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How to become an esports professional in India

Image via: bvndt.com
Image via: bvndt.com
EXPERT COLUMNIST

The esports and video game industry in India has grown leaps and bounds over the last couple of years. 

And with the advent of popular titles like PUBG Mobile, Fortnite, Call Of Duty: Mobile, Free Fire, and Valorant, the esports ecosystem has seen a substantial boost both in terms of revenue and workforce.

The heights that esports as an industry in itself can reach, is limitless. And by the financial year of 2023 alone, KPMG India and the Indian Federation of Sports Gaming (IFSG) report that esports will have a rapid growth in digital infrastructure and reach a cumulative revenue of INR 11,900 crore.

It’s safe to assume that the future of Indian esports and video games is bright and standing on the very tail-end of 2020, we can say that for enthusiasts who want to seek a career in this field, there is good news and there is bad news.

The good news is, that esports will always be in need of more workforce as it’s an ever-growing digital market. However, the bad news is that its very lucrative nature has been steadily making it one of the most competitive branches in video games.

Desire alone will not help you make it, and the grind to notoriety can oftentimes make you feel like you’re playing Cuphead without a working dash button.

So if you are serious about having a career in professional esports, then we have a short guide that can help you set off on the right foot.

Dr. Sinha’s “Call to Arms”

When it comes to the “dos and dont's” of esports, who better to hear from than someone who has actually made it in the field?

Dr. Rushindra Sinha, the CEO & Founder of Global Esports receives requests in thousands from upcoming esports enthusiasts, most of which are a plea to join his organization. 

And he has taken it upon himself to make a short video that talks about the various nuances of professional esports, and how gamers can look to apply to not just Global Esports, but to any other professional esports organization of their choosing.

The video has been a clarion call to many, and as a result, has seen 2 lakh 75 thousand views in just 48 hours, with over 20,000 applicants sending in resumes to Global Esports.

Global Esports: The first step to a solution

To further the cause of providing a platform for gamers to showcase their skills, Dr. Sinha has announced the launch of a new Open Tryout system for all games as an opportunity to get noticed. These tryouts go live from January and an open tournament will be hosted.

Registration Link : www.globalesports.com/register

Furthermore, the video also suggests that this form will be shared with all the other esports organizations in the country to ease the scouting process and help underdog teams get noticed.

When talking to Sportskeeda Esports about his upcoming project, Dr. Sinha spoke about creating a system which will streamline the process of shortlisting valuable candidates.

He said,

“Everyone has been asking for an opportunity and it was becoming extremely difficult for us to judge the stars from the crowd especially when we had so many applications to pick from and so many more who didn’t even apply so we decided to formulate a system that would allow ANY individual to try out and provide equal and fair opportunity to every single gamer who wants his shot at esports.”
“This is going to be an extremely tedious and resource intensive task and we’ll be sharing this list with all the other esports orgs and their owners and hope they are as open to this as we are and I believe together we can really provide a solid sustainable system for underdog players to get noticed and scouted”

Seeking a career in esports in India

Image via : Tencent
Image via : Tencent

Here are some of the major talking points that Dr. Sinha covered in his initial video, which we feel that every esports enthusiast must keep in mind

1. You don’t need a high-end rig to make it

May it be mobile esports or PC, one doesn’t actually require a high-end device to get noticed. Dr. Sinha provides his own example from his professional Overwatch days, where he began his journey on a low-end machine.

Esports organizations look for innovation, effort, and creativity in the upcoming talent pool. If you want to be a player, a streamer, or even a content creator, your most important test will be making the best of what you have.

2. You don’t need to sign up for Gaming Courses

If you look at some of the most prominent esports organizations that have been built in India, may it be Global Esports, Velocity Gaming, SouL or 8bit, you won't find CEOs or managers boasting shiny degrees over their front doors.

