The right person for the job–Finding your niche in eSports

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A discussion which sparked during our weekly podcast was that of the vacant positions in our growing eSports industry. At the moment we have individuals filling a number of vacant positions from MCs, casters, production, advertising, public relations, and the list goes on. These are passionate individuals who dedicate their time to bettering eSports in any way possible, but what if it didn’t have to be like that? What’s stopping actual companies who already work in those respective fields from joining forces with like-minded individuals and sharing the load? The answer is unfortunately a bit complex, but there opportunities out there for people who want to be involved in eSports, and all you really need is passion and the right qualification.

EGE

ESWC South African Qualifiers at EGE

At the moment our industry is tiny when compared to the international market. We have a handful of companies who host, run, and organize events across several titles. There’s a small piece of pie that everyone wants to grab a slice of, but the pie is only so big. What if the pie grew, and the slices we cut out were big enough to feed off for a long time. It’s a weird metaphor to consider, but allow me to explain how outside influence from certain individuals can help aid the growth of eSports in South Africa.

Earlier this year I discussed outside business influence in eSports, but that’s completely different as my main point was outside financial investment. What today’s discussion is about is individuals who work in certain industries, have a passion for eSports and gaming, and offering aid to companies which could up the execution of proper events. I’ll break an event down in a hypothetical situation and try outline where these expertise are most beneficial.

The Hypothetical eSports Championships

A new tournament has popped up, the Hypothetical eSports Championships. A major brand has decided to pledge R500 000 to a tournament and hands the reigns over to one of South Africa’s several eSports hosts. Now the task arises and the tournament host has to secure a venue, internet, advertise it, market it, run the shoutcasting, and all which that entails.

production

Production desk at the ESWC LAN Final in Montreal, Canada

In the past this has been the sole responsibility of the tournament host, but what if they had the opportunity to reach out to companies with passionate eSports enthusiasts who would be willing to lend a hand?

Let’s start at the top:

  1. Venue hire – Here we would look to an events company who has a list of venues for hire which meet the recommendations. They are seating, space, internet, and a convenient location. You might be an eSports junkie working for an events company and decide this is it, we could help out and offer to aid the host in finding the perfect venue.
  2. Advertising – This ties closely with marketing, but I know for a fact there are a number of people within the eSports world who work for marketing companies. Handing over the responsibility to a company who is well versed in marketing could aid the exposure and growth of your tournament. We all know that eSports tournaments in this country are poorly advertised, and this is one of the ways that we can insure proper exposure for partners and teams.
  3. Shoutcasting – There are a number of up and coming broadcasting companies in South Africa. This vacant position has already been filled (somewhat) so finding the proper presenters for the tournament is easy.
  4. Production and Sound – Production crews are expensive. The equipment hire adds to the growing costs, but this is slowly becoming a must-have for a professional tournament. There are a number of individuals who are passionate gamers and work for productions companies.
  5. Admin staff – this position is often filled by enthusiasts alone, there aren’t really companies who’d outsource such individuals.
  6. Photographers – this one is also an easy slot to fill as there are a lot of passionate photographers who are also gamers out there.

What we have now done is involved several companies who are not strictly eSports companies, but have individuals who can aid your tournament for a far better result. This is essentially a win-win situation for all as it creates a need for such individuals and will spark the rise of eSports divisions or companies within the industry. It’s well known that ESL have their own in-house production, marketing, event coordination, and broadcast staff, and this what we are striving towards.

Starting small

Naturally these companies won’t do the work for free, and often there are hefty costs involved with hiring outside of your organization. The hypothetical situation mentioned above included a budget which might make room for some outside help, but in reality there’s not much cash flying around when it comes to tournament hosting. This is why we would start small, building relationships with these companies and thus pushing for their aid at a good price, as opposed to hiring a team which is unfamiliar with eSports.

mainstage

Building of the main stage at the ESWC LAN Finals in Montreal, Canada.

This is why I’ve continuously mentioned eSports enthusiasts when reaching out to these companies. There are a few of you out there who work in the above mentioned industries, and this is why I urge you to engage with eSports hosts and reach a common ground. Who knows, your own company could be on the horizon, but this will come with the already rapid growth of eSports. All you have to do is start small.

Closing thoughts

If you’re reading this and thinking “hey I work for X company,” then I’d recommend contacting one of the already established eSports companies in South Africa and see where you can help out. This is perhaps the perfect time to find your job in eSports, as the need for proper execution will become crucial when bigger brands become involved.

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Last Updated: August 25, 2016

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