THE popularity of esports grows year by year, with the world’s top players earning big money by doing what most of us spend a couple of hours a night enjoying.

While many of us think we’re good at it, the jump from turning a leisure pastime into serious gaming is massive – and something not to be taken lightly. But with a growing number of esports tournaments delivering eye watering prizes, many gamers are keen how to see if they can turn their hobby into a career.

One way that many make the jump is by publicising their skills, and to do this they set up a social media account and register themselves on streaming services like Twitch and YouTube Gaming. This way you can test your skills against players with similar ambitions, and when you do well then shout about it to your followers; if you’re seriously good at gaming then you’ll soon start to see those followers rack up.

With a lot of effort and skill it is possible to make a living from esports and while most of the big tournaments are by invitation only, there are a host of contests available for amateur gamers which allow the stars of the future to display their skills and get their names out there. The more you play against very good players, the better you get!

One of the most popular esports to play professionally is FIFA football, which is especially pertinent with the imminent unveiling of FIFA 22, with the raft of publicity that surrounds that particular launch amongst the most intense of the esports calendar.

The game is available on virtually all platforms, and the seriously good players soon come to the notice of your average gamer.

Many professionals start out playing the ePremier League, allowing them to represent a club, compete and get themselves noticed. The players can bet on bet365 and use a promo code for getting a sign up bonus. Welcome bonuses are also offered by bookmaker William Hill and Coral Casino. In general, British and American bookmakers offer a wide range of options for playing esports.

Once your skills come to the attention of gaming peers, then the transition from playing in your front room on your Xbox after school or work to the big league is not as big as you might think – with a particular good example of that being former world champion Musaed Al-Dossary.

Known to his followers as Msdossary, the then teenager went from winning a first FIFA tournament in 2017 to becoming the 2018 FIFA eWorld Cup champion a year later. One of the best FIFA players in the world, the Saudi Arabian picked up a cheque for $250,000 as well as the eWorld Cup trophy in 2018 before almost repeating the feat a year later. He was good enough to get to the final in 2019, finishing runner-up to the German player Mohammed Harkous; the impact of his failure to retain the title was softened slightly by the $100,000 he picked up for second place.

Msdossary now travels the world playing FIFA and is a Red Bull athlete along with the likes of footballer Trent Alexander-Arnold and basketball player Cole Anthony.

The acceptance of esports as a serious business is shown not only by the big prizes on offer, but also by how the gambling firms have quickly latched on to their success. Even Sony have got in the act, filing a patent for a live esports betting platform, with most of the gambling firms allowing you to bet on esports.