Are you looking for new gaming experiences to try as a PC gamer? If you are, competitive gaming could be right up your street.

The gaming industry has expanded massively in recent years and there are all manner of competitive video games and digital games that you can play from your PC. Taking multiplayer gaming and mindsports to new levels, eSports and online poker are two of the most popular global gaming verticals.

Read on to discover how to get started.

Getting Started with eSports

Short for Electronic Sports, eSports needs no introduction. This is competitive gaming that spans everything from grassroots competition to global tournaments – and it’s pretty lucrative too. The world’s top players have the opportunity to compete for millions of dollars worth of prize money, and there are now around 474 million eSports fans out there cheering them on.

Of course, not every eSports enthusiast gets the chance to build an elite career, but the genre nevertheless remains a fun and rewarding pastime for hobbyists.

The first thing you need to do if you have aspirations to play eSports is to decide on your game of choice. What types of games do you enjoy watching and playing? The world of eSports includes a lot of choices, with tournaments taking place in everything from first-person shooters like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to real-time strategy games, collectable card games and battle royale titles like Fortnite.

After you’ve chosen the game(s) you want to focus on, you can come up with a plan for getting better at them. It’s also a good idea to dive in to forums and eSports platforms like Twitch to keep informed about competitive events happening in your local area – plus, watching the best gamers compete in world championships will be good for your own progress too.

With regular practice and a confident mindset, you can start entering tournaments. Playing online tournaments is a good way to test your skills without having to travel and you can even make some good, real-life connections with other enthusiasts playing this way.

Getting Started with Online Poker

Poker is a card game staple, for centuries it’s been played by people all over the world. Here in the digital era, it’s never been easier to learn or play thanks to the emergence of online poker. Instead of having to wait for an invite to home games or travel to a casino, all you need to play poker now is a good internet connection, a reputable platform and your trusty rig.

Depending on your location, there could be territorial restrictions on the platforms you’re trying to access. If you’re figuring out how to play PokerStars in the US, for example, you’ll either need to download the right client or live in a state where the platform is licensed.

As with eSports, getting started in online poker will require you to learn the rules of the game. It may sound obvious, but building strong foundations in the essential elements of the game will not just make playing a more enjoyable experience for you, it will also set you up well should you choose to pursue a pro career. Get a solid grounding in things like hand rankings, how the action develops around a table and basic poker terms.

As for practical gameplay, the easiest way to get the hang of poker when you’re first starting out is to look for play money games. Instead of wagering real money, when you play such games, you’re competing for digital tokens that are provided for free. Other than that, the mechanics are exactly the same as a real money poker game, so you can develop your technique without risking your wallet.

Once you’re comfortable with play money games, which typically follow Texas Hold’em rules, broaden your horizons by experimenting with different poker variations like Omaha. Enter low-stakes cash games when you feel ready, and try out ‘sit n gos’ as well as online tournaments.