Would you find comfort in knowing there is a wide range of professions within the esports industry? We had no idea just how many incredible jobs people could pursue within the world of video games.
What jobs are available in esports other than gaming? Most people think the only career in esports is professional gaming. In reality, there are jobs in management, operations, sales, event planning, coaching, travel agent, and even social media coordinating.
With esports quickly becoming a billion dollar industry, more fantastic jobs are becoming available beyond gaming. There are limitless opportunities for upcoming talent in the esports world.
Wouldn’t you like to be considered one of the building blocks of a billion dollar industry?
Setting the Stage for Esports Jobs
We can try to ignore the numbers all we want…but the esports industry is here to stay.
Our society is dominated by digital trends and screens making it easy to see why esports is thriving. Esports is all about finding the next cutting edge technology and being on the digital map.
This also really resonates with the younger demographic and people coming straight out of college.
Our friends at the Electronic Sports League (ESL) have an incredible description of what esports means and where it’s going.
“Esports enjoys worldwide recognition as the fastest growing segment of media and entertainment, with the youngest and most coveted fanbase. ESL has shaped the history of Esports, creating more opportunities for participation and progression than any other sport.
It’s a sport where anybody can experience the thrill of victory. For us it’s more than business it’s a form of entertainment where everything has a voice and where everyone fits in and anyone can stand out.”
– ESL, About Us
This is the influence and draw of esports. It’s an industry that is welcoming to everyone and provides chances for success to anyone.
You’re in Good Company
Brilliant and successful people are investing in the future of esports. Including Michael Jordan, Mark Cuban, Steph Curry, and Tim Robbins.
They obviously see the potential for esports. They wouldn’t waste their time and money otherwise.
The typical assumption when looking at the esports industry is you have to be a professional gamer or there’s no future for you.
This isn’t even remotely true! I love the way ESL put it, “…[it’s where] everyone fits in and anyone can stand out.”
You can’t have a billion dollar industry without various companies having employment opportunities.
I think you’ll be as astounded as I was when you start seeing some of the stats for employment opportunities within esports.
These stats and figures are from last year (2018). They look impressive now but keep in mind these figures are only going to grow in the coming years.
In 2018 there were over 2,400+ unique jobs posted on esports job boards! Most of them were within the United States, and more than half were paid positions.
The positions ranged from ground-level jobs for those just beginning their careers to executive C-suite positions.
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Below are the most used esports only job boards.
You don’t even need a deep understanding of video games to pursue these careers!
As long as you have the skills and desire to help a growing industry, you’ll find an opportunity
Esports is for Entrepreneurs
The esports industry is very young, making it ideal for entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs are designing and building an industry that has never existed before. It needs professionals that can continue to push technology, recruit the best players in the world, and find companies willing to sponsor tournaments.
Professionals with an entrepreneur mindset are needed to push the industry over that $1 billion revenue barrier.
I hope this is as exciting for you as it is for me! Let’s keep going…
The nice thing about esports is it’s a worldwide phenomenon.
There are jobs and companies all over the world looking for talented professionals.
Most of the jobs in the United States are on the west coast, Seattle and California.
With esports deep ties to wanting the best in cutting edge technology, it’s not surprising to see why so many companies took roots on the west coast.
Facebook, Google, and other Silicon Valley companies call California their home. Making it a significant draw for esports professionals and companies.
States like Texas, Georgia, and Florida are quickly getting in on the esports action.
DID YOU KNOW?
Texas billionaire Jerry Jones owns and operates an esports team out of his football training facility The Star.
Major companies also have offices in Europe, China, Taiwan, and even in South Korea.
[Note to Parents]
If you’re a parent, hopefully, you are encouraged. Your child’s not joining a dying industry but one that’s growing and thriving.
[Note to Gamers]
Don’t be shy to pursue a career or to tell your parents that you’re seeking a career in esports. There’s a ton of potential!
Look Who’s Hiring
When I began researching open positions in esports I quickly made a discovery. I had no idea who the companies were that were actually hiring!
In case you don’t know either, here’s a breakdown of some of the larger companies, their locations, and what they do.
Blizzard – King of the Hill
The granddaddy and most influential company in esports is Blizzard Entertainment.
Job board: https://careers.blizzard.com/
Blizzard has been around for a long time as a video game developer. They’re known for creating the video games Hearthstone, Starcraft, Heroes of the Storm, and most importantly in Overwatch.
Being the creators of these games has given them incredible influence in the industry.
Starcraft was one of the first games to be played on the esports international level.
Blizzard’s influence even extends beyond esports. They created the incredibly popular video game World of Warcraft.
Blizzard has offices in various locations with their main office located in California.
In addition to designing video games, they also operate their own esports League, the Overwatch League. Which is quickly taking the esports world by storm.
Between their video game design department and their own esports league, the job opportunities within Blizzard are huge.
I believe Blizzard describes their company culture best, “We’re on a quest: bring our dreams to life and create the most epic entertainment experiences, ever. Hard work, iteration, and polish go into the Blizzard “secret recipe,” but the most important ingredients come from talented people who share our vision.”
