The Hottest Career in Southeast Asia: Esports Athlete
If you love games and you live in Southeast Asia, then esports is something that you live for. You probably have watched hours of your favorite teams go head to head on Twitch or even YouTube. While you’re there watching from home or the office, it won’t be uncommon for you to think that you would want to be just like your hero gamers. After all, they get to play games for a living. How awesome is that?! It’s no surprise that many people wish they could also be a professional gamer.
But you don’t have to keep dreaming; you could take the first step to become the new Southeast Asian esports legend? Just keep reading below and you will know what it takes!
Talk the Talk
Talking the talk is important, but you should also never forget to walk the walk. You should do your research to familiarize yourself with the jargons that esports athletes use. This will not only enable you to communicate with your future team really well, but you will also avoid looking like a noob (newbie). Just imagine interning at a company and not knowing what VooDoo is in DOTA 2 – something that you should definitely avoid.
But this will come naturally, especially if you love to watch your idols stream their games. However, this is not the only thing you should learn while you’re watching.
Learn from the Professionals
First of all, if you’re really considering a job in esports, then it means you have an expertise to offer a certain team, though that does not mean that there’s nothing for you to learn about anymore; and these things you could get from simply listening to the pros. By doing so, you could study what strategies they use to defeat their enemy teams. There’s really no one else better for you to learn from.
The best way you could do this is to get on Twitch and search for their accounts. Afterwards, get ready to watch hours of gameplay. Remember to also to watch how they manage their teamwork, especially if you’re planning to join a team and become the next MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) legend.
Practice, Practice, Practice
In order to become a successful esports athlete, your progress shouldn’t stop at simply learning from your legends. You must also apply all the lessons you’ve learned. If you could, gather your group of friends or play with strangers. The latter will teach you how to work and adapt to just about any kind of player you could end up teaming up with. Although, the former is more fun and you can get some advice from your good friends. Either way will be useful to you.
Once you finally have the skills, it’s time to apply for a job!
Be on the Lookout for Jobs
When it comes to finding a job in esports – whether as an athlete or not – there are a few websites you can lean on to help you. Think of these like the Kalibrr or Jobstreet of esports. They are the following sites:
- Esports Observer
- Jobs in Esports
Make it a routine to check every once in a while; once a day is great, but checking once a week is enough. Although, be mindful that getting a job in the beginning would be hard, especially since there are many Southeast Asian esports supporters out there; this means you will have a lot of competition.
All of this, however, point to the fact that you must be able to stand out from everyone else. You could do this by following the tips listed below:
Work for Free
This tip should only be done when you’re just starting your esports career. It isn’t at all beneficial for you once you have already established yourself in the industry. The easiest way you could get your foot in its door is to volunteer or become an intern for a company. Once you’ve gotten it, you need to prove yourself. Show them that you have the passion and the love for games.
The experience that you earn while doing so is valuable, for you could learn the business of the booming industry. You must pay attention to what your supervisors teach you and learn how it will apply to your life as a budding esports athlete. This way, you will have a good resume and portfolio that could help you land your very first actual paying job in esports. If you show companies that you have experience, then they will want to hire you more.
Apart from that, you also get to hear the opinions of experts about the industry. This includes the things you can expect to happen to the esports in the coming years as well as the trade secrets being used by companies. Of course, this is top secret information you won’t be allowed to share because of your contract. But you can use this info yourself to be able to come up with the next big idea.
Finally, you will also have access to Southeast Asian esports events – just like the ones you watch on Twitch! This is usually a perk that companies give their interns for helping out. After all, they might as well compensate you with a free pass to big esports events! Not to mention the merchandise, such as shirts, hoodies, mouse pads, etc. However, don’t forget the job at hand. Do good work, show that you’re needed by the team, and your company will take notice!
Build Your Network
As with any other career, you’ll stand out more than anyone if you already have a connection into the industry. The Southeast Asian esports community is filled with people, who love computer gaming. In short, it wouldn’t be hard for you to find another individual that has the same interest with you. All you have to do is be yourself and be friendly in order to make these connections.
You can also use your other abilities to help you out! For example, you make awesome video game music on the side. You can go up to a rising esports star and offer to make the music for his YouTube videos. If he likes your work, then he’ll recommend you to the people he knows. When they commission you, prove to them that you could provide them the best, and they will end up recommending you to other people in the online gaming community. This also applies to graphics, documentation, writing, etc. If you have any skill that you can offer a fellow esports athlete, then do it. This will build your network and start to slowly build your name in the Southeast Asian esports industry.
