Esports is such a competitive industry to enter, so we've put together a guide piece to teach you how to really increase your chances.
There’s no industry as exciting as esports. It’s the global entertainment phenomenon that has attracted investment from celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Shaquille O’Neal. As a result, we’re seeing more people than ever asking us how to get a job in the scene. This is a tricky question in any industry of work, but gets trickier still when looking for a job in esports as there are no obvious entry routes.
In truth, though, there are more opportunities appearing than ever before. We post hundreds of careers each month on our site, so you can take it from us that there’s a wealth of great jobs to be had in esports.
In this article, we’re going to list some steps you can follow to improve your chance of landing a professional career in this wonderful scene, before expanding on them and providing you with all the information you could need to become an exceptional esports candidate.
Here are our golden seven rules for how to get into esports
- Hone skills related to your core strengths
- Attend tournaments and events
- Explore opportunities close to where you live
- Spend time perfecting your resume and cover letter
- Be proactive in your spare time
- Utilize social media
- Check Hitmarker frequently
We'll expand on these later on in the article. We also created a video answering the question of getting into esports if you'd rather watch than read.
Those are the key points we think people looking to get into esports should focus on. Now let’s dive deeper into each of them.
1. Hone skills related to your core strengths
This might be the most complicated point on our list, but it’s actually fairly straightforward and will really assist you in finding a job in esports. A lot of the companies hiring in esports are startups with low budgets, and even the established organizations in the scene might have to be more conservative with their hiring budget than a company in a more established space.
Because of this, many esports jobs will require a candidate to juggle multiple roles within in a company as there aren’t enough employees to assign one to each area. If you can get ahead of the game and prepare your skill set for this sort of scenario then you’ll really boost your odds of working in esports.
We’ll use the graphic design sector as an example, as it’s a popular one on Hitmarker. A company might be looking for a graphic designer to work on their visual identity, but might also need this candidate to be able to create motion graphics for videos they produce. If you’re applying but can only meet the graphic design responsibility of this job, then your application will usually be less valuable than someone who has motion design as another skill in their wheelhouse.
A good tip for getting into the esports industry is to identify your core strengths (in this example it was graphic design) and try and build up skills related to it. Then, when you see esports jobs that suit you you’ll either meet the requirements they have or exceed them. Both of those are great outcomes!
Examples of other sectors where you can build up related skills are:
- Marketing - explore digital marketing, influencer marketing and social media
- Social media - look into community management, creative writing and basic Photoshop skills
- Writing - research SEO and content marketing
Ultimately, you want to make yourself as valuable to the company you're applying to as possible. Adding skills like this to your arsenal is a fantastic way to demonstrate that value.
Our partners at the University of California, Irvine have several high-quality remote learning programs that can help with this. Check them out here and see if one looks of interest to you 👉 https://htmr.kr/UCI
2. Attend tournaments and events
Due to the disruption COVID has caused around the world, live events are just one thing that has been stopped in tracks. As such, this point isn't quite as relevant as normal.
Lots of esports professionals sing praises for how far attending tournaments and events can get you. So is there anything you can do when travel and large gathering are limited?
Yes, actually, there is. Soon after COVID brought the world to a stand-still, companies were quick to offer online networking solutions. Gamerjibe hosted a virtual, 3D, browser-based careers expo that we took part in, Esports Insider brought their premier business events online, as did Esports BAR and Inven Global.
There are still opportunities out there to make new connections with professionals in esports. These can lead to career prospects, or other relevant connections, or referrals within organizations. We'll often advertise them on our website, and on our Twitter page.
If you want proof of just how far attending esports events can take you, check out this inspiring video from Complexity that details how one of their staff joined the company from his sheer hustle and determination to be at an event he heard about.
Online events give people from anywhere in the world the chance to meet the decision makers of the industry. Been unable to attend a LAN in the past because your nearest one is five hours away? Not with online conferences. They're well worth evaluating whenever you see a new one.
Once things are back to normal, and you see an esports event pop up close to where you live, then seriously consider attending. Aside from having a great time, you can also print off business cards ahead of the event to give to any professionals you might meet or try and arrange meetings through Twitter or email prior to it. Just bear in mind that the people working there will be operating on very busy schedules, so don’t feel disheartened if they can’t make time for you.
3. Explore opportunities close to where you live
We think this next point is an untapped way of gaining esports experience that could ultimately lead to you landing a paid career in esports. One of the many great things about esports is that a lot of the people working in the scene are more than willing to guide others into it. Indeed, we respond to people on Twitter and email each day asking for our advice!
