To be a professional eSports player and gamer, you have to be very good. To put it simply, you have to be at the very top of the pyramid, it's really that simple. You have to beat everyone.
Just win, and you're a gamer. Want to be an esports shooter? Shoot to beat everyone. It's as simple as that. But to do that, is it really that easy?
Hello, I'm Mickey Pongphop Rattanasangchod.
Formerly a professional eSports player, now a live streamer.
For me, games are not just fun; gaming has been part of my life since I was born.
My Father Died
My dad was the sole provider for my family until I was 9, which was when he passed away. Life then changed a lot. The pillar of our family had gone, and my mother had to start working. This had a direct impact on me. My Mom had to leave me at an internet cafe so that at least she knew where I was.
The Internet Cafe
This was a double-edged sword; because there was no knowing where this environment would lead me to. I had the freedom to do what I wanted, and on the plus side, to discover who I was. Finding yourself in a new environment enables you to think differently, to see new perspectives beyond school. So it made me learn more, and experience other people's lives.
Introduction to Gaming
I started playing games when I was 2 years old. At that time it was a family game, called Contra. I played this game with my mom. This is my earliest memory of knowing and playing a game.
When I was 11, the most popular game was called Audition Online. At the time in Thailand there weren't many online games, but I was spending hours in an internet cafe and just wanted to beat other players there.
One day, someone in the cafe said to me "You've beaten everyone here, why not try to play competitively? If you win, you will get prize money". At that time, things were pretty desperate so I felt prize money would be good. It would have a positive effect on my life.
The prize was around 30,000 Baht. 30,000 Baht back then was a lot of money at that time in my life. 30,000 Baht was a fortune!
Like everything else, games get old and new games come along. People eventually stopped playing Audition and it was replaced by Point Blank, a shooting game.
I'm a very competitive person. I don't like to play games casually, just for fun. I play to practice my skills, to make those skills better and better. We formed a team with my friends in the cafe to compete in the 2011 Thailand Championship. It was my first win playing the Point Blank game.
Then I entered the World Championships in Indonesia. But I lost and got knocked out in the first round by the Russian team, who were also favorites. The defeat disappointed my supporters, so I decided to quit playing.
In 2015, another team asked me to compete in the Point Blank National Championship. I practiced hard for 2 months before the competition and finally won the championship. I was invited to represent Thailand in Indonesia again.
In the final round, I had my revenge, and defeated the Russian competitor who had knocked me out 4 years before. I had won the world championship.
My Ticket to America
In 2016, another game called Overwatch came along. If I could win the Southeast Asian regional competition I'd represent SEA and compete in the United States. The timing was so right because I really want to go to America, so I joined the competition.
The results exceeded all my expectations because I hadn’t thought that I could beat everyone in Thailand, let alone Southeast Asia. The team went to the top very quickly, becoming champions of the Asian region.
Representing Asia, I competed in the United States. For me, I had achieved my gaming goals. During that competition in America, I was defeated in the Group State round. But while I was competing there, another team leader asked for my contact details.
Two weeks went by and he contacted me saying that there was a competition in Korea in 2 weeks time and would I compete. Once again, I practiced hard for it.
The first problem was English as I had no understanding at all. There were so many different European accents and I got totally confused. I was alone with no interpreter, and no other Thai people. All I had was my electronic dictionary and as many gestures as I could think of. I couldn't even communicate properly with my teammates.
In the end, and surprisingly, we won that competition, but I still hadn't received any invitation to officially become a team member.
The team leader told me that there was another competition called MLG, in the United States. Lucky for me, I went to America again. I was thinking of one thing. Someone had told me that I could get a starting salary of $3,000. I was fine with 3,000 bucks. I was cash-strapped and thinking about money a lot.
Winning the MLG Vegas Championship
So I went to compete in the United States and won the MLG Vegas championship. After that competition, the team leader finally invited me to join the team. Being invited to become part of an international team was one thing, but what really made me happy was that I could now support my family.
I had grown. It was no longer about just playing games but having the ability to help and support others too.
Being an eSports professional in the United States, just getting into the team, was already a dream in the gaming community.
Gaming with a Winning Mindset
Actually, for me it starts with a determination to win. What motivates us to win? To be better than others, we have to try harder, learn more and practice regularly.
Today in CI Talks, I have 5 keys to success, for those who want to compete in eSports.
Get Experienced, Get Game Sense
My first point is about Game Sense.
Game Sense is about predicting your opponent's moves, to keep one step ahead of the opponent. Here's an example to make it easy for you; A Boxing match, fighting your opponent. You must read your opponent's moves. How do we get Game Sense? Experience. It takes a lot of experience. If we practice a lot, we start to learn and develop skills to match our gaming style.
Number 2 is discipline.
Discipline is that we can play the game and learn to develop in the right way. This is important because without discipline we're just playing the game for fun and will tell our parents and everyone that practice makes perfect. It's not true.
When driving, we need a destination. If we play every day but don't have a goal, no development plan, then playing 10 hours a day won't help. If you play less often but in a correct way, it benefits much more to our abilities.
Number 3 is diligence. A diligent person will read a textbook and then re-read it. This is called diligence. Diligence is self-improvement towards your goal, and you'll get to your goal more easily.
Number 4 is patience.
What has patience got to do with success? Patience is doing what you don't want to do. If you are not patient, you will give up. Being patient and giving up are opposites.
If you want to be successful you cannot give up and to not give up you must have patience. That means doing things you don't want to do. It’s like endlessly shooting at practice targets; 1,000 targets a day. It’s just not fun but it is essential.
Patience plays a very big role because it helps build muscle memory, stimulating brain to muscle coordination. That's why patience is one of the keys for gamers.
Number 5 is about humility.
Humility is about being a glass half full. When people say that you are good, like "You're the best. No-one can beat you", if you accept and believe that, then you will stop developing and improving. When we stop developing, we stand still, and that is when we get overtaken.
If you want to be an eSports player, as said, to get to the top of the pyramid, you must beat everyone. In order to beat everyone you cannot stop improving and developing.
So being humble is a very good thing. Recognizing that things happen because of us makes us look inwardly and reflect. We'll be a glass half full. We won't brag about being the best. There's always room to improve ourselves. Humility is a very important key.
Gaming Success Takes Teamwork
Playing games as part of a team helps develop teamwork and collaboration skills. In eGames, you'll meet hot-headed teammates. How can hot-headed teammates help? They help us develop emotional skills (EQ).
Playing eGames is like a simulation; encountering a series of simulated scenarios. On the flip side, things get reversed. When teammates help and encourage each other, the end result is always better.
The Creating a Personal Brand video web series is brought to you by CI Talks. Find more inspirational videos and stories that spark change on CITalks.com and be inspired to take action and grow.