It’s easy to get swept away in the atmosphere when watching an esports tournament. Whether you’re attending an event in person or one of the 532 million people watching esports online, nothing beats the nail-biting thrill of a Grand Final at The International. However, if you’re serious about turning a passion for MOBAs into an actual career, you need to stop being a spectator and start thinking more analytically.
First Things First
This probably goes without saying, but you need to get familiar with a particular game before attempting to climb the rankings. There’s no point dreaming of becoming a CS:GO master if you don’t know your way around a first-person shooter. However, being familiar with a genre is only the tip of the iceberg. You’ll need to get up-to-date with maps and level terrains, in-game economies, character abilities, and more.
Pick a Player to Study
Unless you’re a casual spectator, you probably already have a favorite esports team. If your go-to team is performing at the upper levels of professional esports, use these rosters as inspiration. When you’re caught up in the action of the qualifying stages, it’s easy to get distracted. By focusing on a single player, it’s far simpler to analyze and emulate.
Keen to make waves in the midlane? Over at Team Liquid, Polish player Michal “Nisha” Jankowski is one to watch. Are you a dyed-in-the-wool carry player? There’s no point wasting your time watching offlaners and roamers work their magic. Instead, focus your attention solely on carry players. Currently, Oliver “skiter” Lepko from Tundra Esports is one of the best in the business.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Hardest Heroes
The character lineups for the average MOBA are enormous. In Dota 2, there are more than 120 heroes, with more arriving every year. If you want to be able to compete professionally, you’ll need to have a handle on many different heroes. What’s more, reaching for the stack of beginner-friendly heroes won’t cut it.
While the likes of Sven and Sniper are favored by Dota 2 rookies, top-tier players are far more daring with their picks. For a long time, heroes like Rubick rarely got a look in. However, this fearsome looking mage can be devastatingly effective in the right hands. If you need some pointers, set some time aside to watch Chinese player Xu “fy” Linsen in action.
Choosing Your Streaming Platform Well
A typical high-profile tournament will receive a lot of coverage. This can make singly out a single stream to follow the action a challenge. If you’re focused purely on emulating another player, you might want to avoid mainstream channels where gameplay is interspersed with panel discussions and interviews.
What’s more, remember that action replays are your best friend. A good YouTube channel focused on esports commentary should provide plenty of bite-sized snippets you can use to perfect your own gameplay.
For many esports fans, Twitch is the first port of call for tournament viewing. However, you can also turn to this platform for invaluable insights. Danylo “Dendi” Ishutin, formerly of Natus Vincere, is just one of many players who’ve been streaming via Twitch for years. Despite recently setting up his very own esports organization, Dendi hasn’t let his Twitch channel gather dust. Here, you’ll find hours-long videos covering some of the best players on the planet.
Yaroslav “NS” Kuznetsov, another megastar from the early days of Dota 2, can be found on Twitch. While this Dota 2 legend has since retired from professional play, he remains one of the most active commentators and analysts around. His Twitch channel is a rich resource pit for aspiring players.
Need some help planning your tournament viewing? Find out which teams have made the grade and who’ll be playing who by heading to www.1337pro.com/en/dota2/tournament-schedule.