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How to start your competitive gaming career

by Johan Heymans (Zaphire)  Posted Monday, August 05, 2013 12:46:00 PM

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BerZerK Boot Camp – How to start your competitive / professional gaming career

So you are tired of playing Sim City and all those single player games? Want to start your gaming career by competing and getting yourself and/or your team out there trying to win? Then this Guide is for you. If you have little to no experience in competitive online gaming, this guide will help you understand how to go about finding entry into the world of eSports South Africa.

When I say starting your gaming career in eSports, I don’t mean you join public servers and make a name for yourself, but instead joining a team that takes part in competitions or taking part in 1v1 competitions by yourself. I will be explaining how to find a team to join, finding leagues to take part in and also giving some examples on how everything work in leagues and other competitions.

So what is eSports?

Electronic sports (eSports) is a term for the competitive play of video games. Other terms include competitive gaming, professional gaming and cybersport. 

First you need to find a game that you will be competing in

The most common games that are played competitive are those that have multiplayer functionality and allow players to go against each other in real time. StarCraft II is an example of a competitive single player title, but these are not as common as the multiplayer titles.

There are different genres which will also mean the competitive style of each game will be completely different and players will require different skills for each. Real Time Strategy (RTS) games will depend on how players use their resources to build armies and take each other on where First Person Shooter (FPS) games will rely more on how fast and accurate a player can aim and shoot. Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games tend to require a lot of focus, thinking and teamwork.

Let's take a look at the competitive titles in South Africa.

Dota 2 (5v5)

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Dota 2 is currently one of the most competitive games and requires a lot of time and effort to learn. It is classified as a MOBA. The game consists of 5 players on a team where each player controls a character which they have to train and buy equipment for so that they can take out the enemy ancient to win.

This game is free to play and can be found on http://www.store.steampowered.com

Take part in local Dota 2 competitions from

League of Legends (5v5)

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League of Legends (LoL) works very similar to Dota 2 and is also classified as a MOBA but has different characters to Dota 2 and is slightly different in how the game is played.

This game is also free to play and can be found on http://na.leagueoflegends.com/

Take part in local LoL competitions from

StarCraft II (1v1 and 2v2)

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This is a very nice title to take part in if you have a small team of 2-3 players or even just you alone. It is a very popular game and one of the most popular competitive titles in the world. It is an RTS that consists of 3 races which you can pick from and use to build an army to destroy the enemy forces. Skill in this game is mostly based on the strategy you use to build your army, attack enemy forces and defend your own base. When playing the 2v2, however, you will need to rely heavy on teamwork. 

You can buy the game from Kalahari.com

Take part in local StarCraft II competitions from

Battlefield 3 (8v8)

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Battlefield 3 (BF3) is one of the most advanced FPS in gaming. One might think all you need to do is be one of the best shooters but instead this game requires very good teamwork, especially because there are vehicles, tanks and helicopters involved in game. Success in BF3 is based on the team’s accuracy, teamwork and strategy.

You can buy the game from Kalahari.com

Take part in local Battlefield 3 competitions from

Call of Duty Black Ops II (5v5)

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Another FPS but very different from Battlefield 3. This game does not involve vehicles. Call of Duty Black Ops II (BLOPS2) relies a lot more on the accuracy of the team than the teamwork and strategy which is required in Battlefield 3.

You can buy the game from Kalahari.com

Take part in local BLOPS 2 competitions from

Now find a competition to compete in

You now need to find a competition that can offer you what you want from it.

The following things should be taken into consideration when choosing a competition.

  • What will it cost?
  • Does it host competitions for the gaming title I want to take part in?
  • How much time does the competition require?
  • Where is the competitions located?

Do Gaming League

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The Telkom do Gaming League offers a big variety of titles to compete in. What makes it easy to take part in is the fact that it is absolutely free to compete in and it is held online which means you can be anywhere in SA to take part.

For more information go visit their website at http://www.dogamingleague.co.za/

Main Gaming

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Main gaming focuses on hosting Tournaments for Xbox and PS3 players. They have titles like Tekken and Rugby which is not often seen hosted in other competition organizers. Their tournaments are hosted in both Johannesburg and Capetown and does not have online tournaments. Some tournaments are free other are around R50 to enter.

Orena

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This is a new tournament organizer that looks very promising as they host short tournaments online with a small entry fee. Hosting both PC and Xbox tournaments it is bound to have quite a few competitors but they don't offer a wide variation of games to compete in but could be very useful to take part in once in a while.

For more info go visit their website at http://orena.co.za/

http://orena.co.za/

MWEB Tournaments

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MWEB GameZone also has a section where they host online tournaments mostly focused on PS3 and Xbox but also some for PC which are all free with really good prizes. 

For more info go visit their website at http://tournaments.mweb.co.za/

Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA)

Mind Sports South Africa mostly focuses on national and regional championships. They are allowed to give players National Colors that can help for bursaries at universities. They are also the only organization that can allow official regional competitions and allow a team to compete internationally representing South Africa. This means that if you want to be called "Team South Africa" or represent South Africa in any way be it locally or overseas, you will have to be registered with the MSSA. You can however represent your clan in international competitions.

To participate in their events you will have to register you clan as a club with the MSSA that will cost you a small annual fee.

For more info visit their website at http://www.mindsportsa.co.za/

Once you know the title you will be playing find yourself a team to play in

If you are planning on playing 1v1 leagues such as the StarCraft 1v1 league then there is no need to find a team to play in unless you wish to represent a clan. You will simply just register as a 1 man clan/team on whichever league you wish to participate so typically this would be on the Do Gaming League website or another leagues website.

You can also start your own clan / team if you wish to participate and enter them into the leagues. For more info on how to start your own clans click here http://berzerkgaming.co.za/forum.php?tID=103

Now the best way to start off your gaming career if you are looking for something bigger than 1v1 titles then you would most benefit in joining a well-established team that already have their foundations set, but you will have to do some research to find the right one.

So where can you find a team to take part in? Well it’s fairly simple if you want a to find a team that takes part in the do Gaming League because you can simply go to the registration page of the gaming title that you wish to take part in and you will see a list of all the teams that have registered for that game. You can then click on the team and most teams will have a URL for their website where you will be able to register. Another easier way to do it is to go on the www.dogamingforum.co.za and post a topic that you are searching for a team to play with and give the details of what gaming title you play. The more information you give the more likely teams will take you into their teams.

How often do I need to play matches?

If you play in the do Gaming League you will be required to play at least 1 match per week that is mandatory. Most teams will play between 1-3 games per week depending on how much practice and effort they put into their game. The usual days for matches that I have experienced the teams have in Battlefield 3 is Tuesdays, Thursdays and the most on Sundays and all of them start at 8pm at night and carry on till 10pm’ish.

Is it hard to take part in these competitions?

It all depends on how good the other competitors are taking part in the competition, but you will most likely get beaten quite a lot when you just start out gaming, unless you are in an experienced team. No worry though as this is natural and you will only get better with practice. At first you might think the other teams are all cheating because they play so good but it’s most likely they have been playing competitively for a while.

The best way to get better is to try playing teams that are better than you but not by too much so that you can learn from them. Another way is to join experienced teams as they will show you tricks in 1 day that would have taken you months to find out on your own.

Drop us a comment if you have any questions. We would love to hear your feedback!

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Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not MWEB Connect (Pty) Ltd



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