People love watching video games and esports is big business. In a few years, esports has blossomed from a niche to a billion-dollar business. You can watch on channels like ESPN alongside other pro sports, or networks like Twitch.
Paydays can be huge for top esports players, though like any industry, there are many jobs and roles involved. There are a number of careers in esports, and you don’t have to be a player or pro gamer. Like any professional sport, there is a network of coaches, managers, analysts, commentators, marketers, and more that make the games possible.
Jobs in esports have grown 185.7% as of early 2019, and are showing little sign of slowing down. Esports is expected to grow to a $1.65 billion business by 2021 and some expect esports to find its way into the Olympics.
Esports is an industry growing in popularity with some hot career and job opportunities. Let’s explore!
When people think of careers in esports the first thing that comes to mind is becoming a pro gamer. Pro gamers are individuals with exceptional skill in a particular video game, or sometimes several video games.
Pro gamers are generally a part of a team and participate in tournaments in order to make a name for themselves. Professional gamers earn money from prizes, and an also have lucrative sponsorship deals. Pro gamers can potentially make hundreds of thousands of dollars if they and their team excel in the tournaments they participate in.
ShoutCaster & Commentator
If you’ve watched any televised sporting event, no matter how big or small, sportscasters and commentators call the action, deliver stats, facts, and anecdotes to supplement the game action. These sportscasters often have as big personalities as the players.
Esports usually have one or two individuals commentating on every match throughout the tournament. These Shoutcasters are the hosts of the tournament so to speak. They commentate on every match providing play by play and color commentary, and they usually have discussions about matches before and after games.
In addition to commentating, shoutcasters typically interview players from each team. They engage with the audiences at tournaments or on streams and they are generally very well versed in whatever game they are commentating on. It is not unusual for these individuals to be players of the games they cast.
Shoutcasters generally have extremely outgoing and exciting personalities that they use to engage the audience entertain in between matches. Their job is to make tournaments as exciting as possible.
Analysts are professionals when it comes to gathering information about a game and creating statistics to predict or even set trends, changes in the meta of a game, and provide information to teams and coaches.
Analysts use the date they gather for a given game and can help create tier lists, what strategies are best to use, which characters in a game are best, how the meta will likely shift in the future, etc.
Like in every professional sport, whether it’s the NFL, NBA, or MLB, every team has a coach. The same goes for esports. Coaches work with the players on their teams on an individual level and help players to perfect their skills. Identifying strengths and weaknesses and helping them to refine their skills as much as possible.
The primary purpose of a team coach is to ensure success for their team. They work very closely with their players to ensure they succeed in matches and tournaments alike.
In addition, coaches also have the responsibility of keeping order within the team. This may involve carrying out everyday tasks for the team and making sure the gaming environment in the pro gaming house the team lives in is adequate.
Team managers have multiple responsibilities and are in charge of a wide array of varying tasks. These tasks range anywhere from settling contracts for players, searching for new talent, organizing housing, getting teams into tournaments, finding sponsorships and partnerships, keeping staff and teams happy, ensuring travel and accommodations are properly taken care of, and a multitude of other miscellaneous managerial duties.
While this career involves a lot of organization, time-management, and busy hours, it is one of the most lucrative careers in esports.
Social Media/Marketing Managers
Team managers aren’t the only management position in esports. In the growing age of technology and everything being digital, there is a need for esports pros and teams to have a presence on social media, too. This is necessary because it helps build an image for a team, thus increasing their popularity which can help build revenue that can be used to promote a team even further.
Moreover, they need to have good technical skills and potentially video editing skills as well in order to create content and videos on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to help promote a team.
Like in other sports, there are rules in esports as well. Certain tournaments may have different rules and referees are there to ensure the rules are being followed by both teams. They also coordinate with the casters and make sure everything is running smoothly, on time, and as planned.
In addition they may have to deal with disputes between players and make sure there is no cheating or unsportsmanlike behavior.
Game Designers and Developers
Without video games, there are no esports. There is a huge industry around creating video games that has grown to rival the production of the film industry.
Game designers, developers, coders, 3D animators, graphic artists, voice actors, music composers, and more all contribute to the esports industry, and the gaming industry as a whole.
Quality Assurance/Game Tester
When companies are working on the next big game, they need people to run the game through its paces and find all the kinks, glitches and bugs. That’s what quality assurance specialists and game testers do.
These are usually entry level positions, and are a great way to break in to the industry. Not only do QA positions pay to play games, these jobs teach about the product life cycle, tools used for developing and quality control, and a look at what goes on behind the scenes in the gaming industry. It’s a great way to play and get your foot in the door.
Do you love to read about your favorite sports teams or athletes, and catch photos of their latest victories or appearances? Journalists cover the games and events to bring you the news.
Esports coverage of the latest matches, tournaments, and industry news are brought to you by dedicated journalists, photographers, editors, and publishers.
Related Post: Looking for more careers and jobs in STEM? Check out our post on STEM Carers and Future Proof Jobs.
Wrap Up: Careers in epsorts
Many kids (and adults) dream of getting paid to play video games. For elite players, esports can make this dream a reality.
If you don’t have the lightning reflexes or are not a pro level games but still have a passion for game, then you may still find a career in esports. As with any professional sport, there are a number of supporting roles around the players, and many jobs that make the business thrive.
People in these key jobs enable the players to do what they do best and allow the rest of the world to watch and root for their favorite players.