Everyone says that if you turn your hobby into a career, you’ll never work a day in your life. This isn’t possible for everyone, but finding one in a sector where your hobby is dominant may make your job more enjoyable. If you’re a passionate gamer, you likely have a gaming PC and you may even aspire to be a professional gamer, who plays in tournaments seen by millions around the world. So how do you turn a love of gaming and eSports into a career?
The pro-gamer life
If your favourite game happens to be an eSport and you’re one of the best players you know, a career as a professional gamer might be an option. Don’t be afraid to start small – find a local team and join that, and work your way up the teams to the highest level. You could also stream your gaming sessions, showing your skills to a wider audience and work your way into the world of eSports. This is a good way to keep your skills sharp. Don’t become addicted to the games as you’ll need to look after yourself, so remember to go outside and keep a good balance.
Behind the scenes
There’s more to an eSports team than the players – there are coaches, analysts, marketers, event managers, product managers and more. They all work behind the scenes to help pull off some of the most spectacular gaming events around.
If you don’t want the pressure of being a pro-gamer, but you have excellent game knowledge and analytical skills, consider becoming a coach – you can then point out to the professional players how they need to improve to be the best gamer possible. This is another thing you can demonstrate by streaming games, either on your own or while playing with a friend as you can show off your ability to analyse the game and what players, including yourself, need to do to improve.
Working behind the scenes even further will let you work in the industry, especially if you have a love of the games, but your skills aren’t what you’d like them to be. The eSports industry needs accountants, marketing executives and administrators as much as any other industry, so if that’s where your skills lie, there might be opportunities in eSports that suit you.
eSports is becoming more and more like physical sports – matches are reported on, players’ lives are of interest to the fans, team rosters are important news. eSports journalism is another way into the sector, providing strong communicators with an opportunity to put those skills to good use.
You can kickstart this career by starting a blog, writing your analysis of matches, events, team rosters and providing in-depth content to fans. If you use social media to share and tweet your articles, you might even get the notice of particular teams or events.
eSports is no different from any other sport: the matches need hosts and commentators. If you’re good at explaining what’s happening to people who may not be experts, thinking quickly ahead to the consequences of certain actions in games, or even just have an enthusiasm that comes across constantly, then hosting and commentating may be perfect for you. You have to be able to think on your feet as you watch the event, interview guests and competitors, and keep people entertained as they watch the competition.
Things to remember
One of the most important things you can do to start a career in eSports is to keep an eye out for opportunities. These might include ways you can volunteer, internships you might do, or even job opportunities on both eSports specific and general job websites. Anything you can put on your CV that is related to eSports shows that you’re passionate and seeking opportunities where you can use your skills in that industry.
Another really important thing you can do is to find a niche or specialisation. While being a generalist might seem good, if you have skills or knowledge that isn’t common, you’ll find it much easier to start a career in eSports than you would otherwise.
There are plenty of ways to be involved in eSports, even if being a professional gamer isn’t quite right for your skillset. Use what you have, take every opportunity you can to show what you can do and apply your skills in unique ways. Find a way to specialise, making you invaluable to any team. Learn whatever you can, and apply your new expertise to make you even more attractive.