Getting Started in Esports
The world of esports is quickly becoming something worth mentioning. Years ago, when someone mentioned esports, no one really knew what they were talking about, some people might have been able to guess, but many would have been completely clueless. Now, don’t get me wrong, gaming conventions were still prevalent, the MLG (Major League Gaming) existed, and esports commentators were seen as celebrities in the right circles on YouTube. But none of that added up to even half of what exists today.
The Rise of Esports
I published an article about a week ago, talking about the state of gaming and that there has never been a better time to get into gaming. Part of that success is due to esports, and part of esports success is the significant increase in new gamers, it’s a very symbiotic relationship. So, what’s really changed? To begin, many cities are forming and sponsoring gaming teams. There are well known and popularized city leagues for many of the popular games, one of the most well-known being Call of Duty Modern Warfare. My favorite team, The Florida Mutineers, OK, I may be a bit biased living in Florida.
Another large portion of the success of esports can come from Blizzard Entertainment; Blizzard has been working hard since its early days to make esports a profitable venture. Starcraft has always been one of the most popular esports games, even making it into an Olympic-ish event, with Intel’s pre-Winter Olympics. Blizzard has also been pushing one of their newest games, Overwatch, into the esports limelight even going as far as to pay esports players salaries in order to keep them in the game. This move was part of their Overwatch League initiative. The current growth of esports is truly unprecedented.
How Do I Get Involved?
With all the buzz in the esports world, many able fingered gamers are chomping at the bit to find a way to get involved. One of the most well-known entries into the world of esports is by online content creation. Sites like YouTube, Twitch, and Mixer give aspiring gamers an outlet to show off their skills to the world and hopefully draw either the eyes of the world or at least from an esports recruiter.
The next way to get involved is via social media; we live in a world where influencers have immense power, and this is no different for the gaming and esports world. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and even now TikTok give content creators huge captive audiences to show off their latest play, gaming setup, or just their unique personalities. Of course, one of the best uses of social media is to network with other gamers, streamers, and professional esports players. It never hurts to reach out and try and make a new acquaintance.
Finally, there are a ton of different organizations, leagues, organizers, and more looking for various levels of staff. From being a writer to helping setup arenas, there are a ton of jobs open in esports. Its always been a well-known concept to get involved in any way you can in your chosen industry to make the right connections and eventually land your dream position. The gaming community is bustling in our current economy and has always been pretty social.
What Does it Take?
Dedication, it all starts with dedication to the cause. Much like any profession, it takes a lot of hard work to get big in esports. It can start off as simple as setting a schedule to game but eventually moves into a constant social activity, lengthening hours, personal marketing, and networking and learning a bit about video and graphic production. Any individual looking to get into this industry should view themselves as a bit of a startup, which means it will come with all the necessary work.
Time is definetly something to consider when trying to break into the industry. Many of the big streamers find themselves streaming for eight or more hours a day; don’t forget this is a real full-time job, so one should expect to work as much if not more than someone working a typical 9–5 job.
As far as content goes, there is a lot of debate. Some streamers will tell you that you have to stream the popular games and that unless you are playing one of the top 5 games, you’ll never grow. This theory does have competing thoughts, as many streamers live by playing games off the beaten path as they’re what they like to play, and that’s what makes them unique. My advice is to play what you’re trying to accomplish. If you’re looking specifically at esports, play games that are active in the esports scene, if you’re just looking to become a streamer, then play what seems right to you.
At the end of the day, diving into esports can be a daunting process, but the good news is that there is a never-ending supply of resources on the web on how to get started. From YouTube videos to blog articles and insider interviews, anyone can find their way in with the right amount of work and research.
Of course, if you’re looking for a shortcut in and want a helping hand, check out our site over at aquatik.org. We’ve just launched a new league and are actively recruiting players, streamers, and content creators.
If you’re looking for more information on becoming a streamer or content creator, stay tuned as I will be releasing some more articles very soon.