Esports players are proof that playing video games hours on end can be profitable. The best pro-gamers earn over $100,000 in basic salaries and up to $1 million in sponsorship deals.
Of course, not everyone earns the big bucks. But if you are the best gamer in your group of friends, there’s a chance you’ve thought about becoming a pro-gamer. But then again, how do you get into an eSports team?
How do eSports organizations scout talents? We caught up with Erik King, chief executive of gambla.com, to find out how eSports clubs find new players.
According to King, streaming networks like Twitch and YouTube provide eSports teams an excellent way to find new players. That’s because they are cost-free and can expose some exceptionally talented gamers.
“On Twitch, scouts can watch broadcasts from tons of players and look out for those with unique skills,” King says. “Sometimes they can also survey viewers on who they believe to be the most talented gamers.”
As a result, scouting can involve short sessions even when a team is looking for gamers to join their A-teams. Of course, it’s not unusual for organizations to hold tryouts after scouting potential gamers on Twitch.
Checking Top-Ranked Players
In this age of online gaming, most video games have ranks through which players can compete for prizes. In League of Legends, players get ranked in Solo Queue based on their skills, roles in teams and victories made.
Against that backdrop, eSports organizations know precisely where to look when scouting new gamers. What’s more, they have a resource they can use to compare different players to find out exactly which gamer they should pick.
King compares the demand for top-ranked pro gamers to the demand for online casinos, an industry he’s been serving for years.
“Signing gamers based on their rank is one of the most effective ways to find new talent,” he says. “It’s similar to how everyone wants to use the best-rated online casino because they know it’s the best company around.”
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That said, many eSports organizations prefer to hire top-ranked gamers over conducting tryouts for a logical reason. The latter is too expensive and doesn’t always provide the expected result.
Online advertising is a befitting way to find pro-gamers considering most gamers spend a lot of their time playing online. In some cases, advertising open positions is usually the only way small organizations can grab players’ attention.
That’s because they don’t have as many fans as established organizations. As a result, their only way of scouting new customers is to post open positions on advertising websites.
Unfortunately, companies that scout new gamers through adverts tend to target local gamers. What’s more, they tend to be too small to pay up new players. As such, they advertise to find people willing to play competitively for free before the teams establish themselves.
Networking is a crucial skill in the eSports world, both for club coaches and players. On one hand, organizations can work with other clubs to trade gamers just like in traditional sports.
On the other, gamers forge friendships to help one another find better opportunities with time. Essentially, eSports stakeholders took a leaf out of the book of making trades in football, basketball and other sports.
According to King, whose experience at https://zaslots.com/casino/ helped him forge partnerships globally, gamers and organizations can’t afford to live in a vacuum. They need networks to keep their scouting pipelines streamlined at all times.
“Networking is one of the most reliable ways for eSports organizations to find new signings,” King says. “It’s equally effective for gamers who want to find greener pastures but have no agents to help them out.”
In many sports, approaching players from competing teams to hire them without consulting their employers is called ‘tampering.’ In football and basketball, tampering can result in huge fines for coaches or players who do it.
According to King, however, poaching is one of the most common ways organizations scout new players. Sometimes teams poach players even when there are under contracts with other organizations.
“Poaching is far too common in eSports,” King says. “It is also not a new thing. Over the years, there have been some high-profile cases of teams poaching players from their competitors without facing any consequence for it.”
Fortunately, more and more eSports leagues are taking measures to stop tampering. With the North America LOL Championship Series, for example, poaching now attracts fines as hefty as those imposed in the NBA and the MLB.
Every year, an independent scouting company or an established eSport entity organizes a scouting convention through which gamers to showcase their skills. Gamers pay for their flight and accommodation costs.
But if they are talented enough, they get a once in a lifetime chance to play for a competitive team. Many of these conferences bring together dozens of eSports teams scouting for new gamers.
Gamers who fail to find a team interested in them sometimes instead make friends and networks they could partner with to start new teams. After all, some of the best eSports teams are made up of former friends or people who met through chance.
As demand for talented gamers stiffens, eSports organizations are taking competition to the next level. Not only do they have academies to train young gamers they are also paying for their regular college education.
Educating young players obviously comes with some expenses. But it is much better than seeing talented gamers playing for competing rivals later on. Surprisingly, it is not just eSports teams paying scholarships for young fans.
Dozens of universities and colleges in the US now offer eSports scholarships. The reason is simple. They help youngsters earn degrees free of charge, but in exchange, the gamers play for the school.