How to become a millionaire by playing video games

Staff Writer By Staff Writer - February 12th, 2015
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How would you like to become a millionaire by playing video games? Sounds like a dream come true doesn't it? Well, it might not be as impossible as it sounds.

Earlier this month, the five members of professional e-sports team Evil Geniuses - Fear, Universe, ppd, SumaiL and Aui_2000 - won just over NZ$1.7 million by defeating Team Vici in the finals of the DOTA 2 Asia Championships (DAC) - not a bad payday for a week spent in front of a computer.

And if you think this was a once off, think again. Electronic sports have grown in leaps and bounds over the past few years, and mammoth prize pools like this one are becoming more and more common.

So if making a living as professional gamer sounds appealing to you, check out our guide to becoming an e-sports millionaire.

Gear up

First things first, you'll have to invest in a solid gaming computer. A tradesman is only as good as his tools, so you'll want to pick up a PC that can stand up to the demands of modern games, with a decent CPU and graphics card for reliable performance.

You'll also want to pick up a keyboard and mouse that are designed specifically for gaming purposes. Often these peripherals will offer extra buttons and customisability, alongside faster and more reliable response times, so they are a must buy.

The last piece of the puzzle is a high-performance gaming headset with a microphone for in-game communication.

Your Apple iPod earbuds might do the trick if you're listening to music or watching a movie, but in the professional gaming world, you need to be able to hear everything - from the click of your weapon reloading, to the footsteps of your opponent across the map and, most importantly, the instructions and strategies of your teammates. This is one area where you should definitely be willing to make a long term investment.

Play hard

Once you have your gear sorted, it's time to pick your game.

DOTA 2 is currently far and away the richest e-sport around, thanks to tournaments like DAC and the annual International, which in 2014 boasted a total prize pool of nearly NZ$15 million.

However, there are plenty of other e-sports that are also giving out the big bucks. Games like Starcraft 2, League of Legends and Counter-Strike regularly stage tournaments with prize pools in the six and even seven figure range, so these games are other good options to consider.

Whatever title you choose, make sure you're in it for the long haul. Like any professional endeavour, it takes a lot of hard work to become an e-sports superstar.

Many of the most successful professional players have been dedicating their lives to their chosen game since they were children. Although, to be fair, many of them are still kids themselves - DAC winner, 15-year-old SumaiL, is probably the most popular guy at school right now.

But hey, you have to start somewhere, and if you're interested in a career in e-sports, now is the time to start practising.

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