You do not need to do a BA in esports or even get a diploma for that matter to make it to the field. Sure guides often help, but esports in India is still very much a community driven affair, and it’s your hard work, skill, and outreach that will take you more miles than a degree ever will.

3. Picking your niche

Image via Riot Games
Image via Riot Games

We cannot stress this point enough. Not every game is for everyone and not every esports career is for everyone.

A career in esports is not limited to becoming a professional gamer alone, there are respective branches like journalism, content creation, play-tester, tournament host, caster, etc. The esports industry is multi-layered, it’s a machine where every nut and bolt has a symbiotic relationship with each other.

So it’s important to try everything, and pick a niche that suits your set of skills the most.

4. Try a little bit of everything

The Indian esports ecosystem provides a variety of opportunities that can help new talents find the platform and voice that they are looking for.

Tournaments, both online and offline, oftentimes provide a great avenue to gain some experience in the field and even help you make a name for yourself in the process.

Do not hesitate to sign up for unpaid volunteer work. Outreach and experience are more important than making a quick buck, and in a community-driven industry, people knowing your name and face is what ultimately matters the most.

Moreover, if becoming a professional player is what you are looking to pursue, then we suggest that you compete in every single tournament that comes your way. There is no shame in losing, as persistence will eventually get you where you want to be.

5. Practice makes perfect

Image via Free Fire
Image via Free Fire

Whether it’s playing professionally or creating content for your newly made channel, practicing your art and improving your set of skills constantly should be second nature.

No esports organization is going to give you the opportunity of working for them if you don’t show them a glimpse of your previous work.

Your content, or your playstyle as a gamer, will tell them who you are. Defining your unique attributes and what sets you apart from the rest of the competition out there, will help you progress substantially in the field.

Esports fields you can seek a career in

Image via Forbes
Image via Forbes

Playing competitive video games professionally is not the only way of making it in the field. Not everyone is born with the same amount of skill level, and games require a certain level of affinity without which no amount of practice will be able to help you get where you want to go.

So perhaps, being a player is not something that suits your particular set of skills. Then what are other fields that you can dip your fingers in? Here are 5 esports career choices that you can look into.

1. Product Managers and PR for orgs

PR’s and Product Managers for esports organizations and tournament hosts play a crucial role in outreach and developing much of the business aspect of the industry.

If you are good with your social media handles and like to analyze market changes and come up with unique marketing strategies, then this job is something that will fit you like a glove.

2. Esports journalism

If you are good with words and keep up with the latest esports news around the world, then journalism might be your calling. 

Intuition and innovation go hand in hand here, and it creates an incredible platform for those who can create some of the most unique stories.

3. Casting

Image via LEC
Image via LEC

Casting is an art form of its own when it comes to esports. It might seem easy at first glance, but it’s one of the most difficult job descriptions to pull off under any circumstances.

Color casting and play by play casting is no cup of tea, and apart from having a steady grasp of the various game mechanics, you will need to have a very strong vocabulary.

So, if you have sticky fingers when it comes to video games, but are good with the spoken language, then casting can be an invaluable platform to get into.

4. Tournament moderator/observer

Much like casting, the role of the tournament moderator and observer is equally important when it comes to providing an enjoyable viewership experience.

Accurately following what is going on in the game, and preemptively panning the observer camera to where the action is taking place, requires a tremendous amount of practice and game sense. 

Though it’s not a job for the faint-hearted, tournament moderators are at the core of every competitive viewership experience.

5. Professional gaming

Becoming a master in the game that you choose is not a cup of tea. If you have the wrist and fingers for becoming the best, then becoming a professional gamer is what you’re destined to be.

It’s finally time to dust off the keyboard

Global Esports’ initiative is just the initial steps that the org is planning to take to make a lasting impact on India’s esports scene.

Being an industry that is growing with each passing day, there will be more opportunities for enthusiasts along the way, and it’s your hard work and determination that will set you apart from the rest of the competition.

Edited by Nikhil Vinod
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