How do you get recruited into a professional esports team?

Close-up of an Esports team's hands put together.Parilov/

Interested in professional gaming? To join an esports team, you must have the skills of a competitive player, not just a matchmaking player. This is what it takes to get there.

Competitive Gameplay vs Matchmaking

Before trying to get recruited into a professional esports team, you need to understand the difference between competitive gameplay and matchmaking. The reason is that you may not be willing to play against professionals even if you are at the top of the leaderboards.

In almost every game, competitive gameplay is much more difficult than matchmaking. The playing styles can also differ significantly. If you compare videos of the two side by side, they can look like completely different games! In the competitive scene you will play against some of the best players and teams around the world. You can’t just play like you normally would in casual or matchmaking games.

Think of it like a boxing match. Imagine you are an experienced boxer with no professional experience and you are up against a boxer with professional experience. The pro boxer is much more likely to win because they know what it’s like to fight at the highest level. They are trained and conditioned to fight against the best.

It gets even more complicated when it comes to team-based games. In competitive gameplay, you play with the same teammates over and over. You have to have synergy, know how to play each other out. Whereas with matchmaking you are playing with new people all the time with little to no synergy.

Some team-based matchmaking games can even feel like a solo game. And if you’re used to this, you can’t compete in the professional scene. You should gain experience playing at a professional level rather than just matchmaking. Your practices should be very technical and adapt to competitive gameplay. Consider upgrading to better gaming gear, especially your mouse and keyboard.

Training for the competitive scene

Most games have a competitive scene that is different from matchmaking. A competitive scene is anything resembling a tournament where players register and only one person or team wins. If your game has a competitive scene, you can train for it.

If your goal is to get recruited into a professional esports team, then you should forget about playing matchmaking games for now. Leave that one for when you want to play casually. Find out what it takes to beat the competition and focus all your training on that. Remember, you don’t have to win a tournament to get recruited, although it will be a lot easier. You just have to have the potential to win.

If a recruiter thinks you have what it takes to compete at the highest level, you have a good chance of joining a team. Training at a professional level can be much more stressful than playing matchmaking games. You will have to work long hours to focus on technical skills. It can even take the fun away. This is something you need to be aware of and decide if it’s still what you want.

Stream your games

One of the best ways to gain exposure for yourself is to stream your games on gaming platforms like Twitch. Twitch is one of the most popular streaming platforms in the world and many full-time streamers have had great success with it. First of all, keep an eye on how many people are watching the game you plan to stream. If hardly anyone is watching your game on that platform, pick another one.

Once you’ve chosen a platform, stick with it for a long time, even if you don’t get a lot of viewers at first. Every streamer starts out with few to no viewers, so don’t let that discourage you. You may not want to watch your viewer count for several months as it will be slow at first. If your computer can handle it, try streaming on multiple platforms simultaneously.

Focus on playing at a professional level and stream your games as often as possible. Create a schedule that you can easily keep up with, as this is the best way to increase your viewership. You don’t want your viewers guessing when you’re next online, so keep it consistent. Of course things happen in life, so it’s okay to miss a day here and there. The goal is to gradually gain more consistent viewers over time, which will grab recruiters’ attention.

The hardest thing about streaming is giving people a reason to watch you. It usually comes down to three things: being fun to watch, being very good at the game, or having connections. There are other ways to grow your audience, but usually everything comes from those three.

RELATED: How to Live Stream Games on YouTube

Don’t forget social media

Another great way to gain exposure for yourself is by using social media platforms like YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. You can post updates on your progress, share clips of your best moments, or just tweet and post about your life. The goal is to build a personal connection with your fans and potential followers. Focus on quality and being consistent with your uploads.

You can be as creative as you want when it comes to social media. Make sure your posts are interesting. Just like streaming, upload on a schedule so you don’t leave your followers guessing. If you can’t think of anything to post, see what other people in the scene are doing for ideas. Don’t copy them, use them instead for inspiration.

And don’t be afraid to communicate with your followers. Reply to their comments, thank them for watching your videos and respond to their tweets. This makes them feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves, which is the best way to build a community. Having a community might be just what you need to attract recruiters.

If you’re lucky, some of your followers may even become fans who will follow you for years to come. Not only is this good for helping you find a professional esports team, but it can also lead to other opportunities down the road: sponsorships, brand deals, and more.

Sign up for teams when you’re ready

This one is only for those who are ready to compete on a pro level. You can check recruitment sites like seekteam to help you find a team. Usually you have to apply and go through a trial period. And if you’re good enough, they may decide to pick you up.

The hardest thing about applying for teams is that you stand out from the crowd. There are countless players looking for a team to join, so the competition is fierce. Make sure you put in the work to master your skills before applying. You don’t want to waste an opportunity to try out for a team when your skills are not yet where they should be.

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