Gaming: Gamers seek formal training to chase their esports dreams

Over the last few years, gaming has emerged as a full-time career option for a large number of online players in India. However, gamers say that very few have received any form of training and that they could do better if there were formal training options.

“It would have been helpful if there was some training available. I was also studying at the same time, while other people were spending all their time gaming, which gave them an advantage,” said 22-year-old Kaashvi Hiranandani, who has been doing this full-time for the last two years.

According to the
HP India Gaming Landscape Study 2022, 33% of those included in the survey said they would consider gaming as a full-time career, while an equal number said they could pursue it part-time. The main factors being good earnings prospects, being able to turn a hobby into a career, and flexibility. However, only 2% of the people surveyed said they had received some form of training in gaming.

Gamers need to constantly upskill. “The study also revealed that one in every three gamers is aware of certification courses in gaming. However, the fast-evolving nature of gaming is considered a deterrent in seeking certification, while most gamers rely on personal skill enhancement to upgrade their gaming performance,” said Vickram Bedi, senior director – personal systems, HP India.

In most cases, gamers tend to follow those adept in a specific game to enhance their skills. As per the HP study, 32% gamers honed their skills by following a gaming star.

Rajan Navani, chairperson, JetSynthesys, said that most gaming firms held boot camps for their star players. “This helps them understand the game and get better at playing it,” he said. Navani said that beyond the ‘play to earn’ option, gamers are pursuing other revenue streams like becoming content creators and live streaming their games, which helps them earn brand endorsements. These have made it feasible to consider taking up gaming as a career.

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Krutika Ojha, who streams her games on YouTube, said certificate courses on how to get better at creating content and streaming would be helpful for upcoming gamers, as this is something several people struggled with. She said she normally turns to one of the more established seniors in the space whenever she needs career advice or help of any sort.
When it comes to e-sports, the training is taken a lot more seriously as compared with other games.

“All of our five rosters have specific coaches who provide one-on-one guidance to our athletes in order to refine their skills and enhance their performances,” said Rohit Jagasia, founder of Revenant Esports. “Their diet, nutrition and playing hours are all kept in check as it is an extremely vital part of the training protocols whenever we are preparing for any tournament.”

The boot camps focus on players’ mental and physical health, as well as an element of team building activities.

Several gamers have turned to free online courses on how to build YouTube pages or how to effectively use social media to boost online presence.

HP, which sells gaming PCs and laptops in India, has set up a community to provide the tools and opportunities needed by these gamers to upskill. “Gamers in India consume a lot of gameplays, livestream content in video format,” said Bedi. The community gives them access to gaming videos from pro-gamers and other content to hone their skills.

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