10 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting in eSports

The path to an eSports career is long, but history has revealed common mistakes. 

The competitive video game industry, known as eSports, has maintained its rocketing growth pattern. With the advent of streaming websites and services such as Twitch and YouTube Gaming, turning your love of gaming into a career has always been challenging, but there are plenty of traps to avoid if you want your venture to be successful.

Start by learning from other gamers’ mistakes. Many other eSports trailblazers went down this path and had to overcome the obstacles. Take advantage of this by learning lessons from their history. In doing this one thing, you can sidestep their common pitfalls and reach new heights in your profession without compromising your health or personal life.

Let’s get into it and look at ten mistakes to avoid when starting an eSports career.

1. Not doing your research

The number one mistake you can make when getting into eSports is not doing your research. If you do your research, taking advantage of opportunities that arise will be easier because you’ll have a more holistic view and be more informed about the industry. 

To have a better chance at success in the eSports industry, you need to know what everyone else knows. This success comes from knowing and understanding standard processes and procedures, players, teams, sponsors, and organizations involved in the industry. 

It’s also essential to lay out a plan for researching these topics. By doing this, you’ll be more efficient and less overwhelmed. Researching everything means something other than reading every single website or watching every video posted online. It means only looking at sources that have been verified as credible by others who had done their research before you did so. 

Your research time into eSports shouldn’t be seen as an overnight task you can check off. It’s a long-term skill to learn and improve upon, and it’s crucial to develop a routine for as long as you’re in the industry.

2. Failing to set realistic goals

Failing to set realistic goals is among the top mistakes people make when getting into eSports. Having a plan and setting specific, achievable goals is essential, so you know what you’re working towards. 

Having defined specific goals enables you to work towards something tangible. You can document and measure your failures and successes along the way. You’ll be able to look back and see each time you had to pivot and what became of that.

Without this, there is no point in starting your journey because it will add unnecessary difficulty for you to measure your successes or failures. Plus, if you don’t have a specific goal, moving forward won’t be easy because so many opportunities will appear on your journey.

3. Underestimating the competition

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is underestimating your competition. If you’re not playing to win, there’s little point in throwing your hat in the ring. 

This is especially true for eSports because many competitors vise for a top spot. To be successful, you need a strategy that sets you apart from the rest and recognizes how much work it will take to get where you want to go.

One example is the League of Legends player, Faker, who famously said, “Killing my enemy in front of me doesn’t matter. I always keep my eyes on my next target.” In other words, he has his sights set on more than just winning his lane or game; he has an eye on becoming one of the best players in history.

4. Not having a support system in place

Another big mistake you can make when getting into eSports is not setting yourself up with a support system. It can be invaluable to have people who will listen and offer their opinions on what you’re trying to do.

Your friends and family can be the ones that are there to listen, give advice, or even serve as a sounding board for your ideas. This concept is crucial because, like any industry, it has its ups and downs.

Another mistake new entrants often make in the industry is overestimating their abilities. There’s no shame in thinking about starting something small and building from there instead of throwing yourself head-first into an unfamiliar field that might be overwhelming.

Like your research routine, having a solid support system is an ongoing need for top eSports competitors.

5. Not dedicating enough time to practice

If you’re serious about making a name for yourself in the eSports world, you must be serious about your practice. Sure, it’s hard to find time between work, school, and family life, but if you want to make it big with eSports, you have to put in the time.

Practice! Practice! Practice! 

You will need to devise a schedule and routine for your time between practicing, researching information, and studying other eSports players. 

You can find various eSports games that might suit your skill sets better than others. For example, if you’re not great at shooting or hand-eye coordination, avoid playing FPS (First Person Shooter) games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or Overwatch.

6. Getting too emotional

This mistake may sound hard to believe, but it is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when getting into eSports. Losing the ability to control your emotions can cause havoc on your career, public appearance, and overall perception.

Becoming overly invested in players, teams, and events is too easy of a trap to fall in. It’s even easier to get upset when things don’t go your way, which can quickly damage your chances of success.

To succeed in eSports, let alone any industry, you must stay level-headed and keep a cool head at all times. Losing control is just that.

Learn how to recognize and manage your emotions. Failures, whether yours or someone else’s, are part of the journey and the process of becoming better.

7. Not being coachable

Being coachable is among the most crucial traits to possess when getting started in eSports, regardless of who you are or where you come from. 

The eSports industry is a fast-paced, ever-changing environment, and you must be willing to take feedback and advice from your peers to improve yourself. 

Learning to identify and receive constructive criticism can be a learned skill for many people and may even require you to set up a proper/formal system to manage it. 

Remember that you’re always suitable for constructive criticism. This skill will help you not just in your eSports career but in your personal life as well.

8. Losing focus

Losing focus on your goals is easy if you don’t keep them in your sights. It’s so important to highlight this, as everyone needs a reminder here and again. Straying from the designated path happens to just about everyone.

The worst thing you can do is give up in the middle of your journey or a project that’s important to you because it’s become too complex or there are obstacles you’ve yet to overcome. 

To succeed, you must push through and be persistent until you find a way. This process can take time, but it’s time well invested.

Once you’ve hit a road bump that feels beyond your reach, it may be time to kick into research mode. Understand the problem better and gain insights into how others have tackled it.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to other players in your space or if you’re at the point of having an eSports agent. The eSports community is vast, and many individuals and groups out there will provide support where you may least suspect it. 

Remember, you need to do the work; it won’t just come to you.

9. Quitting too soon

One of the biggest things people need to improve when getting into eSports is giving up on their goals too soon. 

Many people get into the scene and then quit after a few months because they start doubting themselves or feel it’s not worth it anymore. Players quitting too soon often results from failing to follow one or more of the tips in this guide.

But new eSports professionals need to realize that this is a continuous process, and you will have ups and downs throughout your journey. So, if you find yourself struggling, don’t give up!

Reach out to your support system. Strike up a conversation with someone other than yourself and get your thoughts out on paper, so to speak. Let someone else take a look and provide some perspective. 

It can mean a world of difference and help you see your situation in a new light.

10. Forgetting to have fun

This mistake is a tough one to admit. Still, it’s a widespread mistake that new eSports players make when getting into eSports—forgetting to have fun while on the journey will inevitably cripple your growth and ability to succeed.

Whether you’re new or a veteran to the eSports scene, you’ll inevitably receive negative feedback and fail to hit the goals you set out to. 

It’s important to stay determined to make it work, but don’t forget why you originally went on this eSports journey. Remember what you enjoy about the games, the people you play them with, and the eSports industry. Make sure these are part of your eSports routines; otherwise, it will be a bitter ride.

Are you ready to get started?

These 10 mistakes to avoid when starting an eSports career are just the tip of the iceberg. Getting started in eSports isn’t for everyone, but for those who are committed, plenty of resources are available to help you along the way.

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About Digital Ghost

Dg is the founder and co-owner of Corrosion Hour, a niche gaming community established in 2016 focusing on the survival game RUST. He is an active and contributing member of numerous other RUST communities. As a community leader and server owner for over 15 years, he spends much of his time researching and writing guides about survival games, covering topics such as server administration, game mechanics, and community growth.

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