For some, the idea of working in the gaming industry is likely a dream job, but you don’t necessarily have to be a coder – you can just play them. Whether that’s streaming your gameplay full-time for an audience or becoming a professional online bingo player – you could be turning what used to be your favourite hobby into a well-paid career.
Landing a spot on an eSports team can take years of practice and networking in the industry and is often limited to the very best of the best – as with any other sport. Players that appear on stage representing a team in international competitions are typically the best of the best at the games they excel at.
eSports and Competitive Gaming
eSports is an industry that has taken the world by storm and is now valued at over $900 million globally. And it shows no signs of slowing down. The competitive gaming scene is a massive industry with jobs of all kinds – not only the gamers who participate. Jobs that come out of the competitive eSports scene include “shoutcasters”, analysts, production crews, event organisers, coaching staff for teams and many more.
“Shoutcasters” are the commentators of eSports events, just like you have in conventional sports, that are responsible for entertaining the crowd and offering commentary and insights on the game as it goes on. While you can train to become a “shoutcaster” and make a name for yourself by getting involved in smaller tournaments, most of them are ex-professional players who already have in-depth knowledge about the game they are commentating on. Analysts are also required to have in-depth game knowledge but with a more analytical approach than entertainment – they provide the audience with a breakdown of why certain plays were made and the thought process behind decision making in-game, as well as looking at the strengths and weaknesses of teams and individual players in order to help them improve and hone their abilities.
eSports Teams also need coaches who offer guidance and help them to ensure they are practicing properly and that their lifestyle is healthy and beneficial to the team. Coaches are almost always high-level players themselves and work together with the team to formulate strategies and a playing style that might give them an edge over the competition.
In fact, eSports teams are really no different from traditional sports. Despite negative stereotypes professional gamers are actually kept quite healthy and fit, so that they can perform at the highest level, and on stage in front of hundreds of thousands of fans. Mental and physical health needs to be at the same level as their gameplay.
eSports events are also massive and are broadcast online for millions of fans all over the world. The production crews and event organisers of these grand tournaments put on the best show they possibly can and hire musicians and other live entertainment to perform for the audience during the time between games, just like half time at the Super Bowl. These events pull hundreds of thousands of fans from everywhere in the world to the same place to enjoy their favourite game being played by the absolute best of the best in the worldTeams from around the world hope to qualify so that they can represent their country, and team, at international tournaments – and hope to be crowned the best in the world.
But what if you don’t have that competitive streak? What if you just enjoy a good laugh while you play through your favourite game with your friends? Then maybe eSports isn’t for you – maybe your gaming career lines up more with streaming.
YouTube and Streaming
Turning gaming into a career isn’t only limited to eSports and being the best of the best. Gaming as a form of entertainment has evolved to a point where audiences will pay to be entertained by their favourite personalities and individuals – this means that simply being entertaining, funny or interesting to watch could give you the opportunity to make a lot of money by playing video games.
Streaming takes place on specialised platforms such as Twitch.tv – one of the biggest streaming websites where thousands of gamers are broadcasting live at any given moment. The biggest streamers can pull audiences of more than 70,000 viewers at a time, all chatting with each other and the streamer, cheering them on. Each streamer does something different to entertain their audiences – whether they are incredibly proficient and good at the game they are playing, or they are hilariously funny and just fun to be around, they offer something to an audience that keeps them coming back. Watchers might even just flock to a game that has recently been released to try to find a streamer they like so they can get an experience of the game while being entertained.
The best streamers on any platform are talented entertainers who have key insights into their communities and what it is that they want to see. Streaming full-time might seem easy at first glance, but these guys put a lot of effort into constantly creating new content and engaging with their communities – from high-level gameplay to cosplay and method acting. Streamers are also constantly changing the way that we consume gaming content. Brands also sponsor leading exponents who have a large enough audience to advertise and endorse their products or services on their stream – with the streamer gathering the target audience for them, creating the perfect advertising space.
Streaming isn’t limited to traditional shoot-em-ups either – you don’t have to kill zombies or go on crazy adventures. Online gambling games such as poker, slots, blackjack or bingo have their own entry in the categories page on most streaming platforms. Much like gambling events you could watch on television, these games are streamed live to audiences that want to watch along with the players while they out-wit, out-luck and bluff each other to victory.
Online bingo even has dedicated streamers who either take a camera into a bingo hall with them or broadcast their game of online bingo. The communities that are chatting with the streamer and each other during the game can also then go and join the same room online and play along with their favourite entertainer.
Live streaming has changed entertainment and how we consume content and will continue to do so for years to come. The gaming industry is expanding, so while there are no guarantees, this certainly means that there is opportunity for growth in this industry!
How to Get Started
If you’ve been inspired to start turning your gaming passion into a successful career, then you’ll need to get a few things sorted so that you can get on your way to making a living from gaming. You will want a decent PC so that you meet the performance requirements of the newest games and software, you will need a microphone so you can communicate with your audience and you might want to get a camera so that they can see who it is that they’re engaging with. Once you’ve got the basics up and running, you need to get online and start putting your content out there.
There is no ultimate recipe for creating a successful career in online gaming, or streaming, other than putting yourself out there and trying to find your niche. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain from trying, so the best advice is just to start and to start now.
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