If you’ve been keeping a close eye on the rise of esports in recent years, you might well be wondering how you can break into the industry. It is, after all, an extremely lucrative and exciting prospect; in 2019 alone, the global esports economy topped $1 billion, and it’s only going to get better from there. The good news is that there are plenty of ways you can get personally involved with esports whether you’re a competitor or not. Here’s how you can get started in the world of esports.
Naturally, the first thing you’ll want to ask is “can I get involved in esports even if I’m not a great competitive gamer?”. Luckily, the answer is yes. Even if you don’t have any skill whatsoever as a gamer, you can still be an esports professional; you can just take a position in one of the ancillary industries around esports. Whether it’s management, commentary, streaming, or even betting on games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, you can take part in the esports industry with or without gaming expertise.
The business side of esports is as strong as you would expect from a booming industry. Teams of players need entire administrative outfits behind them to handle things like finance, branding, and advertising. If your skillset doesn’t involve gaming, then there could still be a place for you in the industry as a marketing professional, social media executive, or promoter, and those are only three examples of ways you could break into the esports industry.
If you’re looking to break in as an admin professional for esports, the job application process is likely to be very similar to that of a conventional job. You’ll need to look through listings to see what kind of jobs are on offer. If you don’t spot anything, get in touch with esports teams’ current management, send them your credentials, and ask if there’s a position going. If not, ask them to keep your details on file and consider you for next time something comes up.
It’s not just the administrative side of things, though. Let’s say you’re a graphics designer. There are plenty of spaces in esports teams for people who can design logos, create consistent branding, and generally market a team. After all, how will people know what your team is and what it represents without solid marketing? If you want to get into this side of the industry, it’s important to create a portfolio first. Look for smaller esports teams and show them your work – be sure you know your worth!
That just leaves the big question: how do you break into esports as a gamer? As you might expect, doing so is simultaneously much harder and much easier than entering the industry from a business perspective. As a professional esports gamer, you’ll represent the very best of the best, so there are a lot of stipulations in place. Before you even think about applying for an esports team as a player, you need to make sure you’ve got your ducks in a row when it comes to gaming.
The first thing you’ll need, naturally, is skill. If you want to be a pro esports player, you’ll need to be incredibly skilled at your chosen esport. The games offering top prize money in esports change constantly, so it’s advantageous to be able to move with the times. Still, there are mainstays. Call of Duty. League of Legends. Dota 2. These games are often popular on the esports circuit, so getting good at them is pretty much essential if you want to be a pro esports gamer.
Secondly, you’ll want to be as dedicated as possible. Nobody ever made it in the world of esports without an absolute ton of dedication and commitment. That means practicing every day just as you would with any other discipline. If you want to be a pro, you’ll need to remove any notion that gaming is just a hobby, something you do on your off-hours. Instead, treat it like a job. Like any job, gaming requires practice and focus to improve at, so you’ll need to put the hours in.
Naturally, as an esports professional, co-operation is also crucial. If you can’t get along well with others, then the teamwork that’s imperative for esports success won’t come naturally to you and you won’t be able to operate well in the industry. Esports favours the kind of person who can work as part of a team, communicating effectively and negotiating when to chase objectives and when to play defensively. Plenty of experience playing games with your friends will come in handy here!
Although versatility is important in the esports industry, most esports teams tend to focus on one game over others. That’s because the team can then devote all of their time to becoming as skilled in that single game as possible. A team that spreads itself out and doesn’t hone in on the game that they’re best at will quickly falter; that team will be worse at all games in which it competes than other teams who have put all their time into training in that game.
You might think that an active life isn’t important for becoming a pro esports player, but nothing could be further from the truth. The stereotype of the unfit gamer is unkind and also untrue. Pro esports players are often physically fit because physical fitness hones the mind and helps us to concentrate. You don’t have to be a pro athlete, of course, but you do need to make sure you pursue a regular exercise regimen, even if that regimen only involves getting a walk in every day.
So, that’s what you need to become professionally involved in esports. As you can tell, there are plenty of in-roads into this exciting and dynamic industry. What kind of esports career are you looking to pursue? Let us know!