The 5 Steps to Becoming a Gaming God
In this week's blog, our Esports Marketing Manager, Tyrone Wang, discusses the essentials that all aspiring professional esports athletes need in order to succeed.
As a former PRO Team Fortress 2 (TF2) Player (there are still DOZENS OF US!), I’ve amassed a wealth of information relevant to reaching peak performance as a “cyber athlete.” From small-scale LANS to competing on the world stage, these are the equipment essentials for the esports enthusiast:
1. A “Gaming” PC
Yes, a gaming PC. If you’re ready to start your journey for world domination, you’ll need to find your gaming PC of choice (aka your “toaster.”) When competing against the best, it’s best not to take a chance and risk using your mom’s laptop against the competition. So, what constitutes a “good” gaming PC? Well, unfortunately there is no clear answer, but never fear – I am here to help! Below you’ll find the “quick and dirty guide” to securing the ultimate PC:
The options I recommend are either:
- Lower your in-game graphical settings till you achieve a workable FPS (frames per second)
- Upgrade your “toaster” (CPU’s, GPU’s)
- Buy a Gaming PC!
Make sure you’re using a gaming PC that can “easily” run your game of choice. Budgets unfortunately won’t be taken into consideration in this article because there are so many different variations of games and different minimum spec requirements to each respective game. Remember, the workable “FPS rule of thumb” is make sure the respective game can achieve above 140 fps.
Competing with other challengers on a “toaster,” believe it or not, is not ideal. While upgrading your “toaster” can point you in the right direction (pssst. iBUYPOWER.com can help) it’s merely just scratching the surface.
So, what’s next?
Yes, two words: Microphone…. And directional audio.
Good communication is essential towards taking your teamwork skills to the next level. If you can’t communicate, you’re not contributing to your team play. Secure a nice pair of nice headsets, preferably open ears as it creates a larger “sound stage.” Although i’m not a huge head-fi type of guy, I do like nice headsets and distinguish headsets based on feel. Overall, some of the brands I recommend are Audio-Technica and Sennheiser.
During my time on the main stage, I would use these: http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/headphones/567089b73c33056f/index.html, with an ant-lion mic. Nowadays, I’ve retired to the Audiotechnica ATHADG1. Mind you these are great for at home use, but are terrible in loud settings (like LAN’s) if you plan to compete at tournaments.
So like, why headsets and not speakers? Headsets allow you to pinpoint [with practice] bad guys making strange noises behind walls like an owl…… [duh, because owl’s have incredible directional audio, google it!] No better feeling than being called a hacker for x-ray hearing.
So yeah, microphones and directional audio, the one-two punch. Both super important.
Audio Technica ATH-AD700X (NO MIC)
Antlion Modmic (Microphone only)
3. Gaming Mouse
2 words: “personal preference”
There is no such thing as the “best” gaming mouse. When it comes to choosing your gaming mouse, personal preference is the most important factor. Imagine that your hands are like snowflakes – no two are the same size, width, weight…..well, you get the picture. Find what works for you, as comfort is king here. Find a mouse with a reputable sensor, and you should be on your merry way.
I would refrain from getting too technical with the mouse, as there are people that will tell you “this mouse SUCKS because non-perfect sensor, etc.” I competed with a Logitech G500 for years, which supposedly had an “awkward” sensor position and an imperfect sensor.
If you’re looking for suggestions, good brands to start with are any Zowie mouse or Logitech G series. Here are my personal favorites –
You need a stable connection, whether that means buying a new router, or calling up your ISP. Do what it takes!
The final piece of advice would be: Practice
Practice makes perfect when it comes to competitive play. While it doesn’t mean play hundreds of hours a week – quality practice, with the right mindset, identifying, analyzing weaknesses, will take you farther then you can imagine.
Last words of advice, no “pro” was born into a gaming god – they got there with their thousands of hours of practice. While some pro’s take less time than others, the overall one thing they all have in common is PRACTICE.