Video gaming has always been highly competitive, ever since the earliest entries reached the mass market. Pong had players facing off against each other head-to-head, and Pacman let friends and strangers compete for top spots on the leaderboard in fierce rivalries. Modern gaming has raised this level of competition to an entirely new tier, with the internet especially proving key in bringing together players on both a national and international level.
While this has been revolutionary in terms of finding opponents and fostering an active community, it also means that winning can be more difficult than ever. With that in mind, we want to take a look at how the best reach the elite level, and what allows them to rise to the top.
The first element players need to understand is that nobody reaches the highest level in a vacuum. The days of one person being able to understand every single aspect of a game are far behind us, so the best bet for those interested in learning all they can is to engage the community.
Use online message boards and forums as a resource, and don’t underestimate the guides and commentary put online on Twitch and YouTube. There is a lot to unpack here, and each component can unlock opportunities for you to improve your game.
Simply watching pro-level gamers can give you an indication of what they do differently, and where you might find gaps in your own play. Community discussion, on the other hand, can cover things like patch notes, game changes, meta shifts, and current over-powered or under-powered tactics and skills.
While it is true that not all of this information will be necessarily true, it will all at least give you insight into the frame of mind of other competitors in a manner that straight gameplay on your end never could.
In terms of team games, the most important aspect is that of communication. While most games have some type of communication or chat system build in, these rarely compare to the overarching chat programs like Discord and Mumble. These are especially useful if you have a particular group of friends to play with, also operating as online meeting places, and basic file sharing centers.
Proper communication can give you a far greater sense of the game world than you could achieve alone and is always a central element of pro-level play.
Of course, none of this will count for much of anything without real practice. Plans and understanding is one thing, but without time in a game to solidify this knowledge into real-time reactions, all the knowledge in the world won’t help.
While direct gameplay in the competitive environment is naturally going to be a big part of this, you should also remember that solo practice of certain tech can be viable solo. Flick aiming, for example, as well as movement like bunny-hopping, requires a lot of patience and thus can be better learned first in a controlled environment.
Once these factors are combined, then you should see your chances of rising in the ranks see a definite improvement. Just remember that this improvement is cumulative and that sometimes a day’s rest can help solidify reactions far more than long play sessions without a break ever could.