In celebration of Video Game Day on 12 September, we spoke to some competitive gamers from Goliath Gaming who share a bit about their gaming journey, and share their top tips to take your gaming to the next level.
Dean “massacRe” Davids – competitive CounterStrike player
“massacRe” first started gaming when he was 10 years old and played casually for about six years. From there he got picked up by a competitive gaming team and has competed in many top SA CS tournaments, and has also competed in CS tournaments in Delhi and Dubai.
• Set clear goals – Life can distract us and sometimes we hit a patch where we might feel unmotivated. This is why it’s essential to set goals for yourself (both gaming career goals and personal life goals) to motivate you to keep going when times get tough.
• Work smart and use your time wisely – We’ve only got so much time on earth. I’m a big advocate of not wasting time. Work smart and use your time effectively on the right things; watch YouTube videos to see how other pros practice and mimic this; practise against the right people; and put in the time doing the right tasks that will improve your skills in-game.
Shiaan “Shiaan1201” Rugbeer – competitive Xbox FIFA player
“Shiaan1201” started gaming when he was 8 years old and went on to competitive gaming 10 years later. During his time as a competitive FIFA player he has won numerous FIFA events in SA and has represented SA at international FIFA events in Doha, Amsterdam, London and Bucharest.
• If you’re a FIFA player, practice as soon as a new FIFA comes out – At the start of every new FIFA game launch, it’s good to get ahead of everyone else and learn the new mechanics of the game as early on as possible. This definitely provides an advantage and will help you get ready to play competitively.
• To become the best you have to go up against the best – You shouldn’t be afraid to play the best players in SA because it’s the only way that you will get better and elevate your game to the next level. By avoiding the best players you just play against other casual players and won’t learn anything new from them and won’t be challenged in the way you should be as a competitive player.
• Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – A lot of gamers are scared to make mistakes in key areas, however, from my experience, you have to make mistakes in order to learn from them and improve.
Edwin “Drager” Williams – competitive StarCraft player
“Drager” started gaming when he was 11 years old. He started playing StarCraft 2 in 2011 and played it casually for four years, and in 2015 he started gaming competitively. He is widely known as South Africa’s best StarCraft player and has represented South Africa (for StarCraft) at the World Electronic Sports Games (in Dubai and China) three years in a row.
• Make a name for yourself – Try and compete in as many online tournaments as you can. Competing is a great way to improve your skills and to start getting noticed by the top teams to help you go from casual gamer to pro.
• Focus on optimal mental and physical health – Living a healthy lifestyle (eating healthy, sleeping well, exercising and taking care of your mental health) is really important to perform at your peak in anything in life. In gaming, having even just that little bit of extra mental advantage and clear focus over your opponent can make the world of difference
Trevor “kani” Morley – competitive CounterStrike player
“kani” has been playing games ever since he can remember. Gameboy, Sega and PlayStation are his earliest memories of playing games and he kept playing casually until he discovered Counter Strike 1.6 and Source around 2007. He loved the experience and he’s been playing competitively ever since, with numerous wins in top CS tournaments in SA under his belt and has competed internationally in Abu Dhabi.
• Learn from people with more experience – If you are new in a specific game or title, always try learn as much as you can from people that have been playing longer than you, you’ll be surprised how much you can learn.
• Be able to take constructive criticism – Nobody likes being told what they did wrong or how many mistakes they made, but it is very important that you are truthful to yourself and you are able to identify the mistakes that you made and that you learn from it. It’s a very valuable skill to be able to take criticism from your teammates and from other players in a bid to improve.
• Be a good teammate – If you are planning on playing a game that is team vs team based, you will have teammates that will become like family to you. Building bonds and being friends is part of being a good teammate, as well as being able to help each other grow as players and humans.