How to get a job in esports in 2018
This is the definitive guide of how to get into esports in 2018.
We’re going to take you from thinking about a career in esports to actually applying to your perfect esports job.
For each section of this article, we've taken the topic even more in-depth with a separate post on that topic that we'll link.
We’ll also give you the very best chance of getting that job too!
Well we’re Hitmarker, the biggest esports jobs website around, which means we know what we’re talking about.
So if you’re looking to get a job in esports this year, you’ll love this guide.
Chapter 1: Types of jobs in esports
Check out our uber-detailed post on the types of jobs in esports.
Let’s begin by looking at the types of esports jobs that are available to see if there’s anything that’s perfect for you...
In 2018 it’s pretty safe to say that esports is a fully-fledged industry in its own right.
Indeed, esports generated an estimated $1.5 billion of revenue last year, with that number expected to grow to $2.3 billion by 2022 (many thanks to SuperData for the stats).
We all know that more money means more jobs, which is good news for you as a job-hunter and us as a careers board!
In addition to this, esports is no longer exclusive to professional gamers with their lightning fast reflexes and jedi-like focus, the proof being that we’re now seeing job postings for nutritionists, personal trainers and physiotherapists.
It’s no exaggeration to say that in 2018 esports provides jobs to people from almost ALL traditional employment sectors.
Don’t believe us? Here’s a list of the top ten active employment sectors on Hitmarker from the last 90 days:
- Marketing/Social Media (~29%)
- Management (~20%)
- Software Engineering/Web Development (~9%)
- Business Development (~8%)
- Content Creation/Writing (~7%)
- Graphic Design (~5%)
- Sales (~4%)
- Project Management (~3%)
- Product Management (~3%)
- Production/Broadcasting (~2%)
Just missing the cut were sectors like Administrative, Data Analysis, Customer Service, Community Management, Public Relations, Finance, Human Resources, Coaching, Event Planning and Hospitality.
This alone shows the reach esports has, but did you know that ESL recently advertised for an Internal Travel Agent? No? How about that Fnatic were recently on the lookout for an internal Legal Counsel? Two roles from two of the biggest names in the scene, in hospitality and finance no less!
Esports has come a long way, but if you’ve got serious skills on Call of Duty, CS:GO, FIFA, Fortnite, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, League of Legends, Overwatch, PUBG, Rocket League or Starcraft don’t completely rule out Professional Gamer as your career path!
You could also be an Owner, a Team Manager or a Coach, while other opportunities to be in the limelight come from the increasing number of on-air opportunities that are available.
Thanks to the rise of Twitch and YouTube in addition to other platforms like Facebook getting involved with the scene those of you with a big personality and an in-depth knowledge of a particular title could pursue a career as a Caster, Host, Interviewer or even a Radio DJ.
If being in the background is more your thing then professional teams also have Analyst, Nutritionist, Personal Trainer, Physiotherapist and Psychologist roles open, all of which we would categorise as being “support staff” - much like you would see in traditional sports.
In addition to this it also takes a heck of a lot of people to put live broadcasts and esports tournaments together, meaning that there are opportunities for Directors, Floor Managers, Camera Operators, A/V Mixers, Observers, Studio Engineers, Network Engineers, Tournament Admins and Referees.
However, there are also a ton of jobs in esports for people not involved in live events. The scene needs people to create content around the players and teams, which is where Editors, Writers, Photographers, Streamers and Videographers come in.
And naturally, these content creators need databases and websites for their work, which means paid roles for Graphic Designers, Web Designers and Web Developers.
Once the sites are built and the content is flowing, then we get into advertising revenue and product creation, which makes room for Sales Representatives, Account Managers, Public Relations Officers, Marketers (which encompasses great roles like Social Media Manager and Community Manager) and customer-facing staff like Customer Service Representative and Live Chat Support.
All of these jobs mean that esports organizations are becoming big and unwieldy, so there are an increasing number of companies seeking CEOs, COOs, CFOs, CTOs and Business Development Managers to help them run things.
These executive-level people typically require Accountants and Lawyers to take care of their paperwork, in addition to Executive Assistants (fancy Personal Assistants), Secretaries and Office Managers to handle their day-to-day.
They also need Recruiters (like us!) to help them find the best staff, and then Human Resources Managers and Talent Relations Officers to look after them once they get through the door.
