Jan 29, 2021

How to Get a Job in Esports

by
Nicolas Lucente

The esports industry continues to grow every year. Getting involved with the industry, one way or the other, is a smart move. The most obvious way to get a job in the esports industry is to be a professional gamer, but that is easier said than done. Being a professional gamer takes a lot of work and is not always guaranteed money. However, there are other ways to get involved in this industry. Plus, having a passion for video games is something a lot of people have. People that turn passions into careers tend to be happier people and you will actually care about what you are working on. If you are someone that wants to work in the esports industry and does not necessarily want to be an esports athlete, then this is the guide for you.


Why This Career Path is Good to Look into

By the end of 2020, the global esports revenue is estimated to hit $950 million. The industry is expected to pull in over $1 billion in 2021. It is safe to say that esports are not going anywhere anytime soon. So, getting a job in the esports community could potentially be a great career choice that most likely has a guaranteed future. Of course nothing is guaranteed, but video games are not going anywhere and with endorsement deals coming from all over, it is probably safe to assume the best for the industry. However, esports needs people that want to do everything else. The main focal point of every sport is its athletes, but every sport needs other people to help run the show. That’s where you come in.


Working behind the scenes in the broadcast studio for an esports tournament is one way to work in the esports industry. Image courtesy of weplay! esports.


The great part about the esports industry is that it is still very young. There are multiple career paths to choose from within the industry. According to Venture Beat, jobs range from being a travel agent for “esports tournament organizers, to managing a gaming house for a team on a full-time basis, to even being a freelance meme specialist earning $17 an hour!” Where is the best place to find a job in the esports community? Well, there is an amazing website called Hitmarker that has over 11,000 active listings in more than 50 countries. The website claims to be the “largest gaming and esports jobs platform in the world,” and they are probably right. In reality, finding a job in esports is not too difficult. Getting the job that fits your expertise best is the hard part.


Tips for Landing a Job in Esports

Before we dive into all of the different types of jobs, it is important to have a gameplan. Just like when you are looking to find a job in other industries, you have to know what you are getting yourself into and prepare properly. Yellow Zebra Sports created a list of tips to help people get a job in esports. The first tip was to take yourself seriously and have the right mindset. While playing video games is a hobby for most, in order to build a career around esports you have to still treat it like a job.


As fun as it can be, taking a job seriously is still important. Employers want to see that you are serious about your work and that you are hitting goals. Going above and beyond is something all employers want to see and that especially applies to the esports industry that is still so young. Taking yourself seriously is also important for yourself since other people in your life might not think the esports industry is a legitimate career path, but you can’t let those people hold you down.  


Building your skillset is also important. In any field of work you will learn as you go and your knowledge for the industry will follow. However, in the world of esports, there are certain skills that you should probably take classes on to gain the advantage. Network Engineering, for one, deals with the way esports teams use data networks while training and competing against other teams. Taking a few online courses on the concept wouldn’t hurt. If you are looking to manage an esports team, understanding how to manage people and projects is important to know and a view online courses on the fundamentals of management would help.


Of course, you can always follow what you have learned in college through your major program, depending on what your major was. If you majored in Public Relations and Advertising, you would probably look more into the social media and broadcasting side of esports. If you majored in Finance, you could look into managing a team’s funding and financial stability. Point being, walk into whatever job you have prepared and if you feel unprepared, to educate yourself.


Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles is one of few esports only arenas in the world, making Los Angeles a hot location for esports jobs. Image courtesy of Hypebeast.


Yellow Zebra Sports also recommends moving to a city where the tech scene is prominent. This makes a lot of sense in order to find a place to get the most hands on experience. Luckily, there has been a rise of location based professional esports teams. Esports leagues, such as the Overwatch League and the new Call of Duty League, have chosen specific cities to place teams. In the United States specifically, these cities tend to be the bigger kind like Boston, Houston, New York City, Dallas, and Los Angeles. Of course you should look into the job market in each given area before moving, but these are some places to think about.


Getting a well paying job right off the bat is probably not going to happen. If it does, that’s fantastic, but realistically you will probably need to prove yourself before receiving a job offer. So, do not be afraid to work for free, whether that means being an intern or simply volunteering. Getting your foot in the door is just the first step, however you need to do so. Once you’re in, even if you are not getting paid, prove your worth through hard work. You will probably need to have a job on the side to stay afloat financially, but hopefully your hard work will pay off and you will eventually be offered a job by the company you have been interning or volunteering for.


While you are grinding away at that, you should also look into freelance work. Use your expertise to your advantage. This can be anything from video editing to creating logos to helping smaller gamers with their brand. You can sell these kinds of services on websites such as SEO Clerks and Envato Studio. Creating your own content is also a good way to show your expertise. Making YouTube videos and streaming on Twitch are both solid ways to continue gaming while also continuing the grind.


Professional esports teams look for house managers to help them with players’ day to day routine. This is FaZe Clan’s house in Los Angeles, there can be worse places to live. Image courtesy of Business Insider.


Finding Various Jobs in Esports

Looking back at the incredible website that is Hitmarker, they make it so easy to search for the right job for you. At first, the website seems overwhelming. There are so many options and so many different jobs and it can be difficult to pinpoint what would be the best fit for you. But after a second glance, it is actually quite simple. All you have to do is click “View Jobs” then the “Filter Jobs” button, from there it is very easy. You can pick a job title, job location, sector, company, job level, and even contract type before searching for all of the jobs that apply to your wants or needs.


As an example, let's walk through the search process. We’ll leave the job title section blank, then for location we’ll enter Los Angeles, Boston, and Pittsburgh. The sector section focuses on the area of expertise that you want to follow. Popular sectors include editorial and writing, video editing, coaching, social media, and graphic design. For this example, we’ll click editorial and writing and social media. We can leave the company section blank, select entry and junior for job level, and for the contract section we’ll click full and part time. And boom! With that specific search, two jobs popped up specifically catered to your needs based on the search criteria.


Using Hitmarker, someone was able to land a gig with the Philadelphia Fusion as a house manager. Oddly enough, the Fusion house is in Los Angeles, but that is besides the point. The responsibilities of the house manager included moving into the team house and managing the day to day operations of the players and content creators in the house. The house manager also needed to manage the budget for the house, resolve interpersonal issues between house members, and even plan events for team building amongst members. This might sound like all fun and games, but this job takes a lot of work.


We don’t blame you if you don’t want to be a house manager. Thus, here’s a list of other occupations in esports created by British Esports Association.


  • Shoutcaster/host
  • Coach/analyst
  • Journalist/content creator
  • PR/Marketing executive
  • Product manager
  • Sales/partnerships manager
  • Admin/referee
  • Organisation owner/manager
  • Community/social media manager
  • Broadcast/production crew
  • Event manager
  • Agent
Casters like Zirene have made a living commentating esports and interviewing players. Image courtesy of Esports Edition.  

British Esports Association also recommends finding a niche within the esports industry. As they put it, “Being an all-rounder has its benefits, but focusing on one area and specialising in it can go a long way.” Focusing on the skills that you are best at and working within your expertise will get you farther in the industry as you will see more success. Finding your niche also has to do with your knowledge on certain games. If you are an expert when it comes to everything FIFA or League of Legend, focus your work around those particular games. When you combine your mastery of a skill with your passion of a game, you will not only be good at your job, but you’ll enjoy every second of it.