Esports Needs More Than Players
This Article was contributed by Matthew Carrico, Editorial Intern.
The esports industry has done many things to benefit students, faculty, and campuses in middle school, high school, and collegiate esports scenes. These can come in the form of scholarships, team building, educational growth, and making lifelong connections. Esports has also gone out of their way to benefit those outside of this spectrum.
There are organizations such as Generation Esports that look to expand the appeal of esports into fields such as corporate, military, adult recreation, and youth. One of the biggest benefactors to come out of the esports industry is the rise of careers in the field.
A recent article by KentWired highlights a few people who have made careers out of a passion for esports. It mainly focuses on representatives from Kent State and the University of Akron but does a good job of highlighting some of the many opportunities that the esports field has to offer and it extends to the outside of gaming as well.
The first person featured is Paul Rondeau of Kent State who originally planned to pursue a career in the military but went on to form the campus’ League of Legends clubs which has grown to more than 300 members. This inspired Rondeau to seek a full career in esports, specifically event planning and managing.
Event planning in esports involves the organization of various events both small and large scale. This can include tournaments, scholarships, and even club matches for practice among team members or anyone interested. There are various venues to consider as well including conventions, collegiate, and community events.
Rondeau talks about reaching out to AllMid, a company specializing in esports event management, and from them has learned to coordinate events in regards to games like Fortnite, Rocket League, and Warzone. Event planning is a big part of the esports industry when it comes to matches taking place and the overall action. If you are interested in this path, check out AllMid’s website for more information.
Highlighted next is Ben Vrobel of Kent State who acts as the social media manager of the esports programs at the school. In this day and age, social media is a pivotal part of getting messages out and esports is no exception. Vrobel entered the esports scene with an interest in varsity Rocket League but wanted a career that leans more into the PR field. It was thanks to the club that allowed him to gain experience in his desired field.
When it comes to social media management, this field helps build the brand of an esports team on various social media platforms and reach out and interact with fans of your team. This helps to foster a greater connection between players and the audience on a digital platform. It is also a key part when it comes to the news on your team as people want to be updated about specific events whenever possible.
Moving on to Hunter Walls-Wood of the University of Akron. He acts as a coach for the esports program there. Walls-Wood started with Call of Duty growing up and began to play in tournaments at the age of 15. Now as a coach, he oversees the actions of all varsity players when it comes to professional development. In his own words, he acts as sort of a “team dad” when compared to coaches in standard sports.
Coaching in esports is built similarly to traditional sports. Esports coaches serve as the catalyst for inspiration when it comes to the development of teams. They are meant to train players both physically and mentally and develop team tactics and plans while working in tandem with players via team meets to strengthen confidence and teamwork.
These are just a few highlights of what the esports industry offers when it comes to your career path. It is a common misconception when people think of esports as being a professional player or coach in the field when there are a wide variety of fields to choose from in reality.
Rondeau mentions a few in the closing statements of the article and highlights career opportunities in journalism, graphic design, human resources, and marketing as each has its own paths. Journalism can include news about various topics in the esports world. Graphic design comes to mind when designing logos and such for things like social media and tournament venues. Human resources can be useful when it comes to maximizing the potential of players, coaches, and other members of the industry in order to achieve success. Finally, marketing is key in the promotion of various things such as teams, merchandise, tournaments, etc in an effort to appeal to audiences.
There are definitely a wide variety of opportunities for esports players as new games come out to potentially form new dedicated leagues but helps to think outside the box when pursuing potential career opportunities. It helps to look beyond the collegiate scene when searching for a calling in esports.
There are plenty of nonprofit organizations specializing in esports where you can get your start like with 100 Thieves, Team Liquid, and Evil Geniuses just to name a few. Ready Esports has a website post with information about esports careers that go outside of gaming. It highlights companies and brands like Blizzard and Riot Games along with links to their professional career sites. For those who are interested, it might be worth looking into it.