The executives also like their players and staff to be cared for and protected, so they’re hiring Chefs to make them great food and Travel Agents to get them to where they need to go, in addition to Security Guards to keep an eye on them.
All of this travel and general growth in the industry is seeing more and more places for esports players and fans to hang out opening up, which means Bar Managers, Bartenders and Service Staff are also becoming a necessity!
And of course, EVERYONE listed here needs IT professionals and Technical Support Staff to keep them grinding on a daily basis.
There it is! There are more jobs in esports than you thought, eh? Hopefully that's stowed some faith in you that you can get involved in esports with this breadth of paths of work available to move into!
There MUST be something here that speaks to you, so if you’ve got your eyes on a particular sector or role type then it’s time to find out where in the wide world of esports these jobs could be found...
Chapter 2: Locations of esports jobs
You should now have a clear idea of the esports job you’d be perfect for which should increase your confidence of knowing how to get into esports, or at least an idea the type of job in esports you think would suit you.
Your next challenge is to figure out exactly where such a job might be located by asking “are there any jobs in esports near me?”
Let’s get right to the answer by looking at the ten most popular countries for esports jobs posts on Hitmarker in the last 90 days:
- United States (~50%)
- Remote (~29%)
- United Kingdom (~7%)
- Germany (~3%)
- Canada (~2%)
- Sweden (~2%)
- China (~1%)
- South Korea (~1%)
- France (~1%)
- Poland (~1%)
There were also esports career options in Australia, Denmark, India, Ireland, Netherlands, Philippines, Serbia and Taiwan in that time, but only one or two from each country.
It’s clear to see from our data that the esports ecosystem is still heavily concentrated in the USA, with around half of all roles emanating from there. However, European countries like Germany and the UK are definitely beginning to find their feet, and remote working is becoming more-and-more popular in the scene too.
So don’t be disheartened if your own country doesn’t feature on this list (or finds itself low down), because there’s still a chance we’ll be able to find you something where you can get involved in an esports profession from the comfort of your own home!
The USA is a big place, but its West Coast is the dominant force when it comes to esports games and esports teams. The majority of esports earnings are concentrated in California, Nevada and Washington, thanks to many of the big esports organizations like Blizzard, Riot and Twitch being based in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Seattle.
Texas is also on the rise too, with Frisco and Houston leading the esports charge in the Lone Star State thanks to Optic and others.
The East Coast has some work to do to catch up to these other locations, but you won’t be surprised to hear that New York is the land of opportunity there, largely thanks to New York City being another base for Blizzard (MLG). You’ll occasionally find great esports openings in Florida, Georgia and Massachusetts too, though.
There’s not a great deal happening esports-wise Centrally, with Illinois and Wisconsin the only states advertising jobs on a semi-regular basis.
If you can’t relocate to the West Coast or if you’re based outside of the US altogether then fear not, because Remote Working could be how you choose to get into esports.
FACT: almost 30% of all esports jobs posted on Hitmarker give you the opportunity to ply your trade to esports from the comfort of your own home!
It’s 2018 and the world is still shrinking at an incredible pace, so whether it’s running a social media account, casting competitive matches, or even being a tournament referee, there are companies who will be more than happy to hire you without forcing you to work from their office.
Hitmarker is based in the UK, you know? People often think we’re from LA or San Fran, but oh no, we’re fresh out of Newcastle and hope to provide more-and-more jobs in esports to people in the future! However, if you’re UK-based then London is definitely the place to be right now (shock horror). Leaders of the esports movement in the UK like Gfinity and FACEIT are stationed in London, so these companies could be your avenue to getting a job in esports if you're in the capital.
Given that the UK may not be a part of the EU for much longer, Germany looks like your best bet if you’re looking for a European esports role. Berlin and Cologne are the real hotspots here, mainly thanks to ESL.
Vancouver is the hub of all things esports in Canada, with Capcom having an office there and Battlefy also operating out of the city.
Ninjas In Pyjamas and DreamHack are both located in Stockholm, making it Sweden’s esports capital, but Gothenburg also has a few jobs in esports available at times too. Keeping your eyes on careers coming from DreamHack, NiP, and DH's parent company Modern Times Group (MTG) would be wise if you're Swedish and looking for how to get into esports.
