Have you ever wanted to take your game to the next level but didn't know how? Do you feel like you are ready to compete at a professional level, but were never sure how to become recognized as a PMS|H2O pro or pro team? Well, this is an article you will want to read! As part of our new eSports department, directors Eric "H2O Prawfet" Metcalf and Ryan "Arbee H2O" Bentley are here to provide some general guidelines on how to become a PMS|H2O pro or pro team. In this article we will go over the differences between a competitive team and a pro team as well as some expectations of and requirements for both. Being a PMS|H2O pro involves a lot more than just gameplay and learning about eSports as a business will help you become a professional.
What is the difference is between a competitive team and a pro team? A competitive team is organized from current clan members who want to compete regularly on behalf of the clan but does not have a skill requirement. The competitive teams are what we have referred to as "small teams", or even "big teams," in the past. They give anyone the ability to compete together in ladders, leagues, or events as long as they are willing to put in the commitment. While these teams do not require a minimum ranking or placement, you are expected to spend additional hours practicing with your team and compete regularly.
A PMS|H2O professional team or player must show they are dedicated to competing at the highest level. They are expected to practice as a team or with individuals of similar skill on a regular, structured schedule. They have to compete regularly in a top-tier, professional-level or elite leagues or tournaments. They must maintain a minimum league ranking or tournament placing as determined by the specific game in order to maintain Pro status and be considered for PMS|H2O representation at professional gaming events. Aside from competition results, a Pro player must be motivated and help grow the PMS|H2O brand while promoting the sponsors that are committed to helping us. In the age of social media, there are many ways in which this gets accomplished. Providing content, such as videos, streaming, and social media, has requirements that must be met as well. A PMS|H2O Pro player represents all members at the highest levels and have the highest expectations.
Now that we’ve gone over the difference between a competitive team and a pro team, let’s get into the specific requirements and expectations of each. As mentioned earlier, the competitive team is in place to encourage a higher level of competition from standard division play. It requires that players put more time and dedication into their game. The general requirements of a competitive team include the following:
- You must register and compete on a weekly basis in some sort of competitive league. Examples include: Gamebattles, FraggedNation, or other structured leagues and ladders.
- You must field a full, consistent team of players with available backups. This means you aren’t searching for a team before each match; you have a regular team.
- You are required to put in four hours of gameplay above your divisional requirements consisting of team practices and matches.
- You must fill out an application to be recognized as an official competitive team and go through a two-week trial period to show you can make the commitments.
A competitive team reports to their appropriate division battles manager and/or division leaders. In the case that players want to form a co-ed competitive team for a game that does not have a co-ed division, those players may apply directly to the eSports directors and, if approved, would report to an eSports platform battles manager and/or eSports directors. Because the goal of competitive teams is to promote clan members’ desire to compete together, it is required that all competitive team members are active clan and division members. If there is no existing division for the targeted game, we encourage you to look into forming one. If that cannot be done, you still have the ability to apply for competitive status with the eSports team.
For a PMS|H2O professional team or player, expectations are much higher. Not only will you represent the clan in the highest online leagues, ladders and tournaments, but you have the ability to receive sponsorship assistance to compete at major LAN events. Here are a few of the requirements for becoming a professional team or player:
- A professional team/player is required to maintain a minimum league/tournament placement. While exact placement requirements vary within certain games, the general guidelines are as follows:
- A PMS team must be ranked in the Top 16 of a top-tier competitive/pro league for their game or finish Top 16 in a major LAN event.
- For the purpose of this requirement, a PMS team will be considered any team that has a majority of its team(starters) as female members.
- An H2O or Co-ed team must be ranked in the Top 8 of a top-tier competitive/pro league for their game, or finish Top 8 in a major LAN event.
- The team/player should be competing on a regular basis. In-season league play should be weekly, or tournament-based play should be monthly (if possible).
- Each professional team (defined as either a set team for team-based games or an entire game roster for non-team based games) is required to stream a minimum of four hours per week on the eSports Twitch.tv streaming account. They will work with eSports staff to set up a scheduled time to stream and must use any provided pro team stream overlays/graphics.
- Any professional team is required to submit 1-2 videos per month. These videos can include: highlight videos, promotional videos, replay/analysis videos, etc.
- If requested by the eSports team and/or sponsors, a professional team or player is required to work with eSports staff on specific sponsor-driven promotional campaigns.
- Each player must be at least 18 years old and able to sign a professional player contract.
Please keep in mind, the listed requirements for competitive and professional teams are not all of the requirements.
As we mentioned, being a professional team/player for PMS|H2O requires a lot more than just performing well in your game. The business of eSports has exploded over recent years and in order to prove that we belong amongst the elite eSports brands, we have to utilize every resource we can in order to promote our brand and the sponsors that support us. With the emergence of online streaming and the monetization that players and teams can now receive from it, it has also become an important financial resource for eSports organizations.
“What does this mean for us as players?”, you ask? Players play a pivotal role in helping push the brand and sponsors. Because our professional players are the ones that are competing at LAN or online events, it is important that they participate in promoting us as much as possible. What that entails includes a wide range of activities. It can be something as simple as wearing a team jersey and using sponsor gear during events and interviews. It would include being active in social media, such as Twitter and Facebook. It also involves more dedicated work such as regular streaming hours, producing promotional videos for the team and/or sponsors, promoting our initiatives and sponsors in gaming communities, and learning how to properly handle media interviews. These are some types of initiatives we will be pushing as an eSports organization in order to show that we belong with the top teams in any game.
We are extremely excited to announce our new official documentation for both our competitive teams and professional teams! We know that in the past there hasn’t been clear communication on what it takes to become a PMS|H2O Pro player and we want to change that. We want to encourage everyone who has the desire to compete and maybe even reach a professional level. Competitive gaming is no longer just about playing in random tournaments but is now a full-fledged eSports business. We hope you will help support the many initiatives we plan to roll-out over the upcoming months and help our clan in becoming a top eSports organization.
For official requirements/expectations for competitive and professional teams, go here. To apply for either competitive or professional status, visit our eSports applications here. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our eSports directors: H2O Prawfet and Arbee H2O. To follow the adventures of our pro teams, visit our pros' website.
We will be hosting a few Q&A sessions for those who would like to find out more information on our competitive or pro teams. Stay tuned for details on these sessions in the coming months.
Written by Ryan "Arbee H2O" Bentley.