You can use this to your advantage by doing some research into the esports/gaming companies that exist near you. If you’re living somewhere fairly remote then unfortunately this might be a struggle, but if you’re in one of the hotspots for esports companies then you could definitely make some valuable inroads.
California and Texas in the United States, for example, both have a plethora of esports companies situated there. The likes of Cloud9, Immortals Gaming Club, Counter Logic Gaming, the North American LCS studio and even the arena of the Overwatch League are located in California, while Texas plays host to the offices of Team Envy, Complexity, and Mavs Gaming.
Through emails, Twitter or LinkedIn, you could try and reach out to companies around you and inquire about ways to get involved in what they’re doing. Be honest, explain your passion and tell them how you’re trying to work in esports and see if anything stems from it. If there are no esports companies near you, then picking up experience with a company that operates in gaming is useful beneficial, as the experience is quite transferable. Just remember two things...
Firstly, explain your talents and what areas you can excel in when contacting a company. Vaguely saying that you want to get involved with them won’t make a great first impression. They’re bound to have busy inboxes, so you need to show them how you can provide value to them. Play to your core skills, and tell the company how these can help them in their business.
Secondly, remember not to bother people repeatedly. If a company or employee doesn’t respond to your communications, don’t pester them with constant follow-ups.
4. Spend time perfecting your resume and cover letter
It’s no secret that esports is a coveted industry, with heaps of people trying to work in the space. For that reason, jobs can sometimes receive a staggering number of applications. Among such a crowd of talent, you need to make sure that your cover letter and resume leave the best impression possible on an employer.
Try and create a unique and stylish design for your resume, especially if you’re applying for jobs in creative sectors like marketing or graphic design, and pore over it to make sure there are no spelling errors or unnecessary waffle on there. We could talk for hours on how to perfect your application materials, which is why we’ve written separate articles for both.
5. Be proactive in your spare time
While this is a difficult point to fully define, there definitely is merit in being as proactive as you can in esports. With so many people looking to break into the scene, anything you can do to set yourself apart from another candidate is going to be a big help, though make sure to prioritize your health and not work yourself into the ground.
One way you could show that you're proactive while also refining your skills is by designing graphics without anyone prompting you to and then sharing them on Twitter. We see quite a few people doing this, and occasionally their designs get shared by professional players if they’ve been tagged in them.
If writing is your forte, consider starting your own blog. As well as teaching you valuable skills, it will also show that even in your spare time you’re trying to contribute to esports, which is a valuable thing for a hiring manager to see.
Whether it’s graphics, blogs, YouTube videos or websites, think about working proactively on your own projects when you’re able to. It’s something that could be very valuable in your cover letter or resume.
6. Utilize social media
This next tip might sound bizarre to someone just starting to look into working in esports, but few communities have a stronger presence on Twitter than esports. It’s actually at a level where we see jobs advertised solely through Twitter if there’s not enough meat on them to be put into a full job description (which always grinds our gears!).
We retweet all of the paid opportunities we find that aren’t listed as jobs, such as this one, this one, this one, and this one, but there are more benefits to being on Twitter than just that. You can connect with like-minded people and commentate on industry movements. People even get reached out to directly on Twitter regarding paid esports work - we hear about this frequently!
Twitter is a big platform to be on, but for anyone looking to take esports seriously as a career getting on LinkedIn is a smart move, too. Most of the same benefits exist between LinkedIn and Twitter, but it’s advisable to be on both all the same.
7. Check Hitmarker frequently
If you’ve been able to tick off the previous six pointers on how to get into esports then the only thing missing is an esports job itself!
We pride ourself on collating the most thorough database of careers in esports there is. We post hundreds of careers every single week, so we’d strongly suggest using our site to locate opportunities in the scene.
Just remember: don’t get carried away and apply for everything in sight. It’s a trap we see a lot of people fall into, and the result is poorer-quality applications that get rejection emails or, worse, no emails back. Instead, focus on quality over quantity, and really put your everything into what you apply for.
While it’s good to have a base cover letter you can edit for each job, you shouldn’t be sending the same thing to ten different companies. Hiring managers can spot a copy and paste deal a mile away - believe us - and it’s much better to write a cover letter unique to each role you apply to.
That way, if the company has an upcoming product line launching, or is about to enter a new market, you can use the cover letter to tell them about how your skills specifically will make that process even more successful for them. And that, is really showing your value as a candidate.
Finding a job comes down to casting your net as widely as you can, so if you’ve addressed our previous points in this article then we’d say you’re ready to start applying.
Good luck, and go get ‘em!
Image credit: DreamHack / Jennika Ojala