Over the last few articles we’ve been exploring some of the opportunities in esports, and how you can get started in a career in these different fields. To close things off we’d like to discuss the largest individual field of work in the esports industry outside of the games themselves: Media.
This is a very big subject. In much the same way that the broadcast of sports is an entire industry on its own through tools like television and radio, esports has developed a massive network of broadcast, discussion, promotion, and analysis through different platforms on the web. Understanding how to engage with and capitalize on these opportunities is important, and we’d like to point out some of the biggest platforms today for those who aren’t familiar with them.
All media around games begin and end with one platform; Twitch.tv. If you’re at all familiar with esports, it’s almost a guarantee that you have heard of or visited this platform at some point. In a nutshell, Twitch is the central hub for all live-broadcast gaming content. Tournaments, practices, entertainment, podcasts, and more are all centralized through Twitch. People make a lot of money from the platform every day, and it has been extremely successful.
So how do you make a living off of Twitch? Streamers receive income from a few sources, notably through subscriptions and donations. If a viewer likes a channel, they can pay a small amount of money each month to support the broadcaster. Viewers can also donate money directly, sometimes to meet special goals. For most users, it is all about consistent streaming and a concentration on making your content entertaining. Take the time to understand the basics of a tool like OBS, which handles the actual streaming, and watch some big streamers to understand what they do to stay entertaining.
Beyond streaming, the most common media work in the esports industry right now is without a doubt editing and distribution of video gameplay. After a stream is done, or a tournament has finished, editors are hired to cut the live broadcast up into digestible video content for platforms like YouTube. There is a HUGE amount of work available for editors who like constant small contracts. To pursue something like this, any editing experience is good, but a degree in film or media is very valuable.
Finally, it will likely come as no surprise that marketing online is a huge industry. People who can understand how to get good visibility on platforms like Twitter are very valuable. This can go further, to creative advertising adventures promoting Twitch, designing jerseys and advertisements for teams, and promoting tournaments and other special events. Any media marketing degree is extremely valuable on this front or any other education that places an emphasis on understanding social media.
Overall, the best way to get into the industry on the media front is to create content. Get on Twitch, get on YouTube, or start interacting on Twitter. It will always take time for your voice to get noticed, and for you to build the skills you need to take the world by storm. The best time to start is now.