Becoming an Esports Team Manager For a College Esports Program

Esports team managers for colleges differ a fair bit from normal professional esports team managers. Even so, an esports team manager in college has a number of different responsibilities they must attend to for the success of their players and the college.

In this article, we will dive into exactly how to become an esports team manager in college (both for students and for people outside of the college), detailing what an esports team manager in college does and how they differ from a professional esports team manager.

Also, if you haven’t read it already, I go more in-depth about becoming a professional esports team manager in another article. Click here to read it.

How to Become an Esports Team Manager in College?

To become an esports team manager in college, you must apply to register an esports team through the recreational department or the student-rec department of the college. Upon receiving approval, you must acquire student players and register for an esports tournament to become an official team.

I won’t go too much in detail on how to start up an esports team at your college, but if you are interested I also wrote an article on the subject called “A Guide to Starting an Esports Team at College“.

Now, let’s assume you already have a team, then how does one become an esports team manager at their college? What if you don’t even go to college? Okay, let’s break down the method for becoming an esports team manager for each situation.

Becoming an Esports Team Manager Without a Club as a Student

This one is actually one of the easiest ways to become an esports team manager in college if no one is currently filling that void.

Just because that process is long, it’s hard for me to include it here, but that’s why, once again, I’ll refer you to my other article, “A Guide to Starting an Esports Team at College“, on the subject matter.

But once it’s set up, you can just decide to be the esports team manager. It’s not like you actually have anyone else to fill that void anyway, so it works out well.

Becoming an Esports Team Manager With a Club as a Student

Well, let’s say there is already an esports team established. You first need to understand is the esports team is run by the college or a student-run club.

If the club is run by the college, the esports team manager position is likely a paid one. If it’s run by students, it’s not.

Once you make that determination, see if the role is already filled.

For example, if it’s a paid one and it’s filled, you are out of luck (simple). If it’s not paid, that’s where you finally have some wiggle room. If it’s filled, you could look to work with the current esports team manager and set yourself up to be the person to takes it after the other student graduates.

That way you can learn and do the work first-hand while also ensuring scalability into the actual title at one point in the future.

If it’s not filled for either scenario, just apply for it or determine how to set yourself up to land it. Pretty easy and straightforward stuff here, it’s no rocket science.

Becoming an Esports Team Manager Without a Club as Someone Outside the College

Unfortunately, this one is very difficult, if not really impossible to accomplish. You will need to wait for the college to establish their own esports club and look to hire an employee (which will ideally be you).

That said, you can still make some efforts in an attempt to best position yourself. If this is a role you are looking to acquire, I’d recommend you reach out to the college’s recreational department and inform them about all things esports.

You can let them know you want to manage the team and help them set it up. Due to how a college works, very bureaucratic, only people within the organization can make a difference. That said, if the recreational department’s staff sees this as an opportunity, they may end up pushing for it and having you as their manager.

It’s worth trying, but chances are the recreational department staff may not care enough about the opportunity to actually want to take you up on your offer. Especially considering most of these organizations are full of older people who don’t fully understand or respect esports as an industry.

Becoming an Esports Team Manager With a Club as Someone Outside the College

Now, if they already decided to set up an esports team within their college, they’ll be seriously be looking to hire someone. They are likely doing hires as if you’d formally do hires for other positions.

But, and this is where the kicker comes in if the club is purely a student-run and endorsed club, there is no way for an outsider to have any involvement (let alone get paid) to act as an esports team manager.

Click here to learn how to get a job in esports!

Just understand the situation and make your move from there. If it’s purely student-run, you can take the approach we mentioned above. From there, you can simply wait and see what happens. Make your move when the time is right and hope for the best!

It’s without a doubt harder to become a manager of a college esports team if your targetted college itself isn’t hiring.

What Does an Esports Team Manager in College Do?

