The electronic sports industry, or esports as it has come to be known, has grown exponentially over the last few years and is expected to cross the billion-dollar mark by 2022. Along with its expansion comes the employment opportunities to build a successful career is esports. However, a lot of people still do not count digital sports as conventional – like football and cricket. None the less, total viewership for esports by 2023 is expected to reach 646 million, from 454 million in 2019.
While it is still debatable if the gaming industry can already be considered ‘mainstream’, online games like CO:GO (Counter-Strike:Global Offensive), PUBG, Minecraft, Fortnite, etc. are increasingly receiving more and more investment opportunities. As per reports, the number of investments in esports doubled from 2017 to 2018, going from 34 to 68 respectively. Investments in 2018 amounted to $4.5 billion in 2018 from just $490 million in the previous year. That’s a growth rate of 837% across stakeholders including electronic sports organisations, tournament operators, digital broadcasters and more. Companies like FaZe Clan are also aggressively expanding into verticals like merchandise to gain more notoriety for their brand.
In today’s day and age, you have several options for careers in gaming to consider. In addition to becoming a professional player or being a part of a professional team, you could consider becoming a professional esports caster, a professional streamer, an influencer and more. And these are all besides the technical skill and talents required to develop a game, like designers, sound engineers, script writers and so on.
Yet, hundreds of people give up their dreams for lack of time, experience or energy to develop the skills required. Sometimes lack of knowledge is the primary issue and some guidance is all that is required. Granted, to make it to the top echelons of gaming – where most of the moolah is – requires you to work on things like branding, sponsorship proposals, social media activities, coaching and strategies and what not which takes up valuable time that could be spent on practice and doing what you love. But it is what it is and that’s all part and parcel of being among the best in the world. So if you’re seriously considering taking the plunge into the gaming world, here’s an elaborate guide to increase your chances of having a successful career in esports.
Launching a successful career in esports
Of everything you require to be successful, the most important thing you need, when launching, is time. Time to actually accomplish what you’ve set out to do. If you dream of living the luxurious life of a pro-gamer, you need to put in hours and hours of practice to get there. If you want to be a professional coach you will need to acquire substantial amounts of knowledge about games and be well-versed with coaching itself. This too, will take time to achieve.
In addition to the hardware you need and time to practice your craft, there are other crucial components that need your attention too. You need to fit these critical elements into your daily schedule if you want a successful career in esports:
- Mentorship, personal coaching and guidance
- Setting business goals and culling out potential revenue streams
- Design, branding and content production
- Social media marketing
- Self-help stuff related to physical and mental well-being
Platforms like Squid provide access to the necessary knowledge, strategy, support, marketing and coaching to accelerate your career. With a team to handle the workload for you, all you have to do is focus on your choice of career and practice.
Consulting is imperative for those taking the first steps into building a brand seriously. It is very important to determine business goals to keep track of progress and know what direction you should be moving in. Identifying potential streams of revenue and using them to the fullest will also cushion your survival and growth in the esports industry.
The role of consultations is to give feedback and prepare everything with regards to your brand. The planning is all done prior to any moves so that the future is panned out and made easier to follow. Consultations with the right folks will give you a better idea of the esports environment. Business Consultants are paid to assist, suggest and bring about improvement in performances in a cost-effective way.
Consulting has a result oriented approach and are meant to identify problems, if any, bring up solutions and strategies to deploy them to capitalise efficiency.
Designing a brand
To make a name for yourself is to make a brand of yourself. Everything associated to you should evoke an emotion or point in an over-arching direction associated with your brand. You need to define your brand and the route you want to take. Who you want to be seen associated with and what you want to be seen as.
Designing is imperative to creating a brand. Visually, it is important to have a cleverly designed logo. It is critical to have this to build a successful career in esports, regardless of whatever path you may choose. A logo can make or break a brand, hence, powerful, impactful design elements do fuel your esports career.
In the early stages, most people have simple design requirements and may do it themselves. As you grow, however, you will need more quantity and quality so you may have to resort to using professional designers – it saves you a lot of time and headache too. In addition, they could even provide you with guidance being that they are professional experts.
