How to become a professional gamer: Ozzy's story

Meet Ozzy from Leeds. He's 20 and is a professional gamer. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

"As long as you can get access to a computer, you can compete in esports."

  • Ozzy has turned a casual hobby into his career. He started out playing online games and competing in esports, then worked his way up through the ranks, until he joined his current team, Vexed

  • Being successful at online gaming takes hard work, dedication, teamwork and communication. It also requires a lot of mental stamina

  • Ozzy's team all live in different locations so they usually play together remotely. They come together every few months to talk face-to-face, discuss strategy and work on team bonding. They also compete professionally in online game competitions which can take place in big arenas

  • Alongside his gaming, Ozzy is studying law. Egaming, like any sport, is very competitive. It takes a lot of commitment and may not be an option for Ozzy's whole working life. He is studying to help keep his options open for the future.

What to expect if you want to become a professional gamer

To become a professional gamer, like Ozzy, you will need a lot of skill, dedication and perseverance. It is very competitive. There are lots of other jobs in the games industry you could also explore, such as being a computer games tester, a computer games designer or a software developer.

Computer games tester: Computer games testers play computer games to check they work, and find and record problems or ‘bugs’

  • Computer games tester salary: from £15,000 to £40,000 per year

  • Computer games tester working hours: 37 to 39 hours per week

What qualifications do you need to be a professional gamer?

  • Typical entry requirements: You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree course in computing, games design or programming. You could take A-levels (or equivalent) in computing or a Level 3 Diploma in Creative Media at college, which may help you to get a junior tester job. You could complete a software tester higher apprenticeship. You'll need good technical skills and an in-depth understanding of different game platforms and quality assurance processes.
    Some games companies release test versions of games for the public to try. Going to games events and joining industry forums are good ways to hear about these and other opportunities. They're also useful for making contacts with people working in the industry, who may help you to find work.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

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