Being a professional gamer sounds like the dream, playing video games all the time as a career? Sure, it would be nice, but pros have a lot of responsibilities and have to put in a TON of work to become the best of the best. So, I sat down with our VALORANT squad’s entry fragger, Stefanie “Stefanie” Jones, to see what work they put in as a professional VALORANT player.
Hey Stefanie. Let’s talk about ways to improve as a Valorant player. For starters, how important is doing work outside of practice?
Stefanie: I think it's really important. Our team watches a lot of VODs after practice or before not together. I think it’s important to review replays together with your team and also on your own to always be getting better.
Do you have an aim training routine? How valuable is aim training in your opinion?
Stefanie: I don't have a routine. I just warm up with Ranked. You don't really need it, not for me at least. I can see why it helps certain people and you should always be experimenting. If you like aim training and you see improvement, then aim train. You have to try different things and find what works for you.
How important is reviewing VODs for someone looking to improve and what mindset should you have and what should you be looking for when reviewing VODs?
Stefanie: I think it's really important and, if you’re really looking to improve, it will help you a lot. As for mindset, I think having an open mindset and just being more creative, like making it your own way. If you see an execution or strat that you like, or a mistake you made, be open to changing things up and experimenting.
How many hours, roughly, do you put into VALORANT in a week?
Stefanie: Around 60 hours, probably more. A lot of people don’t understand how many hours we put into playing, but it’s really worth it in the end.
How many hours does the team normally scrim a day?
Stefanie: We scrim other teams for practice for around 6 hours a day.
What do you guys do outside of scrimming during practice?
Stefanie: We watch VODs together as I said earlier, but we also practice executions in an empty server which we call dry runs and those really help. If you’re on a team you should always get that time in, especially for lineups and getting utility timings correctly.
How important is grinding Ranked to improve?
Stefanie: I think Ranked helps you kind of stay on track. I don't think it's required to improve. It just helps you stay consistent and is just putting more hours into the game in general. It personally works for me. It’s just getting hours in the game like, yeah, I got in the game and played it, you know?
What in your opinion is the most important aspect/method of practice/improvement that helps you out the most?
Stefanie: I like keeping our mental health good. Having a good mental throughout the entire practice and being receptive and wanting to improve really helps me. Mindset is probably the most important thing to keep in mind, half of becoming a pro is mental, and having the mindset to grind and always look to improve is super important, you know?
Any final tips for people looking to improve fundamentally at the game?
Stefanie: I honestly played so much Ranked, it does help you. I think I watched a lot of pro streamers and I saw how they played the game, which helped me understand certain scenarios in the game. Also, just put in the hours in the game, and you’ll see improvement.
I’d like to thank Stefanie for taking the time out of her schedule to talk to me and check out her socials!