China, mainly Shanghai due to Blizzard, and Seoul in South Korea have come to the fore in recent times, while Antipolo in the Philippines and Taipei in Taiwan are also represented in esports job postings on a semi-regular basis.
Rest of Europe
France, more specifically Paris, is another big esports destination due to being the home of an ESL office, while Poland has the irrepressible Kinguin in Warsaw and hosts the massive IEM in Katowice every year.
And there you have it! A complete overview of the countries and cities offering jobs in esports in 2018.
Hopefully we’ve listed a place you live near to, or could at least relocate to, but if not then don’t discount working remotely! It’s a great way to get started in the scene and could be your first step to getting a job in esports.
Next it’s time to dive deeper into the esports companies hiring in these locations…
Chapter 3: Esports companies hiring for jobs
Want more detail? Read our post on the companies that hire the most in esports.
We’re at the point where you know the type of job in esports you want and you’ve got a pretty good idea about where you’ll find it, but what about the sorts of companies who are hiring?
There might be one special organization that speaks to you because of the reputation they have, the space they operate in, or the company culture they have.
Let’s start by looking at the ten most active companies hiring on Hitmarker in the last 90 days:
- Blizzard (~10%)
- Activision (~7%)
- Skillz (~5%)
- Amazon (~4%)
- Razer (~3%)
- Esports Arena (~2%)
- Freaks 4U Gaming (~2%)
- Riot Games (~2%)
- ESL (~1%)
- Fnatic (~1%)
We call Blizzard the “big dogs” because they’re always advertising great esports jobs and have offices all around the world. They’re predominantly based in Irvine (CA), but also have locations in Austin (TX), Columbus (OH), New York City (NY), Shanghai (China) and Taipei (Taiwan). Oh, they also offer Remote roles too!
Activision are, of course, part of Activision Blizzard but they post esports jobs as a standalone company. These are typically found in Amsterdam (Netherlands), Datchet (UK), London (UK) and Santa Monica (CA). They also work with universities like Brown, MIT, Stanford and UC Berkeley to offer internships throughout the USA.
We’ve got Skillz jobz, they’re multiplying, and we’re posting ‘em all! That’s a take on Grease, in case you’re too young to get the reference… Anyway, Skillz are a leading mobile esports platform who have offices in Boston (MA) and San Francisco (CA), having raised over $28m in funding! Getting a job with those guys would be special!
Everyone’s heard of Amazon, right? Well they’re “all in on games” and post lots of opportunities through their Amazon Game Studios division, which is based out of Seattle (WA), but also has locations in Irvine (CA) and Palo Alto (CA).
Razer are one of the most recognisable brands in gaming and esports thanks to their hardware, which means they’re always advertising excellent esports jobs. You’ll typically find them in Irvine (CA) and San Francisco (CA).
Only founded in 2015, Esports Arena is already a name synonymous with the scene and they’re going from strength-to-strength. They post a wide variety of roles for their office in Santa Ana (CA), but also at their venues in Las Vegas (NV) and Oakland (CA) too. With the diversity of the professions they hire for, these guys are a great company to aim for if you're wanting to get involved in esports. We've seen them hire chefs, kitchen staff, front desk hosts and social media staff. Talk about a varied company!
Freaks 4U Gaming
One of our most favourite organization names in all of esports, Freaks were founded in Berlin (Germany) and are still based there, but they have grown to set up offices in Irvine (CA) and Taipei (Taiwan) too.
It’s our opinion that Riot post the best esports job adverts around and they also look like a super cool company to work for, so if you’re of the same opinion you’ll be glad to know they have 23 offices worldwide, including their HQ in Los Angeles (CA)!
Founded way back in 1996, ESL are the largest and oldest international esports organization in the world. Unsurprisingly this has led to them opening up 11 different offices around the globe, though they are still headquartered in Cologne (Germany).
Fnatic’s operations now spread across Belgrade (Serbia), Berlin (Germany), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), London (UK) and San Francisco (CA), giving you a clear idea of the enormous size of this multiple championship winning team.
And that rounds out the top ten!
But don’t forget that this is just a small sample of the hundreds of companies advertising esports jobs through Hitmarker, all of whom you can find in our complete directory.
Now, if you’re all set then let’s see what types of contracts these esports companies could offer you...
