When people talk about a career in esports, most people think of kids playing video games for money. While that is the centre of the esports ecosystem, it is just a small portion of the career opportunities presented to people who want to work in esports.
The field of opportunity for esports extends far beyond play. The industry has grown a lot in the last ten years and has expanded to a slew of different fields in entertainment, business, management, promotion, and more.
Previously, we covered what the life of a professional player looks like. What we’d like to dive into today however are the reams of people surrounding the pros. These are the support staff, media teams, and managers that are required to run a pro team. All of these people coordinate their efforts to ensure professional players can dedicate as much time as possible on the game itself.
Analysts, theory crafters (strategic planners), and coaches train the players, scout opponents and new players, and design and test the strategies teams will use during the matches. In a similar fashion to professional sports teams, most of these support staff are players themselves. They have either retired, haven’t been signed, or just transitioned to the less stressful life of a support staff member. Other times these staff members are current or former sports specialists, brought in because their experience makes them extremely well-suited to guiding competitive 20-somethings through high-intensity competition.
If this is a career you are looking to get into, like most pro sports teams’ strategists, you want to start coaching at a lower level with your local team, school team or at a nearby college or university. From there its a matter of producing results and working your way up to be recognized by the pro teams as a top-notch coach.
Esports teams are still businesses, and just like any other business, these teams need a strong group of talented people working behind the scenes to make it profitable. These are the business developers, marketing experts, web developers, and general managers, and they handle most of the day-to-day operations of the team, such as player contracts and travel needs, accounting, branding, and sponsorships. Getting into one of these jobs has the same requirements it would at any other million-dollar company: a business degree and relevant experience.
If this is your dream job then university or college is the right start. Finance and management degrees are very useful, so explore what schools in your area have to offer, especially if they have something with a sports slant to them. Try to help out with your school’s (high school or university) esports programs and look into available esports or business-related co-ops to give you some experience in the field.
This is just a brief overview of the jobs available on esports teams and how to get into them. Did we miss a job you’re interested in? What more details about how to get into a specific job or think there is a better way? Let us know in the comments below.