Remember when most of us were told to put down our video games, and go and study?
Or when we were told that we should step out to play?
That advice has begun to turn on its head.
Today esports - primarily video gaming - has become a billion-dollar industry.
While that number may seem large, it also speaks of the potential for esports to grow. To put that into context, the global sports industry is valued at nearly $400 billion.
Esports tournaments continue to grow at a massive pace. Dota 2, a popular esports game had a tournament prize pool of $47.7 million (INR 38 crores).
And the number of jobs and professionals needed to help with that growth continues to increase daily.
A simple search on the jobs portal on LinkedIn reveals that there are over 3,000 jobs available globally. By 2025 the esports industry is expected to create 11000 jobs in India.
In India too, that number continues to grow at a high pace.
As the Indian esports industry crosses a valuation of $100 million, and prize money climbs upwards, there is a significant amount of interest and investment into esports from the corporate world.
But what does it mean to work in esports? And how does the industry compare with the traditional sports industry?
The answer is - working in esports is not too different from the traditional sports industry.
Like the traditional sports industry, esports has a need for professionals to manage and execute every aspect of running a business.
Here are five things you need to know about working in the esports industry:
Engineers and Esports are best friends
As technology continues to make the experience of sports more effective, efficient and exciting, engineers have become a hot commodity in the sports industry.
In esports, particularly, engineering solutions to complex problems are the norm.
From the development of a game (software) to the development of the device (hardware), and everything in between, the touch of a good engineer is evident.
Sports have always been considered the dominion of individuals with athletic pursuits.
In modern-day sports, and in esports particularly, engineers play just as important a role as those on the field, on the court, or in the chair of an esports tournament.
Engineers influence every aspect of the sports industry. Unlike in traditional sports where once the athlete is on the field, all that matters is the performance of the athlete, in esports, even while the tournament is in progress, engineers are on site monitoring the games to ensure that no technical glitches come in the way of an esports athlete’s performance.
Esports athletes have needs too
Most of those standing outside the esports industry believe that esports players are nothing but young people “sitting in a chair” and “clicking a whole bunch of buttons”.
This could not be further from the truth.
Just like traditional sports, esports too has professional, amateur, and casual players. And professional esports players train as hard as some professional athletes.
Modern-day esports teams and players have
- Strength & conditioning coaches; to help build endurance - some esports players train up to 14 hours a day.
- Psychologists; help esports players build mental resilience in the face of loss or adversity.
- Physiotherapists; to help particularly with muscle tissues in the hand - due to excessive use of the fingers - or posterior chain - due to excessive sitting.
- Coaches; because the best athletes always need a guide
- Managers; to manage their endorsements, schedules and other commitments.
Excitement, Excitement, and Excitement
Esports is a highly specialised domain for sports fans. All esports fans and viewers are almost always esports players themselves.
This is not the case with other sports - for example, it is not hard to find someone who does not play football to be a fan of the sport.
As esports continues to gain mass popularity, it strives to reach out to newer audiences as it looks to gain more mainstream acceptance and recognition.
For that, esports hires some of the best commentators and experts in the world to create content that is engaging and entertaining.
Esports hires some of the best talents in the world in an attempt to de-mystify the world of esports and make it relatable to non-esports players.
This will go a long way in boosting fans and viewership numbers for esports, thus leading brands and corporations that prefer to associate with traditional sports to look at esports as a potential branding and partnership opportunity.
Technology comes first
There is little doubt that technology is at the centre of everything that is esports.
Right from the development of a game, to the tournament venue, esports uses state-of-the-art technology to enhance the experience of the players and the viewers.
In a sport where live action takes place on screen, esports tournament organizers have to use state-of-the-art technology to make the live viewing experience great.
Hardware in esports has come a long way as well.
Take for example the experience of playing a game at home, which previously meant having a TV, and a gaming device.
Today, “gaming rigs” and “gaming experience consoles” that cost thousands of dollars and include various gadgets to enhance the playing experience, have become commonplace.
Most non-esports people think of esports games as characters on a screen that perform mundane tasks at the behest of a controller who presses a bunch of buttons.
However, that is far from the reality of esports.
Over the past decade, newer esports games have to focus as much on the story of the game as they have to work on the graphics and interface.
Game characters have personalities and back stories that could rival some of the best movies and fiction books.
This level of storytelling is what makes working in esports so compelling.
Gone are the days when games were mere characters on screen. Today, the world realises that esports players and athletes have some of the sharpest minds in sports - some even rivalling great chess minds, for example.
Much of this acceptance has come with mainstream sports fans recognizing the depth of storytelling in esports.
To get started on a career in the Indian esports industry, visit us at sporjo.com and sign up with us today.