LEADERBOARD
Most competitive games have an in-game leaderboard, where maintaining a high position is key to getting recognised, said Mr Ho.
Ms Lim said: "When teams want to recruit new players, the first place they look is at the top tier of the leaderboard.
"So it's important to keep grinding and slowly climb the rankings, because that will put you on the radar."
Playing racket sports helps to improve your reflexes and hand-eye coordination and keeps you in good physical shape.Esports trainer Check Ho, on the importance of playing real sports
Joining competitive teams - big or small - is another key to improving your game, said Ms Lim.
"It does not matter if the team you join is a small one. What matters is learning (to work in a team) and building a portfolio," she said.
Playing with stronger players will also help you improve, said Mr Ho.
DON'T FORGET PHYSICAL TRAINING
Getting better at gaming isn't all about sitting behind a computer and jabbing the keyboard on the same game all the time, said Mr Ho.
"Generally, playing racket sports helps to improve your reflexes and hand-eye coordination, and keeps you in a good physical shape," he said.
Ms Lim recommended playing music rhythm games as warm-up before competitive fixtures.
While global e-sports revenue is expected to surpass US$1.1 billion (S$1.5 billion) in two years, Mr Ho advised prospective players not to chase a career in e-sports just for the growing prize money and sponsorships.
Ms Lim was quick to emphasise the importance of putting in the hours for training.
"It's just practice, practice, practice until the game becomes muscle memory," she said.