They have job positions that can fit just about anyone’s strengths.
Riot Games – Join a Riot
Another incredibly popular video game developer is Riot Games. They call their employees Rioters.
Riot Games are well known for developing the game League of Legends.
League of Legends is the most popular esports game in the world! Routinely bringing in hundreds of millions of viewers to their tournaments.
Riot Games is a relatively young company compared to other developers. But they’re hungry and looking to dominate the esports scene.
To understand Riot’s core values, here’s their very own description of the company’s culture, “We strive to create a supportive, creative workplace where Rioters thrive because that enables us to focus on what matters: players.”
Like Blizzard Entertainment; Riot Games has an international footprint with offices and available positions all over the world.
Their main office is in California.
ESL – Work on the Front Lines
If you aren’t interested in working for a video game developer; you can work for the Electronic Sports League (ESL).
Job board: https://about.eslgaming.com/career/
ESL is the world’s largest esports company and operates many of the largest tournaments in the world.
Their sole focus is on promoting esports products and hosting tournaments.
ESL’s main office is located in Germany with other locations in the UK.
One Word: Twitch
Changing gears, let’s look at a company that is neither a developer or management company, but is vital to the growth of esports.
Job board: https://www.twitch.tv/p/jobs/
We all know the esports industry is on the cutting edge and is pushing the limits of technology.
As such, it’s not surprising they don’t use the same technology as other sports leagues.
Twitch is an online streaming service allowing players to broadcast themselves playing video games live. It’s used by amateurs, professionals, and esports leagues to showcase their sport.
Many of you may not have heard of Twitch. As you can imagine a streaming service requires professionals with a profound understanding of technology and computers.
Here’s a statement from Twitch’s own job board on how they are pushing the limits of technology:
Twitch is one of the biggest users of bandwidth in the U.S. and in the world. We’re building our own video CDN to make sure that we provide the best service possible, and we’re doing it as quickly and efficiently as possible.
– Twitch, Our Challenges
Surprise, surprise their main office is in San Francisco, California.
You Guessed it, Amazon
Amazon is everywhere and they are heavily involved in esports.
Job board: https://www.amazon.jobs/en/teams/amazon-game-studios
And they actually have their very own developer studio, Amazon Game Studios.
The Actual Jobs
Let’s do a quick recap of what we now know…
Esports is an industry that’s thriving, and we know some of the companies hiring; but what are the real jobs available within the industry?
The esports industry is vast; with many different facets. This means there are jobs for just about every person.
With esports goal of becoming a $1 billion industry by 2020; they’re looking for excellent storytellers.
Communications, Blogging, Writing
Professionals that excel at writing, communicating, and having a great personality.
These games and tournaments are larger than life events! Their stories need to be shared with the world.
Meaning there are always opportunities for bloggers and journalists.
People that have a passion for writing and want to help spread the word about what esports is doing.
Maybe even consider starting a freelance business where you get hired to write for a specific team or league.
Photographer, Videographer, Editor
Some of these journalistic positions could include videography and photography aspects.
In today’s world, videos and pictures are more consumed than text.
Being able to capture the excitement of fans at an esports event is very desirable.
You might even get the opportunity to film interviews, actual tournament matches, or even promo videos of teams using their sponsor’s products.
Social Media, Marketer
Those writing, videography, and photography skills could also help you land a social media job.
Correctly using social media is going to be critical to esports success.
Many athletes in esports have built a cult-like following using social media. They’ll routinely use Instagram, Facebook, and Twitch.
Social media makes it easier than ever to access these athletes. Making social media professionals very desirable!
The companies investing money in these teams and athletes want to make sure their assets are being protected, and the right stories are being told.
I really like how ReKT described a social media job within esports, “You are an observer of the vibe and a promoter of ideas that the vibe didn’t even know they needed.” Meaning you have your finger on the pulse of fandom for esports.
A social media specialist not only continues to feed people what they want but also gives them new content. The content they never knew existed, and they didn’t know they wanted in the first place.
Business Development, Sales
Continuing down the creativity professions mindset let’s look at sales and partnership management position.
Esports has to find ways to continue to bring in sponsors and corporate partnerships.
These partnerships are the lifeblood of larger sports leagues that keep them in existence.
As a sales manager, you could be tasked to sell tickets to tournaments, sell logo spots on players jerseys, or even sell the players themselves.
Many esports athletes have their own corporate sponsorships. They will routinely give these sponsors a shout-out on their Twitch videos.
You might even work for Mountain Dew or Red Bull where your sole job is to find athletes looking for these partnerships. Sell them on why they should join your team.
Speaking of Mountain Dew and Red Bull these are just 2 of the enormous companies investing in esports.
Part of selling could mean convincing larger companies to sponsor tournaments and teams.
Esports is still a relatively untapped market for sponsorships. With their viewership over hundreds of millions, it’s a fertile group for advertising.
If you have a knack for communicating and persuasion, there’s a lot of opportunities for success in sales positions within esports.
Technology, Coder, Developer
Do you love technology and computers? A perfect job might be working for a video game development company.
