Just a decade or two back video gaming was seen as a waste of time by moms and dads… Remember? Well, little did they know that the apparently ‘useless’ activity, which they so often chewed their kids out for, would one day have its exclusive billion-dollar industry; Esports.
Did you know, in 2021, the worldwide esports industry pulled in no less than $641 million? No joke! The space is touching new heights every passing year, breaking the stereotypes (and stigma) that have haunted gaming ever since the thing was born.
With the massive growth in esports, Generation Z that once indulged in gaming with nagging guilt now sees light at the end of the tunnel. There’s hope for them to follow their heart.
Many are now realizing esports’ potential and considering taking it up as a full-time career. And, perhaps… you are one of them, aren’t you?
So, if you’re mad about video gaming, if you’re obsessed with DOTA, PUBG, Fortnite, Counter-Strike and if you’re looking to make a career in esports, this guide article is meant for you.
As you read below, you’re going to find out in just five steps exactly how you can prepare yourself for a healthy, rewarding career in esports. Thrilled? Alright, buckle up. Let’s dive in.
Find the Niche that Fits YOU Perfectly
When you think of a job in esports you can’t help but think of a professional videogame player only. Isn’t it? Honestly, that’s one of the many misconceptions widespread about esports.
Basically, esports is just like any other industry and there are tons of different, big, small roles in it.
So, to get started in esports, first, you need to open yourself up to options available. You’ll want to be clear about how you can contribute to the industry. Some of the roles you could think of are:
- Event manager
- Content developer
And, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Frankly, there are more roles in the space than you can imagine (including some well paying remote careers).
Apart from that, bear in mind that if you’re bent on getting a job as a pro gamer ONLY, disregarding your skill or performance, you’ll close rather than open doors for yourself and limit your chances of getting a breakthrough at all.
The point is, if you want to land a job in esports aim for the niche that best matches your credentials and skills.
For example, if you’ve got a major in marketing look for esports marketing jobs. Or are you great with videogame analysis? Then search for analyst jobs in the industry.
Makes sense? OK, so what’s next?
Dedicate Plenty of Time to Video Gaming
Practice, practice and practice.
Even if you’re not going to be a pro player it’s important that you spend a major chunk of your free time practicing and playing the games you are into. Because the gaming scene is all about perfection.
Didn’t get it? See, the gaming world is ruthless when it comes to competence. The average won’t pass muster. Only, and only, the fittest will survive in this space.
That means if you lack deep knowledge of a game, if you’re not THAT good with your role, chances are you’ll never ever make it big in esports.
The reason is that esports is mostly patronized by youth and they want the best of the best. They’ll never settle for anything less than perfect.
So, if you’re looking to be a gamer: no-brainer – practice like hell.
If you’re eyeing an analyst position for some game, say, Call of Duty – play and ‘study’ it as much as possible.
If you’re seeking a marketing post stay on top of the game and get into the gaming series, event or competition you’ll be merchandising.
Get In Touch With Popular Esports Companies
Believe it or not, gaming firms are always on the lookout for enthusiastic gamers and esports experts.
Since the industry is slowly gaining acceptance with the traditional, stick-in-the-mud mindset, many new, interesting positions are opening up in the space.
Interestingly, the industry saw a 5% growth in job opportunities last year. And the future is even brighter.
Therefore, it’s the right time for you to prepare a killer CV and drop it at the esports firms near you.
You should face no difficulty finding awesome gaming companies if you live in the American states like Texas or California that are hosts to top esports firms like Immortals Gaming Club, Cloud9, Mavs Gaming, etc.
However, if you’re out of luck with location, you could attempt finding relevant jobs online on common career sites like Hitmarker, Indeed, Glassdoor.
And, that’s not all. You could also use LinkedIn to look up famous esports personalities, connect with them and send them customized pitches describing how you can offer them value.
With this step, you’ll definitely up your chances of landing an esports job many times.
Attend and Network at Esports Tournaments
Tournaments are a great place for all those longing to get a break in esports. These events are basically contests between pro players from around the world, but there’s much more to them than just plain competition.
These gaming events serve as a hub of immense possibility, where on the sidelines gamers, commentators, analysts, investors, distributors network with one another and strike deals.
Some of the famous leagues that hold high-profile esports tournaments include Mountain Dew League, Capcom Cup, Dreamhack, Esea, etc.
To slip into one of these events you’re either going to need a pass or be an authority in the gaming world for a smooth, easy passage.
But there are many local leagues as well that allow free entry to beginners.
What you can do is do a quick Google search on your local firms that organize video gaming tournaments, mark the next event taking place in your city and be sure to attend it.
If you’re a player, these events will be a fab opportunity for you to gather a solid team for yourself by socializing with other players in the same game.
Moreover, you can still cash in on the events even if you’re not a player, competitor, by networking with relevant higher-ups in the scene. And, if you have excellent communication skills you’d really just be inches away from your dream job.
Do Everything You Can to Rise Above the Crowd
Finally, esports is a space where you need to be ready to bend over backwards if that’s what’s needed to get entry into it. Once you’re past the entry point and the wheels start rolling and you may wind up somewhere worthwhile.
To make a place for yourself and stand out, the smart move you can make is to start volunteering for esports companies – work for them for free only to acquire esports experience.
There are lots of gaming firms that seek volunteers for their routine events and provide experience certificates.
Aside from that, and since you’ve got to ‘get there’ by hook or by crook, you could start writing on esports for any popular website, or do their graphics, or whatever you’re good at, free of charge. This way you’ll be sure to add valuable esports experience to your resume.
Further, if you’re ultra-pro at some game, say, FIFA or maybe Street Fighter, you could even begin streaming – you play and fans watch you live online.
Actually, streaming is a huge thing in itself (in 2020, a whopping 1.2 billion people viewed live gaming content) and so if you’re lucky to hit the jackpot esports firms will be racing to get in touch with you, not the other way around!
The Bottom Line
So, those were the five sure-shot steps you can take to get into esports. And, you should get started with them ASAP because the space is gathering steam fast and there’s already an influx of candidates at esports firms.
To prove your worth and to secure a spot in this business you need to hone your skills, whatever they are, designing, marketing, writing, commentating or, gaming itself.
Also, it’d be a great idea to gulp down a couple of networking books before you set out on your esports job hunt.
Because, as said earlier, you’ll be meeting and networking with so many people. And, a reliable communication skill-set in your backpack will help you in rapport-building more than anything else.
And, on a parting note, let’s touch on the very first step that before you even start thinking of an esports career, decide on the niche and find your true calling.
To be blunt, not everyone can be a pro gamer.
Alright, so let’s connect in the comments section. What does esports mean to you and how do you plan to get into the industry? What’s your strategy? Let us know.