Chapter 4: Contract types in esports
At this stage you should have a clear idea of the type of esports job you’d like, the location of said esports job and perhaps even a notion of the company you’d like to work for.
However, have you stopped to think about the kind of contract that would suit you best?
On Hitmarker we have five types of contract, and it’s important that you understand each one as it'll help you get into esports in the right job:
This is the most common contract type in esports, with around 70% of all jobs posted on Hitmarker being full-time.
Full-time should always mean paid, and this type of contract will typically see you working around 40 hours per week (including breaks) for the salary that you’re offered.
However, the honest truth of getting a job in esports is that you may need to work many more hours than you are contractually obliged to - that's the beauty and the curse of this industry!
Still, if you’re looking to pay the bills through esports then a full-time role is what you need!
This is the least common contract type in esports, with only around 4% of all roles added to Hitmarker being part-time.
As above, part-time should always mean paid, with the major difference between part-time and full-time being that you would never expect to work a 40 hour week on a part-time contract.
The actual hours you’re expected to work will vary on a job-by-job basis, making part-time a great solution if you’re looking for flexibility in your working life.
“Freelance” does NOT mean “work for free”, which is something that seems to confuse a lot of people we speak to!
Freelance roles are increasingly popular in esports and account for around 6% of all roles posted on Hitmarker.
Much like full-time and part-time roles, freelance roles should always be paid, although payment could come in the form of commission or bonus, rather than by way of a set salary.
A freelance role would be ideal for you if you like being self-employed and not committed to one particular employer. However, you’ll have to do your own taxes (or get an accountant to do them for you!) They're also an ideal way to take that first step to get a job in esports.
Volunteer positions are the ONLY type of roles on Hitmarker that are always unpaid (this one literally does mean “work for free”) and account for around 14% of all roles on Hitmarker.
They are typically offered by smaller organizations who do not yet have the budget to pay people for their time, which is cool and understandable. Contributing your work efforts to smaller orgs like this can help you get a job in esports in the future using the experience gained from them as your springboard.
However, occasionally you’ll find a bigger company banking on the fact someone will be desperate enough to work for them to do it for free, which is not cool but somewhat understandable.
A volunteer position would be suitable for you if you’re lucky enough to not have to worry about money, or if you’re not yet qualified to go for a full-time, part-time or freelance role in esports. They can be a good way to boost your skills which will make knowing how to get into esports easier with some relevant experience behind you.
An esports internship (sometimes called an esports apprenticeship in Europe) is usually meant for a younger candidate, who often times is still a student, to learn about the reality of working in a particular sector.
In the case of esports you will occasionally see volunteer roles being branded as internships as an excuse for the employer to offer no pay, so keep your eyes out for that.
Internships can be paid or unpaid, but are typically the latter, offering experience instead of money. They make up around 6% of all opportunities available through Hitmarker.
An internship would be ideal for you if you’re aged 18-23 and looking for on-the-job experience in a particular esports sector. They can be very handy on a resume and can be valuable for getting into esports, especially if the company you intern at is a big player in esports. Look for these if you're in education and looking to get a job in the scene once you're finished; these look great on your resume and will often be offered by reputable companies which only contributes to that.
With all of that being said, it’s now time to talk resumes (or CVs, if you’re from where we’re from)...
Chapter 5: Create the ultimate esports resume
We've published a super detailed post on esports resumes, including example esports CV's at the bottom!
If we’re going to get you the perfect esports job then we need to make sure that your resume (CV) is buffed.
Let’s start with the easy part...
Follow this advice to avoid you application being thrown out before you’ve had the chance to make an impression:
- Be professional. If your email is [email protected], change it now.
- Proofread, proofread and proofread again, because typos will kill you dead.
- Move away from Times New Roman and dull formatting, this is esports dammit!
- Keep your resume to a maximum of two pages, fit it all onto one if you can.
- DON’T LIE. It’s never, ever worth it and you will inevitably get caught out.
- Save as PDF if sending to an employer, or Word doc if sending to a recruiter.
- Use your full name and “Resume” or “CV” as the filename, nothing else.
Not hard, right?
However, if even this level of preparation seems like too much for you, consider reaching out to somebody who could help you (perhaps one of the Hitmarker Team could lend a hand on a quiet day?)
