Want to Start Competitive Gaming? 5 Skills You Can Learn From Poker

It’s an undeniable fact that eSports is taking the world by storm. According to Statista, the global eSports market was valued at approximately 1 billion dollars in 2020, and is expected to keep growing.

Competing in eSports is a new field that’s full of great opportunities for players, and requires not just gaming skills but mental and psychological strength as well. And just like the much older competitive card game poker, sometimes victory comes down to who has the strongest mindset.

If you want to start competitive eSports and want to cover all your bases, here are five things you can learn from a game like poker.

Professional eSport gamer playing in a game tournament

How To Make Quick Decisions

Poker is a game that requires the mind to think, analyse, and make quick decisions. According to an article at Forbes. Today, a player needs to be thorough with the hand sequences, and must still be able to figure out how to get a hand that has the best chances of winning even under stress.

Similarly, during an eSports competition, players must also think fast, scrutinize every situation, and make a quick decision that will bring about the best possible outcome.

Whether you are competing in a first-person shooters game like Fallout 4, or a multiplayer online battle arena game like League of Legends, being able to make a quick analysis will help you gain an edge over other players, just like in poker.

Planning For Long Term Strategies

A big part of winning in poker is the strategy you develop, and it’s not just about going “All In” or “bluffing” with every hand. You have to develop your own winning strategies off of the experience that comes from playing against several opponents.

The same goes for eSports: a strong strategy comes from numerous practice sessions to develop your gaming skills. Planning out strategies also sometimes requires making initial sacrifices.

For example, in Age of Empires IV, having military units queued all the time may cost you resources in the present, but this also ensures a good defence should you be attacked at any time in the future. With poker, some players may also choose to play weak hands to get better gains later on in the game.

Also Read: Find Professional Players to Play Online with

Managing Finances

Like poker, eSports is a high risk, high return investment. All poker players know about bankroll management, which teaches them how to properly handle their money for the game.

Bankroll management, or BRM, is a way of managing finances, just like how a business manages money, when playing. These same accounting principles can be applied to your winnings from eSports — such as, putting your winnings in a separate account, have a base amount in your bankroll that you’re willing to risk, and know when to move up in stakes, especially if the odds are in your favor.

The simple accounting rules can play a crucial part of financial success throughout a poker and eSport career.

Work Under Pressure

Poker players are under huge amounts of pressure when competing and must learn to play with emotional maturity during live tournaments — and the same goes for eSports players.

A study at the University of Chichester found that eSports players faced 51 different stress factors like communication problems and nervousness when competing in front of live audiences, which is the same for many poker players. Learning how to cope with these high levels of pressure will allow a player to compete at their maximum performance level.

Improve Visual Alertness

Aside from mental and psychological strengths, playing poker also improves a player’s visual alertness. This supports the player’s ability to pay attention to the cards, observe the movements of opponents and pick up on things average players usually miss out on.

In eSports, visual alertness can prove to be a very useful skill as it is required to notice quick details, sudden movements of attack and where your opponents and team members are located at any given time. Some eSports players may turn to brain training games to help them stay sharp, but poker is a great substitute.

Before attempting to dive into this new gaming arena, it is best to equip yourself with the proper skills that will give you an edge over the competition. Fortunately, you can take your cues from players in other competitive games like poker. Whether it’s the poker table or the virtual battlefield, all’s fair in love and war.