An esports team manager is responsible for overseeing all of the college’s esports team. They are responsible to ensure players are maintaining their minimum GPA requirements, are representing the college in a positive manner, aren’t getting into conflicts and are prepared for upcoming tournaments. A manager also must manage all travelling plans and tournament registration.

The workload increases or decreases depending on if the team also has coaches. If there are paid coaches, work significantly dies down for the esports team manager. Assuming there aren’t, the nice thing about colleges is that students are usually willing to take that spot.

Regardless, if there are no coaches, ensuring players are reviewing their vods and attending scrims will also be in the hands of an esports team manager.

The esports team manager must also decide what games the college should have a team for. This decision is based on which games have tournaments at the collegiate level. The manager must also decide all the tournaments available, which ones will the teams signup for.

The manager must also be the one to run the tryouts and has to select which players may be on the team.

Things to Become a Better College Team Manager

One thing you can do is ensure each team practices face to face at least once a week. This ensures they are preparing themselves for the feeling they’d get at real tournaments and lets you closely monitor their communication.

Having or proposing your college to run scholarships will allow you to have better players to select from during tryouts. This is something that can greatly enhance your college’s ability to win at actual tournaments and be competitive.

You also must understand that the students participating in a team are representing the college. Therefore their social image and the way they conduct themselves matter. Be sure to skim over their social media before signing on a player to a team.

Toxicity is a team and dream killer. Really watch out for toxic players. They can singlehandedly cause a team to not only break apart but also be outright banned by the college if they catch on to it.

Especially if drama and actual issues result from it. And they will, that’s how toxicity works in college life.

You will also want to continuously watch the GPAs of your players. If they aren’t maintaining a good GPA, that’s worth noticing and taking action on ASAP. Especially if your college has minimum GPA requirements, providing support when students start to struggle will make all the difference.

Also, if a student needs some time off from gaming to finish out a heavy week, give them the space to do so. It’s important to remember students have busy schedules and work outside of their esports commitments.

How Does a College Esports Team Manager Differ From a Professional Esports Team Manager

Esports teams managers differ from professional esports team managers since all their coaches are likely full-time students or part-time staff and all their players are part-time students. Also, most college esports teams aren’t looking to make money, while professional esports teams are. This drastically changes the responsibilities entitled to the team manager.

Therefore, once you understand why they differ, you can start to see exactly how they differ as well. It’s really based on the parameters (students vs full-time players) that are set on them and the objectives of the organizations (help college branding vs making profit).

The key differences are the coaches being part-time, GPA management, schedule management, less playtime, less physical space to practice and the team manager likely has to do different tasks in his day-to-day job.

He likely doesn’t report to the president of the college, but instead reports directly to the student-recreation committee or the recreational department.

He likely also has a lot less work on the business side and significantly more work on the player management side.

Schedule management is definitely a big task, especially when they want to determine when teams can practice in real life.

Lastly, since the college’s function isn’t to be an esports team, trying to do things that rock the boat in favor of the esports team is looked down upon by the bureaucracy of the college the typically likes to follow the old and the safe.

These are the key differences between a professional esports team and a college team

Do College Esports Team Managers Get Paid?

Yes, college esports team managers get paid but only when officially employed by the school. Most student team managers are doing so as a volunteer without the college providing a salary. More competitive colleges hire part-time and full-time team managers with a full salary to compensate. 

College esports team managers definitely get paid when they are employed by the school and officially endorsed by the school.

If it’s a student club or if the college team manager is a student, they are almost exclusively never paid by the college to do the work they do. This is because the student does it of their own desire and the college sees no reason to compensate them.

Once a college becomes competitive and actually wants to succeed in esports, they may consider actually hiring an esports team manager to manage the teams and best help them succeed.

When that is the case, it is almost never a current student. It can sometimes be graduating students that we’re managing the team prior to their graduation, but it’s almost never a current student.

When they are looking to have a hired esports team manager, they would hire them and have them go through a standard interviewing process just like any other professional would for a job position.

They’ll need a resume and some background in coaching, managing and/or esports to have a chance at the job.