Jobs in esports: Beyond players and coaches

Image credit: ISFE

The esports economy goes beyond the universe of tournaments and organisations, as shown in the Guide to Esports published by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE). Even companies like Santander have publicly highlighted that esports is a driving factor for creating new job posts.

Those are opportunities that go beyond the prominent top-of-mind positions like players, coaches and programmers.

Professionals from traditional jobs in conventional companies are recruited by esports organisations, tournament organisers, and other esports-related companies such as startups and portals. Workers from areas like finance, administration and commerce are seeing new career opportunities due to the growth of the scene. Even game publishers need professionals to manage and foster the competitive branches of their games.

Hitmarker is a global gaming and esports jobs platform at the forefront of this new frontier. Its jobs-related data was used in making ISFE’s Guide to Esports. Esports Insider spoke with the company’s Head of Platform Cameron Brierley, who shared the two main driving factors, in his opinion, for the growth of job offers in the scene. He argued that competitive gaming is not only creating positions in esports-related organisations but also in non-endemic companies.

“[Firstly, esports] companies are raising investments and they need to hire staff to meet the goals they set. Secondly, the coming of non-endemic brands to the scene raises the need for them to hire people who know the scene to position well in the market,” Brierley explained.

The Head of Platform also said that the vast majority of positions in Hitmarker are related to business positions. Players and coaches are usually hired by organisations through connections in the community and results achieved in-game. Another characteristic Brierley also said a large share of open positions is from esports companies in the services sector.

Besides business-related positions, another factor worth pointing out is that, as esports organisations and tournament operators heavily rely on multimedia content, people with experience working on TV or other media are being heavily recruited by companies in esports. 

Brierley also pointed to the case of esports organisation 100 Thieves, which decided to invest in making its own game. That entails hiring engineers, designers and artists for the project.   

Narrowing it even more, autonomous service providers, for example, Korean language teachers, are getting new opportunities due to the expansion of esports. They often are hired as translators for professional players abroad or for teaching those who want to learn the language of one of the main esports markets in the world.

‘Learning’ is a keyword. As companies in the sector need qualified professionals for their positions, education and knowledge in processes demanded by the esports market become important factors. Brierley highlights that both job-specific abilities and knowledge of esports are desirable by companies when hiring professionals.

The availability of professionals in the sector is boosted by the entrance of Gen Z — who’ve had esports present in their digital lives — into the market. However, as esports receives more mainstream media attention, senior professionals are increasingly taking notice of the numbers invested in the sector and joining too.

For new professionals, loving esports alone is insufficient to work in it there is a need for business skills. For the seasoned ones, the specificities of esports may twist long-established market processes, and not knowing how the sector works may lead to failure.  

This dynamic creates a two-way road: Either esports enthusiasts get educated and trained for positions in the sector, or professionals get to learn more about the esports niche. Such moves can even lead to results like the acquisition of new digital skills both by seasoned and new professionals. 

Hitmarker’s data shows that, of the esports jobs posted on the platform, 9.88% are entry-level, 22.27% are junior-level, 44.08% are intermediate, and 23.77% are senior-level.

The acquisition of qualified workers increases in importance as a growth industry continues developing. Brierley revealed to Esports Insider that Hitmarker is even about to make some changes to its website and promote new features for users. That is another indicator of an expanding market — proving both how esports is catching the interest of an increasing number of professionals, while companies are also looking forward to bringing in new esports-versed staff. 

To make the most of the opportunities opened by this expansion, resources that seek to educate professionals about the factors surrounding the esports sector are vital. ISFE’s Guide to Esports is a recommended starting point to understanding all the players involved in this market and how its dynamics work. 

The Guide to Esports is published for free by ISFE and can be downloaded here.

Victor Frascarelli, Journalist
Victor Frascarelli is a Brazilian esports business journalist focused on the LATAM market. Previously at The Esports Observer for two years, Victor enjoys all things competitive, from League of Legends to football to chess to CS:GO.

Supported by ISEF