Want to become a pro gamer?

Knowing you are the best and can beat every guy in the tournament does wonders for your confidence and helps eliminate any nerves you may have. Knowing what every single weapon does in every single situation on every single map is something that will be born out of pounding the servers day in, day out. It’s not enough to get knocked out of a tournament and go home; a good player will ask himself why he was knocked out and address that.

Fatal1ty was the top player of PC FPS games for years, but it was no happy accident that he remained top of the pile for so long. In addition to perfecting his playing technique for up to eight hours a day on whatever game happened to have an upcoming tournament at the time, he earned enough money so he could hire one of his friends to be his own personal sparring partner.

If you want to be the best, pick a game you like. There’s no point deciding to enter a Resistance tournament if you’re on the COD4 servers every night. It’s unlikely you’ll be dominating straight away, so it’s important you pay close attention to those who are regularly cleaning up your lobby. What gun does he like using? Where does he stand? How does he move? How does he get most of his kills? How does he deal with your tactics? What makes him so good?

Most of all, show dedication. If you put the hours in perfecting your technique, find teammates, travel to tournaments and deal with the pressure, then you’re on the way to becoming a pro.

Jargon Buster: the terms you’ll need to know

Double Elimination: An American tournament standard where you have to lose twice before you’re eliminated.

Frame advantage: A fighting game term where the move you’ve performed ends before the opponent is able to stop blocking. This naturally gives you a leg-up on maintaining pressure.

Hitscan: Describes a weapon where bullets travel to their target instantly. Obviously, this is a valued quality for a weapon.

Ladder: Used to determine online clan or player rankings over a set period rather than anything specific to a particular tournament.

LAN: Tournaments will run on consoles or PCs connected to each other with LAN cables. The difference from online is important because lag is next to nothing, which allows for more risky play.

Major League Gaming (MLG): The biggest gaming organization.

Playoff: If two players or teams are tied, the outcome will often be decided via a head-to-head or a play-off match.

Round Robin: A popular tournament format. Group stages decide who goes through to the later knockout stages.

Sandbagging: Deliberately playing badly in a few pre-tournament matches, often in an attempt not to give away any of your ‘real’ tactics.

Tier list: An unofficial list settled upon by the community on the most effective classes in tournament play. Top-tier characters in fighting games are ranked so because of their power and reliability, but this also makes them popular and predictable. Using lower-tier characters can lead to an advantage because players aren’t used to dealing with them very much.

Dec 30, 2008