Every kid had the goal of one day going professional on their favourite video game, be it Pokemon, Call of Duty or Super Mario.
What once was a dream is now a viable career aspiration for many gamers; the hours of grinding and late nights now have a pay off.
In reality, however, it’s much, much harder than you’d think – but great risk can lead to great reward.
Pro FIFA player for Roma FNATIC, Conran ‘Rannerz’ Tobin, explains how he made certain sacrifices in order to get signed at the age of 21.
“I gave up all my free time including damaging my grades at school,” he said. “My social life went out the window a little bit too.”
Thankfully, Rannerz’s gamble paid off – and he scooped a share of the £25,000 prize pool at this year’s Gfinity Elite Series.
So, what does it take to win big?
Playing the game and continually facing better opponents is an absolute must.
“There are no shortcuts,” he said.
“The more you play, the more you get to grips with how all of the players handle and exactly what you can do with each player.”
If you are willing to sacrifice your social life, your grades and invoke the skepticism of your parents… Rannerz has some advice on how to beat the best, emphasising the importance of studying every in-game player on your team.
“You have to study their movements, stats and abilities very closely,” he said.
“That should at least give you a bit of a better understanding of the in-game mechanics.”
The biggest mistake gamers make? “Misplaced passing,” he explains.
As FIFA 19 nears, EA Sports has promised a number of changes – many of which have been requested by the community.
The result is a FIFA that, on first impression, feels drastically different to last year’s game – but it’s a challenge Rannerz is relishing.
“My biggest concern is that there’s too much gameplay adjustment,” he said. “But I’m confident I can adjust just as much.
“It didn’t take me too long to pick up FIFA 18 so I can’t see this being too much of a problem.”
So, what’s next for Rannerz?
“Continuing to strive for greatness with Fnatic and Roma by my side,” he said.
“Now I’m signed I hope to only go from strength to strength, there’s no turning back really!
“Esports itself is continuing to make waves all over the world so I’ve just gotta make sure I grab it by the horns and prove that I’m among the best in the coming few years.”
With the eSports industry booming, and more professional football teams signing FIFA squads, if you’re looking to make it big, now’s the time to take a leap of faith.
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