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Esports Career Guide: Finding The Right Job

Feb 16, 2017
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Image via Pinterest.

Give it up, 3k scrub. You’re not gonna become a professional gamer. 

Look, it’s time to face the facts: the odds of going pro are heavily stacked against you. You already know this. Maybe you’re choosing to ignore it. But don’t quit school because you want to follow in the footsteps of people like EternalEnvy.

Esports Careers - How to Become a Pro Dota 2 Player

“Professional player” isn’t the only esports job out there. Chances are, you’ve got the right set of skills to do something in the esports industry. If you want to get involved in one of the fastest growing international job markets, you owe it to yourself to learn more about career options in esports.

Esports Careers: Statsperson

If you like statistics and you like esports, this job might be for you. You’ll join the ranks of well-respected analysts like Nahaz, Noxville, and Scantzor. These guys collect match data and turn the numbers into something interesting to the viewer. If you watch Dota, you’ll often see little popups show up during matches with facts about hero picks, win rates, or individual players–all of those are put together by an esports statperson. In addition to appearing on the occasional panel or analysis desk, Nahaz puts together videos that use statistics to predict Major Invites.

Or, if your talents extend into design, you can make baller infographics to display said statistics:

Esports Careers - Graphic Design
Image via Reddit user Berthikins.

Esports Career Options for the Extroverted

Now, if you’re an extrovert, don’t worry. There’s lots of room for people with people skills in the esports industry. Casting or being a panel host would likely be the career of choice, but it’s a long road to get there, and you’ll need to work long hours in the meme factory before you start climbing the talent ladder. In the meantime, you can aspire to be the next SirActionSlacks.

It’s almost as hard to get discovered as a caster as it is to go pro, so producing other kinds of content is probably a safer bet. One day you can wear suits better than Bruno. (Actually, that’s impossible. Bruno has the best suits.)

Becoming an Esports Writer/Journalist: Join Us!

Real talk: I found this job through a Reddit post without any past experience creating esports content. The next time you feel strongly about an issue in the esports industry, write a page or two about the subject and keep it handy as an example of your work. If you’re interested in starting your esports career with us, we do have volunteer openings designed specifically to help newcomers get acquainted with the professional side of esports. If you’re interested in getting a feel for what it’s like working as a writer in the competitive gaming industry, contact us to learn more about our Volunteer Writing Program.

Graphic Design: Web Pages, Merch, Promotional Content

While some organizations handle their esports merchandise quite well, for the most part I find it pretty lacking. This is, it seems, especially true for the vast majority of Dota teams. Graphic design employment is often contract-based work, but designing a shirt or a new logo or even a website for a team is an effective way to get your name out there. Down the road, these connections will lead you towards bigger projects, bigger clients, and a bigger paycheck. Look at the web dev for Digital Chaos–he even gets to meme on the job.

Careers in Esports Video Editing and Production

These openings can be a bit harder to sniff out, but the world of esports runs on video. Simply put, studios, pros, and personalities need video editors to help create content. This is definitely skilled labor, and it’s not something you’ll be able to figure out on the fly, but if you’ve got video editing experience, your skills are in high demand. Working on the production side of esports, especially at live events, is another possibility. Of course, serving as the admin for a gaming event is perhaps only suitable for those who enjoy hitting themselves really hard in the head, but when it comes to esports, there are hundreds of people involved in making a live event run successfully. You could be one of them.

*Editor’s note: if you’re interested in submitting a portfolio of your work and discussing employment with Esports Edition as a video content creator, please contact us via e-mail at editor[@]esportsedition.com.

Bilingual Translator for Esports Teams/Events

Smaller teams and organizations may look to hire translators on an as-needed basis, especially when they’re not provided by a tournament organizer. The best opportunities are probably reserved for people fluent in Mandarin and English, but South American teams and CIS region teams may be in the market for Spanish/English or Russian/English translators. Beyond the Summit even launched a Spanish-language spin-off channel that casts games en Español.

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7k Game Knowledge, 2k Motor Skills: Esports Coaching

Many teams employ coaches. Often they’re established personalities (ex-pros or casters), but a tier 2 or 3 team might be willing to offer you a chance to coach them. You’ll need to have references who can vouch for your knowledge, competence, and effectiveness, but if you’ve got the brain for it, give it a shot–try coaching a team of your friends to see if the job is a good fit for you.

The Sky’s The Limit

Valve notoriously keeps a small staff, but working at Blizzard is always an option. Riot’s workforce might also a good fit for diehard League of Legends fans. There are also Dota podcasts, workshop designers, music composers, and a host of other positions out there.

Some of these positions might mean that you have to be a volunteer for a while. It’s not perfect, but in an industry this young, it’s a logical consequence of having a willing workforce without the proper training experience. Don’t quit your day job just yet. Wait until you’ve gotten your foot in the door. Starting a career in esports is all about making your talents and hobbies fit the landscape of the industry in the broader sense. You don’t have to be a 7k pubstar to be part of the world of esports.

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Kara Jacobacci
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Kara has been following professional DotA2 since the TI4 qualifiers. When not watching matches on Twitch, she can be found working (or attempting to find work) as a geologist and enjoying nature.
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