How to Become an Esports Expert

When I started in the esports industry, I knew I wanted to become an esports expert to educate others on the world of esports.  It took me some time to understand how to become an esports expert.

To become an esports expert, you must spend 10,000 hours researching the esports industry as stated by Malcolm Gladwell. This translates to approximately 10 years of deliberate practice if you studied 3 hours of esports per day.

Let’s discuss what is an esports expert, how many hours of deliberate practice results in expertise and what does it mean to engage in deliberate practice.

What is an Esports Expert

An esports expert is a person who has a deep comprehension and authoritative knowledge of the esports industry. This includes knowledge on topics such as sponsorships, esports growth developments, partnership agreements and influencer marketing.

An esports expert typically starts their career in esports working for multiple different esports businesses and eventually becomes a general esports consultant or esports entrepreneur.

These are individuals who have 10,000 hours of deliberate practice according to the 10,000 rule created by Malcolm Gladwell. We will define what exactly is deliberate practice below.

In the esports industry, your best methods of becoming an esports expert are through consuming different forms of media such as news (like The Esports Insider or LinkedIn), podcasts (like The Esports Business Podcast) and work in the industry through a full-time job.

An expert is someone who is classified by the community as an expert. Not only do you have to learn a substantial amount of information, but you have to show you have information by communicating it to the world.

This could be through coming on other people’s podcasts, running your own podcast, creating YouTube videos, creating blog posts or writing a book.

An esports expert will gain more working opportunities, better payment rates for their work and will be extra valuable to the workspace.

What are the Benefits of Becoming an Esports Expect

The benefit of becoming an esports expert is that you gain professional recognition which results in greater financial success and gaining more complex projects in esports. An esports expert will assist in the esports industry gaining more prospects.

There are monetary and status-based benefits from becoming an esports expert. You will also have more ability to support the esports community and provide more value to businesses.

Becoming an esports expert is a great position to be in considering the 20%+ year-over-year growth of the industry.

Steps to Become an Esports Expert

1. Study Newzoo and other authoritative sources

To start becoming an esports expert, you need to start learning about the esports industry as a whole.

Going to services such as Newzoo, App Annie, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) will start as great sources to learn the industry from a high level and get a full grasp of all the different high-level information about esports.

When starting off to become an expert, you want to know the scope of esports and that’s what the sources listed above to give you knowledge of. You can learn things such as:

  • Revenue generated annually in esports
  • Revenue streams in esports, such as sponsorship
  • Growth of esports specifically in the US and Canada
  • Revenue generated per individual enthusiast
  • The year-over-year growth rate of esports
  • Growth of the top esports tournaments and leagues
  • Player pool of mobile games

You will want to keep up-to-date with this data quarterly or by-quarterly to ensure you know the latest trends within the industry.

2. Obtain a job in an esports organization

An esports expert needs an inside look into the esports industry. They want to imply what they learned to learn what works and what doesn’t through practice. They will also gain access to data they didn’t have available to them prior.

To get a job in esports, read the article “5 Things You NEED to Do to Get a Job in Esports” as I’ve outlined the process there. In short, you must:

  1. Determine what career path you want to enter.
  2. Determine what experience and education you need for that career path.
  3. Work on the grassroots side to develop that experience.
  4. Apply to an internship to further enhance your resume.
  5. Apply to entry-level positions once you have enough initial experience.

To learn more about landing a job in esports, click here to read my article on the subject.

This will significantly aid in becoming an esports expert but isn’t a prerequisite.

3. Spend 30 minutes studying esports news

Following up with esports news will be a massive benefactor and needed step to becoming an esports expert. That said, you don’t want to spend any more than 30 minutes a day, as the news becomes outdated as time goes on.

You will need to follow along to keep up-to-date and notice trends without spending too much time on information that will become irrelevant the following day. The trick is to limit what you study to only the important highlights and dive deeper into things that seem worth reading for the long haul.

For me, this is through listening to the Esports Minute Podcast and getting a daily + weekly Esports Insider email newsletter.

From there, if any of the topics they discuss are worth reading further into, there will be an article resource link that I can follow through the email (or search it up for the Esports Minute Podcast).

As a result, I don’t tend to spend any more than 30 minutes, with some days being as little as 5 minutes.

4. Spend 2-3 hours studying esports business content

What you should spend a lot more time on is studying esports business content. This will make you more knowledgeable in the esports industry and make you more valuable to the esports industry. This will be the key factor to becoming an esports expert.

On the Esport How resources page (click here to be redirected), I have a long list of different esports business podcasts, YouTube channels and blogs I consume to learn more about the esports industry.

Be sure to check out my episode on The Wide World of Esports show.

By spending 2 to 3 hours listening to various sources on various topics within esports, you’ll learn and understand a lot more about the esports industry.

This will seriously add up. After a week, you’ll learn 14 to 21 hours of content. After a year, that’ll scale up to 730 to 1095 hours of studying.

The key factor is consistency. Although 2 to 3 hours sounds like a little amount of time, being consistent will add up and you’ll quickly learn a lot about the business of esports.

5. Educate others through podcasts, YouTube videos or blog articles

Now that you are becoming more and more knowledgeable, to position yourself as an expert you need to share the information you have been learning.

This does two key things. Firstly, you’ll prove to others that you have information that they can benefit from. That will lead us to perform steps 6 through 10.