Build a website
In somewhat of a continuation with the previous point, designing a website is an indispensable power move. The internet makes information easily accessible and owning a website gives you the advantage of showcasing yourself to the world. Most people at the start of their career in esports cannot maintain a website or don’t consider it important just yet. The issue with is that you are then limiting the world from gaining access to you.
If you’re just starting out, even a simple landing page would suffice – especially to reach out to sponsors and investors. Some of them may even ask you for it. You could hire professional web designers to ideate, create and develop it further or you could also turn to esports service providers and let them take care of it for you.
Social media marketing
Social media can be a blessing and a curse, the trick is to use it well and benefit from it as much as you can. It is a powerful tool that enables your followers or fans to follow you and feel connected.
It is a good place to share career updates, lifestyle updates, opinions and other announcements. If you use Twitter or Instagram, for example, just one sentence and an image to go along with it dies the job perfectly well.
To get the best out of social media it is best to develop a social media campaign. These campaigns are are created to promote your brand and personality to the people that follow you. The more content you post, the more you visibility you get and chances of gaining even more followers.
Allow yourself some time to research and study what a good social media marketing plan is. It will take time to understand this and even more to get the hang of it. Just know that you will get better at it by and by and once you do, your social media marketing strategy will attract many benefits. In addition to visibility and followers, you will gain connections, business opportunities, brand collaborations and more.
The content you put out is what will attract and update followers, generate hype, provide insight and promote your brand – and the best way to do this, is through videos.
Written and images are a great way to communicate too but videos are the most attractive, easy to consume and appreciated format of content. Popular esports personalities, whether players, casters or streamers, all use videos. However, being that videos are also the most technically challenging format, compared to blogs and images, oftentimes they resort to outsourcing the work. Depending on the type of video you want to create, you will need a script, overlays, transitions, animations, sounds, lights and more.
As you climb the ladder to success you will need a team of editors and producers who will be incharge of the video content you create. You will need to consult with them to decide the topics for your videos, the type of videos you want to create, the length, platform-specific requirements and other important information.
Coaches and psychologists
It is your career, so it’s only natural that you’d want to go at it alone. However, you could speed up the process by getting yourself a coach, someone to give you advice, tips and tricks.
All professional athletes, in esports or otherwise, have coaches. It is extremely beneficial to one’s progress and helps you stay focused. In addition to professional players, this is also applies to other career choices in esports. Casters may require voice coaches, streamers may need coaching too and so on. The less additional load you carry the easier it becomes for you to focus on your own career and doing what you love.
Looking from the outside in, most people do not realist that psychology is an inherent, crucial part of reaching the top of the pyramid and staying there. Almost all top level players, coaches, casters, etc. have group or personal sessions with psychologists.
There is a lot of self-reflection involved in the process as there isn’t much room for negative emotions. This also looks after the mental health of a person. Another major thing to keep track of on your path to esports greatness is sleep quantity and quality. Pro players are increasingly turning to sleep coaches to maintain their mental well-being. Sleep is considered one the most important aspects of being successful in the word of esports.
While there is no shortage of career options to choose from in the world of esports, not very many people are actively participating in it just yet. Being that esports is soon to be at par with traditional sports like football, basketball, tennis, etc. the magnitude of activity and reach is pretty extreme. There are also several million-dollar tournaments taking place each year. Therefore, it may possible that one finds it a little daunting to break into this environment, in addition to the work you will need to put in to achieve your goals.
That is all the more reason why a holistic approach to a career is esports helps. You can only see the nuances when you break down the larger picture into smaller pieces. For example, a successful professional caster will require to put in months of hard work – behind the scenes – to gain deep knowledge of the game; voice training; dealing with sponsors; marketing; social media strategies and more. Doing all of this alone is taxing.
In light of this, there are esports service platforms that cover every aspect required to being a successful esports personality. They break down the tasks and services into manageable moves. Depending on the package you choose, you can plan and develop your brand in consultation. They offer design and content development for website, social media and other requirements. You could even get coaching assistance and psychologists to help you on your journey.
These services provide you access to the necessary knowledge, strategy, support, marketing and coaching to accelerate your career. Choose your program and get started.