How to get into esports
Of all the stereotypes about spending time in front of a computer, perhaps the most pervasive is that it’s a waste. Even those parents who have a decent grasp of the fun and the social connections often fail to see the benefits of actually getting good at a game. Is it worth going all in for an Overwatch Contenders slot or to become the next Dota superstar?
Nowadays, these decisions don’t have to be made alone in a basement and extracurricular like Level Academy’s SAFE program, which aims to “harness a student’s passion for video games to impart a responsible, professional, athletic and goal-oriented mindset”, can go a long way in making good use of the time spent on pursuing gaming excellence.
Much like other such vocations, the elite of competitive esport athletes make eye-popping amounts of money, with five-figure monthly salaries in games like CS:GO on the top teams being just one of many such avenues. However, this is truly the pathway for the best players out there as the second and third tiers of competition don’t offer anywhere near enough to make it a sustainable full-time career as a player.
Emphasis on the last part.
Plan B is pretty good as well
Luckily there are many good options to consider if the pro gamer dream doesn’t pan out in the family. Much like in the world of traditional sports, there are many auxiliary options and related jobs in the field which are worth exploring where familiarity with the scene and competitive play in general is worth its weight in gold.
The rapid growth of esports as an industry has enabled many related fields to sustain worthwhile esports careers related to gaming. Content creation avenues like livestreaming on Twitch or making videos for YouTube have long been a good exit strategy for pro players who have a strong personal brand, with ready-made opportunities to parlay into lucrative sponsorship deals.
On-camera talent work at events or off-camera organizational activities are also available and are becoming more and more important over time. The same goes for coaching, sports psychology, dieticians, but even specialized lawyer work can be invaluable in esports.
Then there’s the gaming industry itself, where the experience of high-level competitive players is always welcome in design roles, either in a consultancy role or a formalized role in the team. An analytic mind combined with high-level play often leads to this sort of pathway where you end up designing the game you used to compete in for future generations.
Much like traditional sports, actively pursuing the esports dream can develop useful character traits – resilience, commitment and the like – with the added benefit of involving yourself with an actively growing industry with a large emphasis on a young workforce and in the interests of the new generation. With proper guidance, it should be a no-brainer for parents to support these activities, as it isn’t only the trophy cabinet and the glory which can lead to fruitful outcomes.