How to Get into eSports
This is an often-posed question that can have two very different responses, mainly depending on your intend.
Are you looking to work in the eSports industry as a professional?
Or, are you interested in becoming a professional eSports player?
Indifferently to which of the above you are interested in, we will be answering both in the same article, as an individual might be looking to get involved with both. How are these two topics linked?
Well, numerous players shined due to their skill in a particular game and this helped them get hired by the company offering it; this is a very common practice by gaming giants, as they get to see the players’ perspective and optimise their platforms for ultimate entertainment.
First off, however, we will explore the eSports market in a more generic fashion, as it is still a market that confuses many.
What are eSports?
Are they sports or video games on the Internet? Some even confuse them with gambling games, not that they are too far off.
In a sense, eSports can be all of the above! Most people associate the term sports, with a real life activity that involves some type of physical exercise. However, the term sports is also closely linked with competition.
This is how the video games that were popular in consoles first, which then moved up almost entirely in the online sphere and became a world of their own, are called eSports today. They are not simplistic games that can be mastered in a day or that have a finish level, which you will reach at a certain point. The opposite is more accurate.
eSport games are often multiplayer games that incorporate competition in the form of leagues, tournaments, clans or player versus player mode – which require extensive skill and involve a whole world of strategies that can be applied to them. A single round might finish in 20 minutes, but the game doesn’t end there.
A new round starts from scratch, which might involve the same teams or another team, and the possibilities to win or lose are 50/50 again. This is were the term sports becomes central, as constant practice, mastery and persistence are required to reach the top in a given game.
Thousands of people play eSports online or watch others play them live and this were the ‘e’ meets the sports!
eSports vs Fantasy Sports
A very common misconception is that fantasy sports and eSports are the same thing. They are not.
Fantasy sports are replicas of physical sports that are based in real life statistics and create an independent online sports sphere. Players set up teams, taking the role of the manager, and compete with other individuals. The matches occur indifferently of how the actual teams proceed in real-life tournaments, although these can have an effect on the outcome of the fantasy sports tournaments.
eSports, on the other hand, are skill based games. These are not linked to sports in the traditional sense, as they include games that are not related to a particular sport. However, they are much more based on skill and practice in comparison to fantasy sports.
Most Popular eSport Games in 2020
The list of eSports can be endless, as each year more and more games are being released or improved, attracting players in the thousands.
2020 noted a huge surge in terms of the classic stars of eSports, such as League of Legends, CS:GO, Call of Duty and Dota 2 – which have more viewers and prize money than any other year. However, other popular eSports games, such as Fortnite and Rainbow Six Siege also grew considerably, establishing themselves within the eSports genre.
Let’s see below the top eSport games in terms of viewership and prize money in 2020.
CS:GO – more than $8,000,000 in prize money and the Katowice tournament was viewed by more than 1 million people.
League of Legends (LOL) – $3.200.000 money was given in prizes in this game and a 1.1 million people watched the LCK Spring Split Finals this year!
Dota 2 – $5.700.000 have been given in prize money at Dota 2 so far during 2020, while the ESL One Los Angeles – Europe CIS was watched by over 500,000 people.
Call of Duty – $6.000.000 in prize money have been allocated so far in 2020, while the Call of Duty League Championship weekend was viewed by over 300,000 fans.
Rainbow Six Siege – $4.000.000 million in prize money in 2020 and 300,000 viewers for the Six Invitational tournament!
Now that most readers are on the same page when it comes to the eSports genre, we can explore the two initial questions, before moving to a couple ways to make money from eSports!
Working in the eSports Industry
The eSports industry is one of the most dynamic ones in today’s economy. It keeps growing year after year and it booms even under the current environment. Celebrities are also entering this sphere slowly, which will only lead to further people getting interested to it.
The opportunities in this sector are numerous and there are even dedicated sites to helping professional land a job in the eSports market. Below, we will explore some of the major aspects that one must have or build upon to turn into the perfect candidate for this industry.
Identify your strengths and work on them
Most of the eSports companies are start-ups, which means limited budget. They are not willing to spend money to hire for generic roles, such as Game Specialist or Content Specialist. To be considered for a position in an eSports company, you should be willing to do more than one specific set of tasks.
For example, if the start up is looking for a digital marketing executive, you should be accustomed with many different areas related to this – such as SEO, social media and content marketing.
Your goal should be to offer as much as possible to the company, by providing solutions to problems that might not fall exactly under your role.
Stay up to date with the eSports current events
Although most real life events have ceased this year, eSports is one of the markets that transitioned successfully online. To be considered for a position in this sector, you have to be aware of all the major tournaments and events taking place. Watching them would be also valuable, but this might not be relevant to some positions.
Also, take into account the roles that might have been created BECAUSE of Covid in specific. This might secure you a part-time position or a freelance role for the near future, but your success could turn you into a long-term asset to the eSports company.
Use your geographical position to your advantage
If you are living in the US, then it is likely that many companies, small or large, involved in eSports would be within your state. Especially if you live in California or Texas, whereby companies such as Cloud9, Counter Logic and others are located.
Reaching to their HR departments or employees in key positions through social media, like Twitter or Linkedin, could help you much more than just sending a generic CV. Ask if there is a project that you could be involved in or whether there is a an opportunity for shadowing or training opportunities!
Tailor your CV & Cover letter to the eSports sector
The online world is filled with job opportunities in the eSport sectors, but this results in sloppy applications and quick applications that lack the personal element. Tailor your CV to highlight your work or volunteer experience, rather than your academic career.
eSports are a very hands-on sector, focusing on individuals who are tech-savvy and self-learners. If you can’t highlight how you fit in this environment, then you could as well not fit at all.
