The Phunk Aspect: Myth, Mystery, or Fact?

BY Andrew Miesner / February 3, 2009

Eons ago, when I worked for the Chicago Chimera, I wrote a Phunk Aspect about how to become a professional gamer; a topic that is covered by nearly every writer, player, and individual entwined in the life of eSports.  It was called The Phunk Aspect: Perfect Practice Makes Perfect.  The only difference between this Aspect and other articles regarding the same topic is that I delved deep into traditional practice techniques and ideals of sports coaches to prove that just practicing will not get anyone to the level they want.  Hence the Perfect Practice.  But, now I am here to contradict myself once again!  Sit, back, relax, and watch as I attempt to prove myself wrong.

Reading that last paragraph, you may be thinking What the hell is this guy talking about?  Well, what I plan to show you all is that not everyone can reach the peak of professional gamer, but everyone can come close and can make valiant efforts to do so.

Let’s look at what the common belief of making it professional is.  Most believe that becoming a professional gamer requires a huge amount of dedication and playtime.  Now this is just a general statement, but if you were to break these down game by game, you would find that this is very true.  However, these two factors are not the only requirement to eSports success.  In most games, preparation and knowledge of the game is more key to success than sheer skill in many cases.  If you have ever watched CompLexity Armageddon (which you should if you haven’t), Storm backs this theory up by saying that he believes preparation is key to the success of a Counter-Strike player.  Professional Gaming is not all about skill and is not all about flashiness, but is rather involved with dedication to succeed, knowledge of the game, and practicing habits to improve gameplay and promote good habits.

I’ve actually played CS since the second day it came out. I’ve learned the game is less about reflexes and more about preparation and more from learning from past mistakes that you’ve made. Taking the first aforementioned factor, dedication, we can allude to possibly the most appropriate team name for becoming successful at anything.  Team 3D, compLexity’s biggest competitor before and during the CGS, has a team name that bleeds success.  Desire. Discipline. Dedication.  These three words together encompass all forms of success; whether it be in work, gaming, sports, or just life.  I truly believe that over skill, these Three D’s are the most important factors to becoming a professional gamer.  

Ub3r Pr0 Sk1llz
If you’re really that passionate about becoming a professional gamer, take to heart that people are born with certain skills and knacks for certain things.  For example, not everyone is born to be 250 pounds and an amazing basketball player like LeBron James.  If everyone were born like this, there would be no NBA fans, there would just be players…probably scoring 400 points a game.  With this, I am saying that not all people who buy Counter-Strike are going to be the next methods or fRoDs (unless you want to grow a curly fro and have a gigantic beard).  However, some people who don’t have a natural knack for gaming can become professional because of their desire to get better and compete.  Most people do not play a game and decide that they want to become pro the next day.  It is a long and enduring process with benefits far down the road.  
I am not turning away anyone from trying to be great, but I intend only to forewarn you of the trials you will face ahead.  Be prepared for anything and everything.  Pursue your dreams and have fun doing it.  Even if you don’t find yourself to be skilled enough to become a professional gamer, you can always go for the gold because there will always be teams looking for that one player.  Someday, those teams may be compLexity, Gravitas, Team 3D, or any other team of the liking.  I may not be thought of as a preacher or one you would commonly take advice from, but I would like to make it known that not everyone can become a professional gamer but I want everyone of you who have passion for gaming to take that one step further and go for your ultimate goal whether it be to play on coL or to just make the top of the charts in your favorite pub.