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How to become a Pro gamer

You have seen the likes of Walshy and Tsquared make hundreds of thousands of dollars on Major League Gaming’s Pro Circuit. You have seen them on national television. Now you want in on the action. You would love to taste the fortune and fame that comes with being one of MLG’s top players. Every success story starts somewhere and for professional gamers the genesis is online.

Getting Started

Video gaming holds a unique position in the realm of competitive sports. The ability to break into professional gaming is much more accessible than most other professional sporting leagues.  Thanks to services such as Xbox Live[1], top gamers are available for competition around the clock, which means you have the chance to play against the best in the world from your own home.  First, you have to catch their attention.  If you are interested in becoming a pro gamer, we will assume you already have a favorite game and a console.  Now you need to learn the rules. Just as basketball is more than simply tossing a ball at a hoop, video games have their own rule sets for testing competitive skills. For each of its competitive titles, Major League Gaming has constructed a custom set of rules made to test and reward true skill. One must become not just proficient at the game of choice, but also become proficient at the way it is played within competitive ranks. It takes a village to build a champion, and no pro gamer reached the top alone. The next step is to play against excellent competition.  Xbox Live is an essential tool.  You will need the service in order to hone your game and to find competition.  In the online gaming community, each time you play is a tryout.  Impress your allies and opponents and friend invitations will come flying your way. You have a reputation to earn and it starts online. Just starting can be the hardest part, so head on over to the
MLG Customs Forums[2] to find thousands of gamers eager to begin their quest for pro-gaming fame. Take the initiative and send out friend requests and game invitations to the players you find on the forums!

Forming a Team and Training

Once you know the ropes online, the next step is to find a team. Each of Major League Gaming’s titles requires tremendous chemistry and coordination to reach the top of the competitive ranks. Whether you are a solo free agent or have a partially formed team, something exists for you in MLG’s
Online Tournament Recruitment Forum[3]. Make a post there and meet up with other players looking to form a complete roster. Keep trying practice games with potential teammates until you find a roster whose chemistry clicks.

Once you have your squad, the next step is to practice against a variety of teams. Again, the forums will be your resource. Hit up the
Practices and Scrimmages Forum[4] to find other teams looking for some friendly training and competition. After practicing and perfecting your team’s skills, it is time to take on the best the competitive world has to offer. Online Tournaments[5] are the premier venue to test your skills against the league’s top talents. To be the best, you have to beat the best; and the best gamers are online fighting for prizes and notoriety. Online Tournaments are the only place where you can take on teams like Carbon and Final Boss from the comfort of your own home.

Enrolling in Online Tournaments

To enroll in the Online Tournaments, you need to designate a captain to
create your Online Tournaments team[6]. The captain will then invite the remaining players until your roster is complete. Next, select a tournament to join. Head to the Active Tournaments[7] list and find the tournament right for you. Division 1 competitions play host to the world’s top gaming talents, as amateurs and star Pro Circuit teams battle it out for top cash and prizes.  Not ready to stare down one of MLG's top-rated teams?  Then perhaps Division 2 tourneys are the best place to start.  In order to enroll in a tournament, each of your players must purchase the appropriate number of credits from the MLG Store.

But simply playing is not enough to become a professional.  You need to win and earn respect. As your team’s success improves, you will move up Major League Gaming’s dynamic online-ranking system. As you progress, you will catch the eye of top players and earn the chance to train against them online. As you continue to play better and better competition, you will notice your team's skill improving. While beginning your online tournament experience can seem overwhelming at first glance, we have broken down the steps for a smooth start: 1. Register on the
Online Tournaments page and form a team. The Online Tournament Recruitment Forum is a great place to look for new teammates! 2. Purchase tournament credits from the MLG Store. 3. Register for an Online Tournament. If you are new to the competitive gaming scene, Division 2 tournaments may be your best bet. 4. Show up to your matches! It is as simple as that. Each tournament page hosts a comprehensive match calendar, allowing you to find match times and opponent contact information well in advance. Click on the match time and date to report a completed match score and you are good to go! While solid performances online will garner respect and attention, being the best online does not a professional make. True champions are forged in a live arena and with Major League Gaming, the Pro Circuit is where it’s at!

Studying Top Tactics

 Before you hit the Pro Circuit, you should equip yourself with every tool at your disposal. One of the quickest ways to excel is to watch top pros in action. Video gaming is much more than a test of dexterity. While many can deftly maneuver joysticks, few have the keen decision making skills to reach the top. The established pros did not reach the top ranks by accident and there is much to learn by watching their play styles. Fortunately, Major League Gaming has compiled thousands of hours of match play footage in the
Video on Demand archives. With VoD, you have instant access to footage from nearly every tournament in Major League Gaming’s history (if you do not already have VoD, please stay tuned for important announcements regarding how to obtain access to VoD!). When watching the pros, look for the traits that set them apart from the pack. Listen to the way they communicate information to their teammates and watch the decision making process as they instantaneously evaluate their surroundings and select the best course of action. Each top player has a different playing style, so it always helps to watch a variety of perspectives. Observantly watching game play footage can help your own skill expand rapidly. While learning and improving your own game, you also learn what tactics various top teams are employing. With this knowledge, you have an extra defense against elite players. By knowing top strategies, you can fortify against them and even devise a counter-strategy. To reach the top you will need every edge you can find and studying videos cannot be neglected.

Pro Circuit Success

While online competitions provide great practice and tournament experience, the truest test of skill comes at Major League Gaming’s live Pro Circuit events. Regardless of your online performances, your status as a pro gamer can only be cemented at live events. Pro gaming hopefuls must test their trade against a field of thousands of competitors. In the presence of screaming fans and bright lights is where you will make your name as a superstar. With the world watching, the Pro Circuit is your opportunity to snag top prizes and fame. First, you have to get there. At any time, you can find a list of the current season’s event listing through the Pro Circuit Index. Click on a given city’s name to find venue locations, tournament schedules, rules, and game types. Traveling to live events stands as the most critical step in progressing in the quest to become a professional gamer.

For each event, thousands of gamers fly from all over the country to compete in the ultimate competitive gaming arena. Any established professional gamer will tell you the best places to learn and improve are live events. The heat of competitions forges true champions. Behind each "overnight success" are hours of practice and preparation. Each of Major League Gaming’s pros got where they are today thanks to persistent tournament attendance. They saw the best. They played the best. They beat the best. So can you.

[1] Xbox Live: Http://www.xbox.com
[2] MLG Customs Forums: http://www.mlgpro.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=14
[3] MLG’s Online Tournament Recruitment Forum: http://www.mlgpro.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=64
[4] Practices and Scrimmages Forum: http://www.mlgpro.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=67
[5] Online Tournaments: http://tournaments.mlgpro.com/
[6] Online Tournaments Team: http://tournaments.mlgpro.com/Team/TeamSetup.asp
[7] Active Tournaments List: http://tournaments.mlgpro.com/Tournament/TournamentList.asp