Secondly, you’ll better understand the content yourself. By teaching others, your mind has to make sense of what you learned and reorganize it in a way that you can educate others. This was first realized by Sigmund Freud with his discovery of the subconscious.

Which are both a part of why, for example, I write on Esport How.

The way to educate others is up to you. You just need to determine which medium you want to use to educate others (and you can use multiple mediums). You can do the following:

  • Create YouTube videos
  • Create blog posts (like me)
  • Create a podcast
  • Be a guest on other’s podcasts
  • Be a guest on other’s YouTube channel
  • Write for someone else’s blog

Following any one of these methods will best aid you to showcase your expertise in esports.

6. Speak with other esports experts to learn

To further your deep learning and understanding of esports, it’s highly recommended that you speak with and theorize alongside other esports experts.

To do this, you will want to initially go to sites like LinkedIn and network with these individuals. Get on virtual coffee chats occasionally and discuss different topics and ideas.

You can create more formal groups like masterminds to discuss these ideas.

7. Switch professions when you begin to stop learning from your job

Another important step will be to make sure when you start stagnating learning from your job or things start to become routine, you’ll either need to look to be promoted, have harder projects or quit your job for a new one.

This will act as a key method to ensure you are learning and growing as much as possible from your job opportunity.

If you want to become an esports expert, you cannot get comfortable. Instead, you need to push yourself outside your comfort zone as this will inhibit learning and growth.

8. Attend networking events to share new ideas

Another great method to position yourself as an expert is by shoving your expertise in the faces of others. The best opportunity to do this consistently to consistently new people is by attending networking events.

The key is not to just attend these events and be quiet. In fact, you want to be the loudest person in the room, but in a way that sounds intellectually savvy and well educated.

Standing with the team during that hosted the LC PUBG Mobile Tournament

By doing this and addressing key questions others in the group have, they’ll start looking up at you as an expert in your specific domain within esports.

9. Write a book on your technical subject focus

Once you are confident in your ability as an esports expert, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is and write a book on your focus.

This will be the staple showcase of your knowledge of the world of esports, therefore you’ll want to ensure the content in here is a good representation of your knowledge and that it isn’t rushed.

You’ll want to make a non-fiction book and write anywhere between 50,000 to 100,000 words. No more, no less.

Make sure you have a strong launch campaign. Assuming it goes well, you will seriously position yourself as an expert with a successful book.

10. Speak at esports conferences for credibility

With your book under your belt and hopefully a few years of providing content of your chosen medium, you will now start being invited to esports conferences.

This will solidify your stature as an esports expert because of the massive pre-requisite of being invited to speak at a conference.

This will also be your gateway to increasing the rates you charge for your work and the overall value you are in the marketplace for companies.

11. Continue deliberate practice for at least 10 years

It’s important to understand that you must be consistent with your deliberate practice. It will take upwards of 10 years to become an expert so you have to be sure esports is the industry you want to stay in for the long haul.

This time and energy investment will pay off as you spend more and more time, but it’s important to remember that you do need to put in the work for many years.

Failing to do so or failing to push yourself out of your comfort zone will result in you not situating yourself as an esports content expert.

How Many Hours of Practice to Become an Esports Expert

As a general rule, you must conduct 3 hours of deliberate practice on your esports specialization each day for 10 years to become an esports expert. If you spend upwards of 5 hours of deliberate practice daily, you can deduce the time to become an expert to approximately 5 years.

To become an esports expert, you must conduct 10,000 hours of deliberate practice of your specific craft within esports. This can be added up in different ways, and you don’t have to spend the same amount each day or work 7 days a week, although those are the most effective methods of proceeding.

For example, if you only spent 1 hour a day for 5 days a week, that would take 38 years and 1 month to become an expert. That means if you started at 24, you’d have to become 62 years old to become an esports expert.

That’s why instead, if you can double or triple your practice time and have it done every day, you’ll become an expert in 10 years or less (if you do more).

To get a full understanding of the number of hours of deliberate practice’s correlation to the number of years to become an esports expert, look at the table below:

Hours of Deliberate Practice of Esports Number of Years to Become an Esports Expert
1 27.4
2 13.7
3 9.1
4 6.8
5 5.5
6 4.6
7 3.9
8 3.4
9 3.0
10 2.7
11 2.5
12 2.3

Your best bet would be practicing between 3 to 6 hours for the best success. Deliberate practice greater than 6 hours starts providing majorly dimension returns on the total number of years and will be significantly harder to sustain.

According to Cal Newport, an individual can only do 4 hours of deep work (aka deliberate practice) each day. For that reason, the lowest amount of years it should ever take you to become an expert is 7.

However, the exception to this is when you start considering learning into your deliberate practice. I’d say about 2 hours of learning is equivalent to 1 hour of deliberate practice, however, learning is one of the best ways to become an expert.

Those are just rough estimates, but if you do 3 hours of studying plus 3 hours of deep work, you would become an esports expert in about 5 years.

What is Deliberate Practice in Esports

Deliberate practice in esports refers to a special type of practice that is purposeful, systematic with a clear awareness of a specific skill you are looking to learn or improve. In intellectual work, this can include studying but at a diminishing return from diligent practice.

To ensure that all the time you count as “deliberate practice”, you must make sure you are learning or improving in the process. Without learning or improving a specific skill, this isn’t considered deliberate practice and therefore you won’t be moving closer to your goal of becoming an expert.

Instead, you’ll just be doing a routine thing that is providing no benefit in becoming an esports expert in your specific craft.