Don’t Waste your Time
If you are waiting to get a job in eSports to get familiar with the sector, you are not likely to get a job in eSports. Keep on top of the gaming world news, follow players on social media, watch live streams and tournaments and get involved with some games yourself.
Writing blogs, reviews or designing in relation to the sector is a must. Showcase your work and prove that you could be an asset to any eSports company.
Use Social Media to get an Edge
Twitter is many things, but it is definitely the hub for eSport players. Forums and Facebook groups are also a great tool that you should be employing to stay in touch with the sector.
Even if you don’t find a job through these channels, you can definitely make some significant contacts. Showcase to potential employers your PR skills and how you could naturally bring in new partnerships with top-tier players!
Can these 6 Steps help land a job in eSports?
Definitely. The era that new employees would showcase a degree from a glamorous University to get a job is long gone. Companies are looking for motivated individuals and self-starters, who are passionate about what they do.
Utilising the 6 steps outlined above will definitely help you get into the eSports sector. Finding your ideal job is hard, but doing your best to turn your passion into a career should be a solid motivator.
What about becoming a Pro eSports Player?
If the above section seemed like a challenge to you, then you should probably skip this part as a whole. Finding a job in eSports might sound hard or dream-like, but becoming a professional eSports player is so much harder.
As we mentioned above, the eSports market is huge, but the percentage of people who actually make money from gaming is tiny. This is why they are also making such high amounts from the tournaments. Hard work and commitment can make you a great player, but to reach the top in a specific eSports game, talent is also a prerequisite.
Nonetheless, if you read up to this point, you probably feel that you got what it takes. Below, we will be sharing a few steps that could transform you from a good player to a pro.
Find the Game that is Right for you
There are many types of competitive video games that fall under the eSports genre. We only mentioned the most popular above, but you should not choose based on that factor.
You must choose the game that you are best at and then slowly build upon your skill. Some of the genres include:
- First-person shooters (FPS)
- Multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBA)
- Real time strategy (RTS)
- Fighting games (FGC)
- Collectable card games (CCG)
- Massive multiplayer online games (MMO)
Watch the Pros
If you are accustomed with your game and you play regularly, you must have bumped into a real pro here and there. However, it is essential that you spent some time watching real competitive matches, the pros.
You can start off by watching some videos of the best moves or scenes, join a livestream platform such as Twitch or Azubu, and individual live stream channels of the best players.
These will give you an idea about what level of skill and mastery you would need to reach in order to join the royalty club within your genre. Nonetheless, don’t get discouraged quickly, as all of these players were once at bronze level.
Get your hands dirty
You should try a few different games and start playing in a competitive fashion. Don’t go overboard picking many games. Start with 1-3 games and see if you enjoy spending a lot of time playing these. If you get bored after a few matches, then you are definitely not built for this art.
Get the necessary equipment
If you are passionate about console games, then you must do some research and see on which console/s your favourite game is available.
For online games, building your own computer can offer you a much better and efficient gaming experience, but it can be very expensive.
You have to consider these factors before setting off for a career. eSports might end up getting you even more than a salary, but gaming requires some investment too.
Reaching the Next Level
All of the above steps are mainly the eSports player starter’s pack. To reach the next level, however, you must then focus to one game in specific and practice constantly.
Studying other players tactics is also a must; this can also be done by attending training camps or events. Many events take place online, so you wouldn’t have to spend transportation money.
Turning yourself into a Brand
The above steps are enough to turn you into a pro if you got the talent and you invest the time and effort that it takes. However, becoming a pro and getting your name next to the best names in the game of your choice is as hard. Below, we will explore how you can do this, as it is a whole art on its own right.
- Chat with other players
This might sound silly, but it is essential that you talk with the people that you play with, sharing ideas, strategies and tips; it’s also a great way to build some new contacts.
- Join a clan
You can build your own clan or join one. This is a very important choice, as it will highlight how far you are planning to go. You shouldn’t rush to join a group, rather find or develop your dream team. Most eSports are based on great communication and synergy, so, if you become part of a strong group – you are much more likely to reach the top faster.
- Join forums
There are countless forums related to eSports games in general, with some dedicated to specific games. Help others, get to know the best players and create an online presence of yourself – so that other players can associate an actual person with your gaming persona.
- Make a Website
Or, you can do all of the above at one go, by making a professionally gaming themes website that represents you, your clan and also offers a forum for anyone to join. This would also be the place where you could add your best streams and moments for others to see and comment on.
Monetizing your Online Presence
Performing the above for some time should be enough to get you started. Following these steps, you can make your own website, by using some amazing premium gaming theme, and start making money through eSports.
What can a premium gaming theme for a custom gaming website do for you?
- Easily personalised theme
- Clan matches
- Portfolio of your achievements
The above can be also professionally linked to your social media pages, engaging fans and followers to donate to you and help you make some money from your passion. From there, you could make some small amounts of cash to millions – it all depends on your skill.
But creating a professional website, like the ones offered at Skywarrior Themes, to showcase your skill is something that you own to yourself if you have performed all of the above time consuming and hard steps.
Can I Make Money with eSports Bets?
Lastly, this is a bonus topic for those who read up to this point. The short answer is yes. Gambling is the common factor between eSports and Fantasy Sports, as betting and iGaming brands love them.
Online casinos and betting sites have noticed the boom in the industry, and besides sportsbooks, casino games and online slots – they currently also offer fantasy sports and eSports betting options. Is it worth though?
Well, gambling is a risky activity that involves dangers and the other two ways that we explored in more depth are much healthier ways to make money through eSports. However, if you are a pro in a particular eSports game, then you could as well make informed bets on the next year’s League of Legends winning team.
To be honest, much lower risk is involved in betting at an eSports match, rather than playing any other casino game.