Getting more popular with each passing year, it’s difficult for many players to ignore the call of eSports competitions. While this is a great way to spend some time with friends or alone, most of us will eventually plateau when it comes to performance. No matter how much effort we put in, we can struggle to see major results, and this can be frustrating. Adopt the adage of train smarter and not harder, however, and you could see your play level up to the next tier of competition.

Component Parts

While being able to paint a big picture is important, success is even more dependent on understanding the base abilities that combine to build a greater skill set. Take fighting games for example. To compete in games like these, you need to have an appreciation of many different aspects, where failing in even one leaves you open for defeat.

Taking advantage of your opponent’s misses, called whiff-punishing, is necessary for defence. On the other hand, understanding what is safe to use to not create openings yourself is necessary for the offence. Rather than trying to work on all of this at once in a real match, good players enter practice modes and work on just one section at a time. Once they know a safe series of attacks, called block-strings, in muscle memory, using them in a real match becomes infinitely more viable. Learn each part individually, make them natural, and then you’ll understand the attitude of a pro.

the attitude of a pro

Latif is all smiles (for now)” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by xanderhieken


Staying Cool

No matter how much knowledge and practice you have in a training room, playing for real can still instantly ruin your best plans. The stress of competing can make us quickly frustrated, as our little failures add up to profound defeats. This can especially be the case if we know exactly what we’re doing wrong, but we’re so tense that we can’t help but make the same mistake.

Ultimately, this is just another area where attitude is the best salve. Understand that losing is inevitable, even for the best players in the world, and that accepting that fact can help you relax. Adopt breathing techniques commonly used by professionals in high-pressure situations, consider meditating on your frustrations, and your chances of performing at your best will be all the better for it.

News and Meta

Practice and play are enormously important, but players also need to understand that games and the way people play them will evolve. Patches and meta shifts can have completely transformative effects on top-level strategy, so players looking to stay on the top tier should engage with dedicated websites, players, and communities. Players can click here to read more about some general and specific news as a starting point, to understand where their next direction could lie.

News and Meta

practice” (CC BY 2.0) by mikecohen1872

With all the basic principles in mind, the last thing you need to remember is that nothing good comes without time and effort. At first, making even small changes will be challenging, but over time, you’ll find what used to be difficult coming off as second nature. Remember to take the time to look back on how far you’ve come, appreciate that your most major opponent is yourself, and there’s no telling where your new ceiling might lie.