Esports is the latest buzz of the town. Youngsters are going crazy for computer games especially games were they have to compete with one another. This competition among players has given rise to the esports industries where professional players compete to win titles and championships just like any other physical sport. With the growing knowledge and interest in esports, career options as an esports players have also expanded. So, an obvious question that is asked many a times is ‘how to make a career in esports’.
Therefore in this post, we would be discovering how anyone with apt skills and interest in this field can make a good living through esports.
How to Start a Career in Esports
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.
If you are struggling to take your first step in entering into the world of esports, then the following six steps are a good place to start:
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:
- Managing team events.
- Learning about ethical and legislative laws governing the eSports ecosystem.
- Game design.
- eSports marketing.
- Social media marketing.
- Event promotion.
- League management.
- Live streaming.
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.
Other Job Opportunities in Esports
The Non-Gaming Job Types In eSports
You might come to a point where competitive gaming isn’t in your blood. Maybe it won’t even be something to consider for your future career choices, but you may still feel that the eSports spirit is still there.
Well, you can wipe those doubts away because when it comes to eSports, there are non-gaming job types you can try that’ll get your career going, even when it doesn’t involve you competing.
You may say, “Really?” Yes, really. Here are some of the non-gaming job types you can try for yourself.
You may think the journalist has no place in the world of eSports, but you’d be making a huge mistake to assume that. The journalist can make quite a lot for an eSports career. How so? For starters, eSports journalists have the opportunity to get things rolling and reporting the status of the eSports world.
From blogs to videos, journalists can bring the world of eSports to viewers everywhere with a personality and charm. You can think of it as being the Jimmy Kimmel for the eSports news. Wouldn’t that be cool?
Another job type you’ll likely be surprised with when it comes to kick-starting your eSports career is being a commentator. You may think it’s nothing but think about someone like Joe Rogan. He was a commentator for the UFC and became a wild sensation once he put up his podcast show.
So when it comes to this job, it’s all about making exciting commentaries on how things are going with the eSports event while also sharing your personality and letting the users know what’s going on while keeping them engaged.
You might not have it in you to go gaming competitively, but you know your strategies like the back of your hand. In that case, start your career as a coach. You’ll exercise your inner Sun Tzu for this job type and get a team to become the winners.
It can be tough to do this because you need to know your team members because of their strengths and weaknesses, tolerance, and other details that will help you establish a great path.
But the reward for pushing through with this is you’ll be able to see the game from a higher view. It’s easy to say you’re no longer the soldier in the eSports world: You’re the commander, and you got what it takes to make the strategies you’ve got in mind work.
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In a sense, the manager role is broad in the eSports world, especially for the non-gaming types. One manager role you can go for is the social media manager, where you handle how an eSports team is portrayed in the social media outlets such as making media posts and tweets.
Another manager role is being the event manager, where you’ll be organizing events and orchestrating the things that must be done to get the events to run as they should be. It opens up a lot of opportunities, and it’s excellent to flex your managing skills.
These are just some of the types you can tinker with when you want to have a non-gaming run for your eSports career.
5. Production Crew
Another way to get into the world of eSports without playing is being part of the production crew where you’ll handle how things are broadcasted for the viewers.
You might think it’s not all that important, but you have to wonder indeed: who handles the way videos are taken? How can editing be done in a way that it’ll come out exciting for the users online? If you got the skills to make broadcasting cool, then this is the one for you.
Ways Esports Players Make Money
The most common ways these players make money include prize money from esports tournaments, everything that involves streaming and sponsorships. However, prize money is not always easy to come by and is not guaranteed since you need to win to get the money. While the best of the best do win from time to time, it is incredibly hard to win enough consistently to make a living.
That is why esports players also stream. Through streaming platforms like Twitch, players can make money in a couple of different ways. Fans of certain streams will donate money to their favorite esports players. Paid subscriptions are also a great way for streamers to make money, which gives fans certain luxuries that people that watch for free do not have. Sponsorships are huge for streamers as well, as they have companies pay them to use their products or run ads for their products over the player’s stream. Typically, the streamer will also be provided a discount code that they will share with their viewers and when people use the code, the streamer will receive a percentage of the purchase amount.
How Much Does an Average Pro Player Make?
It sounds weird to say “average pro player” together, but it makes as much sense as the average pro NFL player compared to an elite NFL player. The pay wage ranges depending on talent and popularity. That being said, the average pro player still sees a decent amount of money roll into their account. If they are on a team, the average team salary is about four thousand dollars a month, equating to a $48,000 salary. Then, the median player earnings from tournament prize money is roughly $8,300. On top of that, they would also receive about $1,500 each month from just streaming.
A few esports streamers actually reel in about $5,000 per month, but those are top tier, most popular esports players. With all of those sources of income combined, the average pro player takes in around $74,000 a year. Not bad for doing the bare minimum in terms of being a pro esports player. Of course, this does not include social media presence, but those numbers are hard to follow. Some streamers gain popularity on YouTube or TikTok before eventually getting those fans to follow their career on Twitch or another streaming service. Some of these esports athletes have such a large following on social media that they actually start another source of income through the different applications.
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Establishing an eSports career can be fascinating.
While traditional folks out there will see it as nothing; it’s got opportunities when you forge on. From the gaming to non-gaming types, there are many jobs for those who are willing to give it a shot. So out there and build your path towards a great eSports career!