There's more to esports than Twitch streams and energy drink sponsorships — this legitimate industry is full of promise. Experts at Newzoo claim that the global esports audience will exceed 453 million this year, as individual events regularly draw huge crowds. For example, top esports company ESL recently reported record attendance of 174,000 fans at IEM Katowice, which boasted an impressive viewership of 230 million.
Elite esports players can realistically expect to earn millions, but not everybody has the makings of a top League of Legends or Dota 2 star. Lucrative opportunities certainly don't end with gaming, however. The recent rise of live esports events has spurred a variety of career paths that were entirely unheard of just a few years ago. Esports-related job listings saw a dramatic increase between 2017 and 2018, with nearly 1,300 active job postings as of September 2018, according to the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA).
With the myriad of new opportunities comes increased competition as a new crop of aspiring professionals sees esports as a legitimate career path. With proper training it's possible to gain an edge on the competition and score your dream job. The following esports jobs are among the most promising:
With increased interest in esports comes the need for more extensive event coverage. Content strategists can play a key role in satisfying this growing demand while also building strong relationships with sponsorship brands. To succeed in this rapidly evolving market, however, esports content strategists must develop a thorough understanding of their audience and what, exactly, resonates with players and fans. This knowledge is then translated into compelling content, including videos, blog posts, and social media updates. Success in content strategy also relies on a thorough understanding of marketing principles which can best be gained with a BS — Advertising & Marketing Communications.
Relationship building forms the core of the esports partnership manager's job. This important individual is responsible for building and maintaining strong relationships with a variety of brands and organizations, including game studios, event organizers, content platforms, and even social media influencers. Partnership managers should demonstrate creative vision while also thriving in a collaborative environment. JWU Online's Bachelor of Science in Business Administration — Management program paves the path to the effective application of administrative concepts in contemporary practices such as esports.
Technical breadth is key in esports engineering; in addition to writing code, engineers may be asked to maintain, secure, or deploy it. Uniquely collaborative, esports engineers may work with designers, product managers, and data analysts to solve a myriad of problems faced by both players and fans. Ideally, engineers will be passionate about esports and determined to advance the niche through data-driven initiatives. This data-driven approach is best fostered through the BS — Computer Science program at JWU Online.
On the hunt for a unique way to apply the skills and concepts from your BSBA — Human Resource Management program? As an esports recruiter, you would be responsible for attracting the talent that will ensure a bright future for new esports initiatives. In addition to scouting talented gamers, esports recruiters may be responsible for securing a variety of other employees, including coaches, content providers, UX developers, and more. They should discern not only which leads are the most talented, but also which are best capable of upholding the organization's values.
In a quickly evolving niche, brands need to develop a solid understanding of exactly what convinces fans to show up at events. Likewise, sponsorship brands and content producers alike seek to understand the impulses that drive casual viewers. This is where a team of skilled market analysts with niche gaming knowledge can come into play. Like conventional market analysts, esports analysts are responsible for collecting and making sense of fan data. Their findings support not only marketing operations, but also ticket sales and partnership building efforts. A BS — Digital Marketing & Social Media will grant you the skills needed to succeed in esports and a variety of other data-driven environments.
Given the ever-increasing scope of live esports events, effective event management is critical. Esports event managers hold broad authority over virtually all aspects of live events, including staging, infrastructure, branding, lighting, security, and more. While successful event execution relies on advance planning, it also requires managers to think on their feet and act fast. Creative solutions may be required in a variety of unforeseen situations; it is the manager's job to ensure that the event runs smoothly, no matter the circumstances. A BS — Sports, Entertainment, Event Management can equip you with the unique skill set needed to succeed in this exciting and demanding niche.
Gamers may receive the bulk of the attention, but it takes a village to keep the esports industry running at full speed. As demand continues to grow, so will the need for talented and passionate professionals. If you're looking to get involved in a fast-paced industry with huge potential for growth, you may be the perfect candidate for one of the many jobs in esports outlined above. Whether your talents lie in content strategy, recruitment, or event management, you can easily find your niche within this exciting field.