How to Get Into Esports
There’s no doubt that the esports landscape is vast and still growing. There are tens of thousands of game developers, various streaming services and platforms, brands and sponsors, and a wide demographic of players and viewers becoming increasingly involved. Thus, competitive gaming is making its way into mainstream entertainment. On top of that, the global esports economy has topped $1 billion in revenue.
In such a lucrative industry that captures the attention of millions of people and that is almost universally accessible, you might imagine that there are tons of esports career opportunities. And if you’re interested or invested in the industry in any way, you’re probably asking yourself “how do I get into esports?” We’ll lay out some of the biggest sectors in the esports space and offer advice on how to get involved.
How to Become a Professional Player
Becoming a professional at anything takes consistent hard work and dedication. If you are passionate about gaming and looking to become a top esports player, these strategies will help get you started:
- Pick a genre: Discover which type of games you enjoy most and choose a genre that best highlights your skills as a player. Some popular game types are real time strategies (RTS), multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBA), first-person shooters (FPS), card games, and fighting games.
- Pick a platform: Find the most suitable gaming platform for your chosen game. Consider your skillset, as well as your budget. Many games can be played cross-platform. The main platforms are PC, console, and mobile.
- Conscious practice: Similar to traditional sports athletes, becoming a professional gamer requires a lot of practice. Make sure to practice and study players of a higher skill-level, along with studying popular techniques — this will develop your skills over time.
- Find a team and take part in tournaments: For many popular esports, like League of Legends and Clash Royale, you need to find team members. Play regularly with a team, become accustomed to their play style, and establish rapport. Find gaming leagues/tournaments for your team to participate in. If you are a student at a school with an esports program, join the organization to kickstart your career and make lasting connections.
- Increase your online presence: Build your online reputation via social media, YouTube videos, and blogs. Make sure to network with other players too!
How to Get into Game Development
If you want to develop your own game and make it competitive, research the gaming industry, look at content produced by other game developers, and gather knowledge on the skills/capital required to create a game. Remember that esports include genres of all types across PC, console, and mobile. Identify your target audience and the platform that will work best for the game you want to develop.
To be considered an esport, your game must be skill-based, as this provides players with the opportunity to improve over time and compete against other real competitors. Provide players the opportunity to compete against others of equal skill, give them the option to enter match types of their preference, and make games fair and free of cheating/fraud.
Ensure that your game is fun and engaging. Follow the top tips for successful game development, including game ideation, creation of concept, prototype building, coding, and alpha and beta testing. Finally, launch your game and have a method to attract players to your game. Monitor key performance metrics for ongoing success. Always work with passion and excitement to create the best content possible for the world’s 2.6 billion gamers.
How to Get into Esports as a Sponsor/Partner
With million-dollar prize pools, revenues nearing $1 billion, and an ever-growing fan base, the esports industry is grabbing the attention of global brands. Coca-Cola, Mercedes-Benz, ESPN, and many others have been seizing the opportunity esports provide. If you’re non-endemic brand is looking to enter the esports ecosystem, follow these tips:
- Know the industry: Research and learn the esports market as deeply as possible. Studying the overarching themes and nuances of the industry, will not only help you identify your own objectives, but also the audience, their habits, and their needs. Look at brands currently involved in the industry and study their strategies.
- Determine your target market and set goals: Decide how you want to be involved and set clear goals. Do you want to sponsor a league, a player, or a specific game? Are you looking to gain greater product awareness or create a brand halo effect? Make sure you know the type of teams, viewers, and demographic you want to appeal to. Ads must be carefully targeted and engaging.
- Think about your impact: Integrate your brand in a way that enhances the gaming experience. Find the best ways to engage the esports community and recognize your opportunity to play an important role in the future of gaming. Remember that esports players, viewers, and other stakeholders are open and welcoming to sponsors, as long as the relationship is mutually beneficial and valuable.
In short, dedicate the time and effort into learning the esports industry, show your value to the community, and stay committed. If you approach sponsorships/partnerships with care and authenticity, you can enjoy the long-term benefits of positive brand equity.
How to Get Hired by an Esports Publisher
If you’re interested in pursuing a professional career at an esports publishing company, treat it like any other job search/application process. Hone your skills in the areas that show your core strengths and speak to your past work experience. Keep your resume and LinkedIn profile updated, utilize your professional network for opportunities, and search sites like HitmarkerJobs.com for open positions.
Get involved in esports in your community. Attend local tournaments and events to show your interest in the industry and introduce yourself to key figures. Even if you have never worked for an esports company, your investment in learning about the marketplace will serve you well when it comes time to interview.
During the interview process, express your excitement about esports and exemplify how you will provide value to the company. Make it clear that you have done your research on the employer and the larger gaming industry. Whether you’re looking for a marketing job, a technical career, a social media position, or something else, the esports space is teeming with opportunities.
If you’d like to get into the exciting world of esports, Skillz is hiring across all departments. Check out our careers page and apply.