With how easy it is to set up, there is really no reason not to. If you are a player, you have to constantly practice anyway so why not combine this activity with streaming. Take care of your channel, make it pleasant to the eye, provide a little bit of info about yourself, maybe establish specific hours when you stream so that your audience knows when they can watch. Include the dates of the next events you are going to participate in, create a schedule. If you use social media (and you should if you want to increase your reach), provide links to your Facebook fan page and Twitter. Stay active and interact with your audience during the game if you can, if not – when you are in the game’s lobby. Browse the chat during breaks, read user comments and respond. The relationship between a player and the audience is a lot better when the communication goes both ways. If you can afford it, organize a raffle from time to time with some small awards like weapon skins, etc. You may also invite another player to your stream as a guest. Provide advice to less experienced players, which is always appreciated. Many people – myself included – watch streams to learn from the best. You may also organize a play-for-charity event with other streamers. All of you would get free promotion while doing something good for the community.
This is can be somewhat similar to streaming, but gives you more time to think things through. As a pro, you are in the small percentage of players that are at the top of the list. There are probably hundreds of thousands of other people who would love to hear about some of the ways they could rise in ranks. Share some of your knowledge by making short YouTube videos – replays with commentary, advice on how to react to the newest meta changes, etc. If you do not have time for video editing, consider writing short articles or even blog entries with your thoughts. People remember those that help them improve, and help promote you by sharing the knowledge, news and links with their friends. I remember tipping Nathanias on Twitch after using his strategy in a particularly difficult StarCraft 2 matchup when the meta was unfavorable for Terran.
Participate in events
See if there are any tournaments near you. If you can travel to other places to play games – do it. You need to be visible so that people recognize you, both the audience as well as potential sponsors or bigger brands. If there are no tournaments near you, but the game you play is popular, you might want to think about organizing one yourself. All you need is to reach out to the right people. Check out local meeting places, such as clubs and bars. If there is a game club (not necessary a video game club, but a place where people play board and card games) or an internet café in town, these are probably your best bets. Find likeminded people in your region, but you can also go bigger in scope – some people might be willing to come from outside town. Back in the 90s, internet café tournaments were very popular. These were usually small in scope, catering to the local audience, but not necessarily. If you manage to establish such an event, you can reach out to the company that created your game and ask to sponsor some prizes. When a very small SC2 tournament was organized in my city, Blizzard sent us a figurine as the main prize and the owner distributed vouchers for use in his club. Promote the event in as many places as you can, which brings us to…
It really doesn’t take much to write a short Tweet. Actors, singers, VIPs – all those that need an audience to thrive use Twitter as well as other social media. People like to see what’s going on with the celebrities they follow. In the past, this role was fulfilled by all the colorful magazines you could get at the local news agent’s. If you go to an event – report on it, if you’re planning to play an unorthodox strategy this evening – inform your audience about it too. People simply have to be aware of your presence. Think about how TV or YouTube advertising works, you may see an ad multiple times and despite the fact it is of no interest to you, you will remember the brand. Consider how much easier it will be for people to remember you if they themselves chose to follow you on Twitter or Facebook. Stay active on social media.
Improving at the game of your choice and winning tournaments are probably the most influential factors of increasing player presence in the esports community, but there are also other ways – find the time and explore which one is most suitable for you.