The Good Stuff
If you just rolled your eyes at the above advice, then you should be better served by this section. Think of it as the advanced advice for a resume that will help you get involved with that beautiful thing we call esports:
- Research the company you’re applying to and the job you’re applying for. Read the job post multiple times and hit up their socials/website to get a feel for them.
- If you’re really serious then seek out existing employees of the company to get a better understanding of what it’s really like to work for them. Be friendly and engaging.
- Fit your resume to the company and the responsibilities/requirements in their job post. Match your achievements/skills from prior education/jobs to what they're asking for. This can make it much easier to get an esports job as you can tailor the resume to the employer to ensure each word is relevant to them.
- Show personality. 75% of recruitment is finding people that fit into a company’s culture and are fun to work with, don’t be afraid to be you in your resume.
The REALLY Good Stuff
Do you want to put yourself over the top and beat those pesky applicant tracking systems that some of the big esports organizations use? Check this out:
- Use keywords! Some jobs are so contested and some hiring managers so reliant on technology that they’ll literally use a machine to create their shortlist. If you pull out a bunch of keywords and buzzwords from their initial job post then you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of passing the first filter phase.
Alrighty then, let’s get that cover letter up to standard too...
Chapter 6: Write an awesome esports cover letter
Example cover letter and more info in our detailed article on cover letters in esports.
You should be at the point where you know what esports job you’re going for and you have a killer resume (CV) behind you, but how do you make sure that it gets looked at?
By having an awesome cover letter, that’s how!
We hear stories of people getting through to interview on the strength of a great cover letter ALL THE TIME, regardless of whether they have the requisite experience or skills in their resume.
Better yet? A cover letter is a LOT less formulaic and rigid than a resume, so you’ve got the opportunity to get creative here.
However, there are still a few things you should do to make sure your cover letter gets read in the first place:
Don’t give an employer the chance to instantly count you out by making silly mistakes:
- Include your name and contact details at the top of the document.
- Use the same font and styling as you did on your resume.
- Not to be a broken record, but proofread, proofread and proofread again.
- Keep it short and sweet, a cover letter should never be longer than one page.
- DON’T LIE. Nobody likes a liar, and you’ll get found out eventually.
- Save as PDF if sending to an employer and bundle it in with the CV, if possible.
- Use your full name and “Cover Letter” as the filename, nothing else.
The Good Stuff
If you think all of the above goes without saying, then maybe this section is more for you:
- Make it unique. We see too many people sending the exact same cover letter to multiple different companies. Hiring managers can spot duplicates a mile off.
- Begin with a friendly salutation and wow them with the first paragraph, showing your desire for the position alongside your suitability to the job requirements.
- Utilize the research you did for your resume to impress them with your knowledge of their company. Use examples from your past to show how you fit in with them.
The REALLY Good Stuff
If you’ve got all of the above on lockdown but still don’t like your chances:
- Take a risk. If you know you’re reaching by applying in the first place then the cover letter is your chance to make the hiring manager forget all about your lack of experience or skills and make them just want to meet you to see what you’re like in person. You may not get this particular job, but could be offered another!
Never be afraid to go for it! Remember that everyone enjoys working with people they like, and most of the folks in esports are just generally cool humans.
Now there’s only one thing left to do...
Chapter 7: Apply for the perfect esports job
Yep, we've even covered this section on applying for the perfect esports job in more detail.
Look at our little esports job candidate, all grown up and ready to face the world and get into esports!
You’re now all set to begin applying and trying to get that esports job, and you’ll have a MUCH better chance of getting it than you did before.
Basically, you now KNOW how to get into esports in 2018!
However, there are a couple of other things you can do to give yourself the very best chance of getting an interview:
- Get someone to take a look at your resume (CV) and cover letter to see if they’re a good fit for the job you want. It can often be hard for people to be self-aware and objective when it comes to themselves, but if you’ve got intelligent friends and family, then rely on those wonderful folks, otherwise give Team Hitmarker a shout!
- Speak to us to see if we know the hiring manager. We talk to companies all day, every day and are likely to know exactly what sort of candidate they’re looking for. Our DMs are always open, you can email us at [email protected] and we also have live chat on the website. So there’s no excuse not to reach out!
Go get ‘em!
Questions? Comments? Suggestions?