Working for Blizzard or Riot would give you the opportunity to design the games these athletes are actually playing.
You could design them, test them, be creative, and create the worlds that we all know and love.
These professionals are literally tasked with designing the future of esports. People are always developing new games that can change the sport.
Just because League of Legends and Overwatch are popular right now doesn’t mean they will continue to be the go-to games of the future.
Architect, Designer, Operations
Let’s change things up and focus on careers actually within the esports tournaments themselves.
If you read our previous post about Esports Arenas, you’ll notice that there’s a growing trend around the world to create sporting venues solely for esports.
CHECK IT OUT
What is Esports Arena? It May Not Be What You Think It Is
Some of the most luxurious venues in the world are right here in the United States.
Esports tournaments, fans, and athletes have very unique and specific needs that need to be met at these venues.
Understanding these needs is vital to growing the sport. This why companies like Blizzard are looking for incredible operations managers to run their stadiums.
These operation managers make sure tournaments run smoothly, get the athletes where they need to be, and keep the crowd safe.
Tournaments like the League of Legends Championship Series bring in hundreds of thousands of attendees.
Having someone trustworthy and smart to run these tournaments is of the utmost importance.
ReKTJobs describes an event manager as someone who is “…a coordinator of chaos.”
Whether you’re watching or attending these events, you’ll quickly notice there are actual professionals commenting on the matches being played.
These commentators are customarily called “shoutcasters.” They have a great personality, showmanship, and in-depth knowledge of the game.
Shoutcasters are responsible for explaining what is going on during the tournament to the fans.
They’ll give a play-by-play commentary, talk about the various players, and explain the strategies teams are implementing.
A good shoutcaster can make or break a tournament.
It’s an exciting position that can bring a lot of fame, gives you the opportunity to travel, and meet some of the most influential people in the world.
I recently saw a job listing for an esports travel agent.
When you have a group of 20-something-year-olds traveling the world the last thing you want to worry about is if they got to the tournament.
Companies want professionals in charge of getting teams where they need to be and make sure their flights and accommodations are taking care of.
What if you want to actually help the players competing in these matches? Try getting a position as an esports coach.
CHECK IT OUT
Do I Seriously Need To Hire A Gaming Coach?
Coaches will study game film and the competition to see what weaknesses they can exploit.
They will implement team building drills to make sure everyone is communicating.
Coaches will be hired to work with a team and with individual players. They keep everyone focused.
Some of these tournaments will have prize winnings worth thousands or millions of dollars. So people will do whatever it takes to win, including hiring a coach.
Referees ensure there’s no cheating or disputes during tournaments. They enforce all the rules and regulations.
In the article Referee, Foundations of Esport Competitions, Ellis Parker, Lead Referee at Riot Games, describes his job this way:
“We are here to ensure the integrity of the LCS (and LEC) in many different ways. It starts with the storage of the peripherals. No player has access to them outside of game time, which is necessary to ensure that there’s no modification or manipulation of the equipment. Before the season starts, we ask all the teams to send us the peripherals they intend to use. We then share that information with our technicians, who download and install all the necessary drivers onto the stage computers.”
Gaming House Manager
Another slightly different job that would only exist in esports is a gaming house manager.
A gaming house is where teammates actually live together to train so they can compete in tournaments.
Basic knowledge will tell you when you stick 4 to 8 teenagers to young adults in the same home there’s going to be conflict and drama.
To limit their exposure, companies have started investing in gaming house managers.
These managers responsibilities include making sure everyone gets along, keeping the house clean, and that the athletes are actually doing their job.
The last job I thought was too good to be true was being an actual meme writer.
If you are a creative person who has a passion for marketing and skilled at creating innovative and compelling content this job is for you.
This job sometimes falls to the Social Media Manager. But yes, your job would be to actually create memes from esports tournaments.
I appreciate the diversity of opportunities within the esports industry.
Getting a Job
If you are a seasoned professional you may be thinking, “It can’t be that difficult to get a job in esports.”
I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but the esports job market is incredibly competitive. There is a lot of brilliant young professionals trying to get into the industry.
Young professionals want to use their new degree and understanding of technology to excel their career in esports.
You’ll need to differentiate yourself from all the competition to obtain one of these coveted jobs.
Attend a Tournament
Try attending a tournament near you. See the passion on fans faces and the competitive edge these athletes bring to competitions.
At the tournament bring your resume and plenty of business cards. Socializing and shaking hands at these tournaments can significantly enhance your opportunity to get a job.
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Where Can I Watch Esports Competitions?
Knowing the right people can make all the difference.
Try using Twitter to break into esports by following some of the companies we’ve discussed. They post new job opportunities regularly.
There’s also a variety of different job boards designed explicitly for esports. Keep an eye on them for something you may be interested in.
Have your resume up-to-date, get some basic knowledge about the industry, find a company that’s hiring, and get that job.
Am I too old to pursue a job in esports? The short answer, no. While it is a young industry and companies are trying to find fresh talent that doesn’t mean there are no positions for the older generations. Esports wouldn’t be a billion dollar industry without people offering their vast business experience.
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lolesports/