eSports Starter Pack
As applicable for many sporting activities, in order to turn yourself into a true eSports athlete you must equip yourself with the right gear. Not only that, you must ensure that they properly cater to your needs based on the game you are playing; which brings us to our first point:
1. CHOOSING THE RIGHT GAME: Now, the first step into the world of eSports requires you to choose a game that is played competitively on a moderate to large scale both locally and internationally.
To begin you must first consider your taste in video games, evaluate your preference and, finally, make a choice based on your preference. This will help you choose a game that will make the transition phase of going pro from a noob much easier, as you will be more than happy to give enough effort to get better at a game you love playing.
Also, try to bring your preferences in congruence with what your friends are playing. While it is entirely possible to get good at a game by yourself, it is much more enjoyable to play and improve at a game with your friends.
There are many games to choose from. The two most popular MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) games are League of Legends and Dota 2. They have massive fan followings both in the local and international scenes. They are good fits for players who played a lot of role playing games and strategy games throughout the course of their gaming life.
For shooter buffs there is CS:GO. While it does play differently from the conventional shooter and has a steep learning curve, once players get the gist of it, it becomes one of the most rewarding multiplayer shooters to exist currently.
For real time strategy purists, Starcraft II is a very good fit. If none of these suit your fancy or you want something that requires less of an investment in terms of time, there is Hearthstone – a beautifully crafted card game from Blizzard. For fighting game buffs Mortal Kombat X is a relatively new game to enter the scene but has a lot of potential to become the next big thing.
Note that these are not the only games you can pursue to become part of the competition. There are many upcoming games like Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch. If you are interested in becoming one of the first to be playing these games, keep an eye out on the games' websites for access to special betas.
2. HAVING THE RIGHT HARDWARE: After you have chosen your game it is now time to look at your PC. You cannot simply hope to become a force to be reckoned with in the world of gaming with an underpowered PC. Here's what you will need to ensure that nothing hampers your journey to glory:
* A processor equivalent of or better than a 1st generation Intel Core i5. It is recommended that you opt for something more recent like a
4th generation Intel Core series processor if you want an entirely hassle-free experience.
* A graphics card with at least 1 gigabyte of GDDR5 memory. If you want to crank up the settings then you must possess something tha packs more punch like an nVidia GTX 760 or an AMD R9 290.
* At least 4 gigabytes of DDR3 RAM but it is HIGHLY recommended to go for an 8 gigabytes set up for future-proofing.
* A monitor with low response time. Check our article on picking the right monitor.
Having all these will allow you to concentrate on the game fully without stressing about the performance of your PC.
3. CHOOSING THE RIGHT GAMING GEAR: Competitive gaming is ruthless. Milliseconds are precious in dictating whether you will achieve victory or sulk in defeat. That is why it is highly recommended to have a complete arsenal before you jump into battle.
The Mouse: Having a gaming mouse will make your movements more accurate as they are equipped with powerful sensors and shaped to provide maximum comfort during extended periods of play. Also, the presence of customisation options and extra buttons help in accentuating functionality.
The importance of a good mouse depends on the type of game being played. For example, in FPS games, a good gaming mouse is paramount to success, however, the importance is lessened in MOBA games or other strategy games although the necessity is still significant enough to warrant the purchase of a gaming mouse.
From the myriad of mice available, the most popular ones are: Logitech G402/G502, SteelSeries Sensei and Rival, RazerDeathAdder and Taipan, and the more affordable, Bloody V3.
The Keyboard: Like the mouse, the importance of a gaming keyboard with low response time also varies from game to game. There are two types of keyboards: membrane and mechanical. Mechanical keyboards are much superior to their membrane counterparts. This is because the input lag in mechanical keyboards is much lower. However, do keep in mind that mechanical keyboards are substantially expensive. Check our guide to Mechanical keyboards for further info.
Some popular choices: Corsair Vengeance K Series, TT Meka, CM Storm QuickFire TK, RazerBlackWidow and SteelSeries 6GV2.
The Audio Gear: In FPS games, it is paramount to be able to listen to your enemies' footsteps so that you can gauge their location. But in all games, it is very important to be able to communicate with your teammates clearly, without any hitches. Thus a good audio headset is recommended.
The mouse pad: While most people undermine the importance of a good mouse pad, the actual case is very different. The mouse pad dictates how much control or lack of control you will have over your mouse. A smooth mouse pad is good for users who play at low mouse sensitivity values while a rough mouse pad suits high sensitivity users more. The materials used also matter a lot. The hard surfaces are easier to maintain but they are far less durable than their cloth counterparts. Razer and SteelSeries mouse pads are, in my opinion, the only ones worth getting.
4. CHOOSING THE RIGHT ISP: Even if you have the most extensive competitive gaming set up ever, it will not matter if your internet service provider cannot keep up. While in Bangladesh, picking a good ISP is like entering a lottery, there are high chances you will end up on the winning side. Be sure to have a speed of at least 1 Megabits/second and ensure that there is packet loss in sending and receiving data. A fibre to home line is your best bet and don't even think about WiMAX or 3G. Before picking an ISP, either ask them to ping the game server IPs or ask someone who uses the ISP to check. Although, nowadays, the local ISPs have stepped up their game and are now on par, if not better, than the larger and more established ISPs.
5. HAVING THE RIGHT MINDSET: Now this is a bonus point but it is important, nonetheless. Like many things in life, eSports requires a considerable amount of investment in terms of time and money. When you start off, you will be a noob. You will not possess the skills that other people will showcase and best you with over and over again. You will be baffled by how some people can be that good. Rest assured, every pro faced this. Every player whose gameplay you gawk at started off as a not-so-great player. With the right amount of time and effort, the skills required to beat out the competition will come naturally. Eventually, you will be the person who people will admire and respect. So patience is the key. Watching famous international players on their streams and trying to emulate how they play is one of the best ways to improve. Viewing tournament games and analysing them helps to build teamwork. All in all, the right mentality is required in order to progress as a player.
Now that you know the basics to get started it is time to begin your foray into the world of eSports. May the odds be ever in your favour!