Welcome to part three of our four-part blog series, ‘Exploring Esports’. So far, we’ve looked at the history of esports and competitive gaming, as well as the current state of the modern industry (have a read here if you haven’t yet). This week we’re looking at ‘Esports Job Roles’. Read on to find out what kinds of jobs are available in the industry currently, what those jobs entail and discover how you can work in esports without being a player, team manager or directly involved in tournaments.
It’s no understatement to say that the list of possible careers within esports is vast. So vast, in fact, that you can be involved in the industry without ever touching a controller and yet still have a real impact on the sector. As we’ve already explained, this industry is growing every day and with that comes new requirements for all sorts of different esports job roles to support it. Transferable skills are of huge importance as the more adaptable you are, the wider the scope of your work will be when it comes time to join the professional working world.
First, let’s look at competitive teams and the esports job roles that sit behind the people competing and coaching (we’ll include some great links for further reading about each role where possible, as we go). On and around the average esports team are:
Professional Player - This one’s quite obvious really. These are the people that compete, starting with amateur competitions and working up to the big leagues. The best of the best at their games of choice, they sit within teams that have specific roles based on the game. You can expect to practice for around 10 hours a day or more, so within the industry, there’s a huge focus on health and fitness to avoid burnout. Top professional esports players often compete for multi-million pound prize pools, so it’s easy to see how this can become a lucrative career if you’re able to reach a winning standard.
Analyst and Coach - Again, another potentially obvious one. These are the guys on the ground, helping players prepare and train. Like any sport, coaches are a key part of a player’s career. As an analyst and coach, you can expect to watch back competition recordings to pick out areas of improvement, and then take that to the team and work with them to fix those gaps and refine their playing skills. You’ll have to stay in the loop on game changes, other team’s playing styles, identify the strengths and weaknesses of your own teams, support their physical and mental health and strategize for tournaments. You’ll put in around the same amount of time as professional players, but when your team succeeds, so do you. So it’s worth the effort.
Team Manager and Owner - The team manager oversees everything, working with both coaches and players to get the best results they can out of the team. A manager has the responsibility of making big decisions about the direction of the team and covers everything else that a typical team owner from any sport would expect to be doing, including hiring, branding, marketing and planning. Get it right and you’ll reap the rewards of the team’s success.
Team Marketing/ PR Executive - Successful marketing activities can bring sponsorships and partnerships, bigger tournaments and more money generally, but it’s also a complex job that you have to navigate carefully. Reputation is everything, and one mistake or mishandled incident can push your team off path long term. That’s where you come in. Marketing and PR in esports means promoting the team in a positive way to the industry and the public as well. It also involves crisis and reputation management; in the event of an issue occurring that could damage the team’s reputation, it’s your job to be on the ball and to resolve that in a positive way quickly. Hours can be long, but it can be a lucrative and rewarding career.
Community and Social Media Manager - Your community are the fans that watch your team’s tournaments and wider esports, invest time into supporting them and engaging in the sport. Imagine it as football fans who watch their teams play every week. A community and social media manager uses social media such as Twitch, Facebook, Snapchat, Reddit etc to market the team to the community. You’ll spend your day thinking up engaging digital content, feeding back community response to the team, helping to build partnerships and generally ensuring that the team you’re working with are constantly in front of the people who care.
Partnerships Manager - Ticket sales, sponsorships, hardware and merch sales, customer and fanbase growth are all things that this role covers. Your intent is overall revenue building and handling the partnerships that push your team to the next level. People skills are essential in this role as you’ll be customer facing, outwardly sharing the positives of the team and turning that into money to invest back in.
The above covers the main ‘in team’ roles. Now, let’s take a look at wider, more tournament specific roles:
Shoutcasters (Commentators) - You probably won’t need me to tell you that commentators are a vital part of the experience of watching sports. It’s no different with esports. A shoutcaster as they’re known in esports, commentates broadcasted tournaments and matches. This role is all about engaging regular viewers, whilst also helping new viewers understand what’s happening. You need an energetic and outgoing personality, with the confidence, knowledge and ability to put on a show and get people excited about what they’re seeing. There are two distinct styles of casting; play by play, a running commentary of everything happening in the match, and colour which provides more detail and explanations of events.
Admin - Does what it says on the tin. You will oversee tournaments, ensure rules are followed, hand out penalties if required, handle player disputes and keep things on schedule. You’ll even help to solve any in-game or event issues. Knowing the tournament and games are essential.
Broadcasting - Again, probably self-explanatory. Get behind a camera or a lighting system and make sure that the audiences watching at home or in the arena can see and hear everything that’s going on. In this role, you’ll be directly contributing to the atmosphere of the event and you’ll also be responsible for capturing post-match interviews and press snippets.
Lastly, let’s look at other esports job roles that fit into the industry but that can work across multiple teams:
Agent - An agent is one of the most unique and varied roles within esports, but if you want 9-5, this isn’t for you. This role isn’t just about getting players signed to teams (though that’s definitely a big part of it). You’ll represent players, possibly throughout their careers; helping with their branding, securing sponsorships and getting them in with the teams that have the power to reach the top. You’ll also look over contracts, spend a lot of time negotiating and generally support the person or people you represent. This isn’t an easy role to get into. If you fancy it, you’ll need to be a self-starter, building networks and relationships with esports players, teams and the wider industry from the outset. Though whether you’re a freelancer or working with an agency, expect a world of opportunities.
Legal and Finance - These roles are anything but boring. Think creating contracts, handling disputes in and out of court and managing the accounts of what can be multi-million pound organisations. You have to be great with numbers, people, negotiating and legal documents. But if you’re interested in law or finance, you won’t find a more varied and interesting industry than esports.
And there you have it. A brief run through of esports job roles. This list isn’t exhaustive and there are many, many more roles directly and indirectly related to esports, meaning there’s something for everyone. Here at ACC, you’ll find our Level 3 in Esports Management. You can expect a bespoke, industry-ready curriculum, combined with our decades of experience in educating future creators to get you equipped with the transferable skills you’ll need to capitalise on esports in whichever area you want to go into.
If you like what you see and want to experience first-hand what you could be doing in September, meet our staff and find out more about why we’re the best choice for you, you can also sign up for our open day on July 5th at 6 PM.