The Story Behind Esports How
My name is Uzair, and in 2017, I set my eyes on breaking into the esports industry. During the four years dedicated solely to that goal, I experienced large amounts of stress, a feeling of being lost, and a concern that I was wasting my life. I had this consistent belief that I wasn’t good enough to break into the industry. Or rather, I came to the conclusion that getting into esports was an impossibility.
Just so you understand how much time and effort I wasted – over those four years, I volunteered at about a dozen professional and grassroots esports organizations, interned at two professional esports companies, ran four high school clubs, ran two college clubs, had three non-esports jobs, attempted to create four esports businesses, became a certified agile project manager, went to the first-ever esports-business program, and started an esports-business blog. In the end, I was able to eventually break into esports thanks to pure luck.
In 2020, Covid ended up helping my small blog gain traction. It attracted professionals from other industries who were looking to bring esports-focused initiatives into their businesses. After reading my content, they’d email me to seek my guidance. As a result, I formally became an esports B2B consultant.
During that period, I consulted municipal government staff, high-level executives, small business owners, and even a Hollywood producer. Through those consultations, I was able to finally land paid contracts. A few months later, I was offered a full-time position at the esports team of my dream, Lazarus Esports.
The moment I landed that and looked back, I quickly realized how much I messed up on so many levels. I wish I had someone who told me what I should’ve done, and more importantly, what I shouldn’t have done.
But that wasn’t all. As I’ve mentioned, I was a student of the first-ever esports-business program in North America. Well, almost everyone in my cohort and the cohort that graduated the year before us in my program either went back to school or has given up on esports entirely.
I remember one student I was speaking to told me that “attending the program was a mistake after all.” It was devastating to hear my classmate, a good friend of mine, regretting how they spent the past two years and feeling like they can’t live their dream life.
Some would blame the program, others would blame Covid’s disruption of the job market. I call BS on both. I’m living proof of that. In the end, after looking back, I’ve come to realize that it was the individual, the way they conducted themselves, and the way they moved that caused them to win or lose.
No doubt, if the conditions were better, the game would be easier. But the game of getting a job in esports doesn’t have different difficulty settings (a controversial topic, I know). The game is stuck on Ultra Nightmare mode.
But that doesn’t matter. What matters is playing your cards as well as possible, regardless of the circumstances, to maximize the chances that you’ll land a job. But why stop at that? Let’s nearly guarantee that you can land the job of your dreams in the company you most desire.
I created Esports How to first help me acquire what I always dreamed of. Now, I’ve retooled it to help you secure your dream job within esports. We’re providing what I wish I had when I first started on my journey – the knowledge, advice, and guidance on how to break into the esports industry. But most importantly, I wish I had someone who told me it was possible – that I could seriously make it. And in fact, I wasn’t crazy, and it wasn’t a pipedream.
Getting a Job in Esports is Just a Game
Have you ever played League of Legends? Do you remember your early days of playing the game?
Let’s say you never had the tutorial or saw any YouTube videos on it. Let’s say instead one day you decided to play League blind. The only thing you knew was that you had to break the Nexus. Naturally, you’d run it down into the enemy base the moment the game started. Thankfully, you have a team who can give you advice and moral support. Disappointingly, they aren’t much help.
You enter champion select, overwhelmed with options of characters to pick from. Everyone starts yelling at you, “lock in, lock in.” You pick someone at random. After the loading screen, you spawn into this whole new environment. Everyone yells at you “what da hell you doin. Go top!!!.” “why my team trolls, go top or i afk.”
Seems like you don’t have a choice. You get to the top lane, not sure what to do, so you keep walking until you take tower aggro and die. “gg my team.” You eventually figure out you need to kill these minion things. You barely manage to get the hang of killing minions before you see the chat blowing up “OMGGGGG!! group!!” “why top idiot.” “can top do something? I always get camped and team never helps. You should uninstal”
Looks like you need to leave top? Well, you walk mid, only to get one shot by the enemy mid. That tends to happen when you buy random items and don’t know what you’re doing.
“A summoner has disconnected.” Seems like your mid laner gave up. The support says, “What is this!??!?! i can’t carry this trash. Too heavy.” Oh, looks like your support is spending more time typing than playing.
But all of a sudden, your team pulls it together and you win the game!… Ha, you wish. You get completely destroyed. You had no chance of ever winning that game.
Man, what a hell of an experience that would be. Now imagine if that was your life. And imagine, if you wanted to live a life you desired, you had to win at least one game. You only had a handful of matches you could queue up for. If you lost all of them, you’d be forced to play Dota 2 for the rest of your life (what torture). Or worse, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (*GASPP!!*). Well, the truth is, that really is your life. In reality, you’re playing the career game and the foundations of your entire professional life are at stake.
You see, trying to get a job in esports is the game you’re playing. Just like league, you have to select your career (character). You need to figure out how you’ll farm value (gold). You’ll use what you farm to create the best possible portfolio (build). Do you see the similarities?
Traditionally, you get told to pick whatever career path is “your passion” at a time of your life when you still need permission to go to the bathroom. You get told that you have to go to university (that or be a failure working the front desk at McDonald’s). You get to university, have no idea what to do, and end up wasting a ton of time figuring it out. You eventually come to the conclusion “to win, I must get good grades.” You farm up school grades, only to learn that it’s not doing anything.
The question becomes what should you do? Well, what do you have to do to win League of Legends? Any League player would tell you that to win, you have to actually take objectives. You need to out-position and outmaneuver the enemy. You need an on-meta build. Everything you do should be to get you closer to breaking the enemy Nexus.