Digital sport is a versatile industry and there is a huge scope for professional gamers as well as other jobs.
The eSports (electronic sports) industry is growing fast unlocking viable employment opportunities in the field of digital sports. So, is eSports a mainstream industry? If you are thinking about physical sports like football and cricket, eSports is yet to make a breakthrough into the mainstream culture. A lot of people are still unfamiliar with the gaming industry and consider it as casual sports or a hobby. But the gaming market has matured extensively in the past few years driving more than $1.1 billion global revenues in 2019.
Online games like PUBG, Minecraft, Fortnite, CO: GO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive), etc. are scoring high in viewership charts and companies want to invest more in this booming industry. However, before venturing into this industry one must understand that eSports is not only about gaming. Digital sport is a versatile industry and there is a huge scope for professional gamers as well as other jobs like casters, commentators, and other support staffs appointed by the eSport tournaments like producers, editors, analysts, product manager, game tester, referee, production crew members, event managers, social media managers, etc.
Still, having doubts? Here is a hands-on guide to kickstart your gaming career.
Six Ways to Get into the eSports Industry
1. Sign Up for Gaming Courses
For those who are passionate about a career in eSports can opt for degree courses like BA (Hons) in eSports, diploma, or even scholarship programs offered by reputed universities worldwide. Online education portals like Coursera and Udemy also offer several gaming courses in eSports specialization. Apart from specializing in gaming skills and game theory, these courses also help in handling the business aspect of the eSport industry like:
2. Choose your Niche
Are you a pro gamer or an amateur player? Pick up a game based on your skills, experience, and interest. Newcomers may find it tough to survive in well-established games. Upcoming games help to navigate the resources and hone your play styles. For well-trained pro gamers getting into professional levels is much easier and helps them to make a mark in the industry. For others who have good communication and PR skills or experience in marketing, can think of getting into other job roles in the eSports industry.
3. Look Out for Opportunities
Like any other profession, you need to go out there and look for fresh opportunities. Reach out to tournament providers and broadcasters or join a company and gather relevant work experience. Volunteering is another way to gain hands-on experience in this field. Sign up for unpaid volunteer jobs such as event manager or technical support staff and learn the basics about how to run an official tournament, host programs, or assist visitors. Internship programs add value to your resume and can help you get hired in prospective companies.
4. Practice, Practice, and Practice
Gaming is all about practice. If you want to be a pro gamer, you have to practice tirelessly and master the game mechanics. Watch live-streaming videos and look for new players and learn their tactics. Replay and go through your matches and identify your mistakes. See how pro players are playing the game and improve your game strategies.
5. Take Part in Competitions
Practice alone is not enough to climb the ladder of success. Go out there and take part in competitions with real players and assess where you stand. Connect with quality players and see how they are playing the game. Build a team with professional players and learn various skill sets. This will give you a competitive advantage and help you get recognized in the eSports community.
6. Stay Focused
Take your profession seriously. If you want to be a pro gamer you need to focus on your job and practice regularly, but do not get burnt out in the process. Playing games and spending hours in front of a computer can be addictive. Stay balanced. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, take adequate breaks, motivate yourself, and gather knowledge about your work.
Top 5 Careers in eSports
Apart from being a pro gamer, there are a multitude of job opportunities in the eSports industry. Let us have a look.
eSports journalism is an exciting career for those who are interested in writing news stories, opinion pieces, features, and articles on star players, tournaments, and general news about the eSports industry. To get interesting scoops and stories, an eSports journalist has to be intuitive and enthusiastic and maintain a good relationship within the industry. He/she is responsible for choosing stories for publishing, editing and proofreading stories, and assigning tasks to team members. Above all, work ethics is also important to decide which story to publish so that it is not detrimental to the image of the player or the company.
Pro gaming is one of the most exciting jobs in the eSports industry. They are masters in their respective games and play for team leagues and eSports companies. They need to fly to different countries and participate in tournaments. Pro gamers should be professional and work closely with their coaches, team members, and managers. Legend players need to participate in interviews and fan meet-ups.
Product managers play a dynamic role in the industry. They develop business and social media strategies, take care of PR marketing campaigns, develop specific products and services, analyze the market, and manage eSports events. They collaborate with other departments and sponsors and also develop new apps and accessories for the organization.
Game testers or QA (Quality Assurance) testers are experts who ensure that the games operate flawlessly and detect bugs or glitches in the game. They operate during the initial stage of the game launch and ensure all the levels are working properly. They possess good analytical and technical knowledge and have an eye for detail. Game testers are expected to work long hours and document all the details about the performance of the games.
An eSports tournament referee or admin monitors the tournament and ensures that the team players are adhering to all the rules, and settles disputes. He should have good interpersonal skills and vigilant to resolve disputes and come to a suitable decision. Admins should have a good understanding of game rules and ensure that the game is played ethically within the stipulated time.