Ted Owen, from the Global Gaming League, has some advice for those wanting to become pro gamers: get good, and get noticed. Whether you start your gaming career by playing at LANs or competing online, practicing hard and playing against others who are at the top of their game will help you improve yours.There are various organised games tournaments, some of which offer cash prizes, providing incentives to play and win. Winning a lot of online and LAN tournaments will help bring your name to the forefront, as well as netting you some useful cash.
It's not just about skill, though. Personality and branding are also important when trying to stand out from the competition—media-friendly gamers have a wider appeal than just their firing accuracy. Consider taking classes to improve your PR and image, and think about your appeal outside the gaming world, and you might land some sponsorship and media deals.
Prizes and sponsorship aren't all there is to aim for; the top professional gamers can land themselves full-time positions with regular salaries, and concentrate solely on their gaming. At this level, gamers really are virtual athletes, with intensive training programmes to match those of top sports players worldwide. But staying flexible is key, as tournament games and sponsors are likely to change.
For anyone just starting out, it's a lot of hard work to become (and stay) a professional gamer—but players like Fatal1ty, and the members of Team 3D, show that it can be done. Get yourself online, get into ladders and tournaments, and show the world what you're made of.