Doing this may never end, but it could help you out in the long run by trying to establish your name in the community. The best way you could do is to start off with 5-10 people at first; you’ll be surprised at how much larger your world will become from thereon. Once you get your goal, don’t stop there and keep talking to people.
Get Twitter and Reddit
If you already have accounts to these social media sites, then be sure that they will remain active. Essentially, these sites are the home of esports athletes. These are where they can market themselves with images, short videos, and witty one-liners. At the same time, these are where they can communicate well with their fans and fellow professionals.
When it comes to Twitter, learning how to use the search functions is very important to your esports career. This is where you’ll see what’s trending. Just search for the popular hashtags about esports and see what people are saying. You can go specific and look for tags about your favorite game, your company’s events, your favorite athlete, or a tournament that you’re interested in. Basically, you get a view of what your fellow gamers are into. With this information, you can make Twitter content that will be a hit! Keep making good content and you will come off as a figure in the industry.
Not to mention, you can make the contents about your idols and tweet it at them. Who knows? Maybe a retweet from them could give your name that big push it needs.
As for Reddit, again, content is king. So, if you get to share a good article here, then thousands of lovers of esports in Southeast Asia will get to see it. If what you post is worth sharing, then they will. Again, this will give you the boost you need to stand out in a sea of esports athletes. Also, a well written article will make you look reliable and trustworthy.
None of these will come after just one epic post. You need to be consistent; it must be one viral post after the other, which means you need to keep working hard!
Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin
Succeeding in this business is like choosing your champion in LoL (League of Legends). You have to pick just one or two and get really good at using them. When you become awesome at your champion, then you will be a valuable member to a team.
The same goes for the esports business in Southeast Asia; it’s not just about playing the computer games you enjoy. You can be a shoutcasters, writers, streamers, designers, etc. It’s up to you what you choose to specialize in to get a career in esports, but you should never try to do everything all at once. You will spread yourself too thin. When this happens, you won’t have much value to the industry because esports companies would rather get someone who can do one thing really well rather than many other things at a mediocre level.
This doesn’t mean that you have to limit yourself. However, what it does mean is that you have to be an expert at one thing first before you decide to branch out. Again, the key here is to be an expert! When you are, people will trust you since you are knowledgeable. Who knows? Maybe after a few years of writing about the best Dota 2 strategies, you can be a part of your very first competitive team.
Learn, Learn, Learn
Now, this tip may go a bit against the previous one, so be sure to read everything to understand where we’re going with this.
There is so much more to being an esports athlete than just playing. For example, if you want to stream videos on YouTube, then you have to know some basic editing and graphic design. Also, the online nature of the industry may require you to learn about social media and how to use it to promote yourself.
Again, you shouldn’t spread yourself too thin; so, focus on getting really good at your game first. Then, in your free time, learn these little things so that you can work on your branding. Being able to do it yourself will save you a lot of money, after all. But you should also know when it would be better for you and your team to hire an expert social media manager, video editor, graphic design, etc. By doing so, you could also learn a few things from these people.
Learn to Enjoy the Process
As with any type of career, patience is the key. All of your idol Southeast Asian esports legends didn’t get to where they are over a few months. They worked hard and they toiled hours and hours of practice on their game of choice. In all honesty, it’ll get really stressful. It may even reach the point that you don’t want to play anymore. This really happens, especially with the 24/7 nature of being passionate about what you’re doing.
The keyword there, however, is “passion.” Stay passionate and always remind yourself the reason why you love the game in the first place. Also, keep in mind that you are working towards your goal, and the harder you work, the closer you are to reaching it.
Everything takes time and you won’t always get what you want right away. Also, when you finally do get it, it’ll just be a fleeting moment that will pass. The true key to success in any passion is to love the process. Make sure that you always have fun doing what you do! When you reach this point, it’s only a matter of time before you get to where you want to be and more.
Where Can You Practice Esports in Southeast Asia?
We here at Mineski Infinity are always creating spaces for the young and aspiring esports athlete to be able to practice. This is why we have set up high quality 24/7 gaming hubs all over the Philippines and Malaysia. Be sure to check out our branches to see which one is closest to you. For more information regarding our services, please visit our contact us page.