As someone who’s worked in Lazarus Esports, I have helped with the scouting and recruiting process for players and content creators. I know exactly how players can get scouted and what they need to do to improve their ability to be scouted.
There are a lot of different actions you can take and the players who get noticed, scouted and recruited by an esports team are the ones who are seriously putting in the work to make a name for themselves.
In this article, we will go deep into how to get scouted by an esports team, things that you can do to improve your ability to be noticed by an esports team, why you should be scouted in the first place and what to do after an esports team scouts you.
How to Get Scouted By an Esports Team
To get scouting by an esports team, you must create an online presence, network with esports teams, acquire a top rank in the game’s native ranking system, use third-party scouting software and attend your game’s top open tournaments.
To get scouted, you must:
- Stream Yourself
- Network With Esports Teams
- Hit a Top Rank in the Game’s Internal Ranking System
- Hire a Player Agency to Promote and Network For You
- Attend and Win Larger Open Esports Tournaments For Your Respective Game
- Signup to Third Party Ranking Systems Like GYO Score
There is some work that needs to be done on your part. It’s not a massive amount of work, but there is still work to be done nonetheless.
Let’s dive deep into exactly the actions and steps you should take to become a professional esports team player.
Streaming yourself is esports scouting 101. One of the most important and easiest actions you can take, streaming yourself allows teams to notice not only you but also help them evaluate how you play and react to situations.
When I recruited, watching your stream was fundamental to determining if you are committed, have the right winner’s attitude and if you have the skills to identify your faults and strengths.
Streaming yourself is pretty simple. Download OBS, make a Twitch account and whenever you play the game, just go live.
The nice thing about streaming yourself is that if your stream starts to grow, you will also be able to generate a bit of revenue from streaming itself. Therefore, there is more to gain than just getting noticed by esports teams from streaming yourself.
Network With Esports Teams
Networking directly with esports teams is also a very valuable step to take. Not every player is doing this, so by taking more action than your competition, you have a better chance of being scouted.
You may now be wondering, how do you network with esports teams? An obvious way is to DM their social media and let them know you are a professional player and would like to be put on your scouting list to be evaluated.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for networking!
Another action you can take is to seriously be involved in an esports team’s community. Join them during live streams. Get in and talk on their Discord server. Whenever you talk to employees, you can slide it in there.
Get on their live calls and interactive streams as well.
But, as you do this, be sure to be professional and not annoying. We will talk about that more below, but no one likes that annoying gamer looking to go pro but has a long way to go. Maturity is important in an esports player and shows your maturity as you network (more about that below).
Hit a Top Rank in the Game’s Internal Ranking System
An obvious yet valuable step is to reach a top rank in a game’s internal ranking system. This by no means will justify you to be on an esports team. Many number 1 players on the League of Legends game ranking system, for example, don’t get recruited by teams because solo queue and pro-play are very different.
That said, you want to at least hit a generally high rank. The higher you can hit, the better your chances are to actually be recruited by an esports team.
I talk more in this article below about how to seriously improve your rank, to make quick notes here you obviously will want to play more, but you will want to also reflect a lot on your weaknesses and resolve them.
Hire a Player Agency to Promote and Network For You
Perhaps you are really good and have a bit of cash. You want to be scouted and don’t want to put a large amount of work into networking and promoting yourself.
You could hire a player agency and have a player agent promote and network you on your behalf.
Player agencies are a relevantly new business model, emerging roughly around 2017. These agencies can do a lot for and on behalf of a player to protect them and improve their overall esports career. One of the things they can help with is putting you in front of esports teams to be evaluated and potentially recruited.
You can find a number of player agencies online, be sure to do your own vetting to determine which player agency would be the best for you in your situation. From there, pick the best player agent who reflects and understands exactly what you are looking to do.
By picking a good player agent, assuming you are good enough of a player, that can easily turn your bad luck streak around and help you become successfully recruited by an esports team.
Attend and Win Larger Open Esports Tournaments For Your Respective Game
Are you attending live events for your respective game? Specifically the largest open live events for your game niche. Although esports primarily runs online, a lot of more traditional scouting takes place at live events, where an employee’s ability to approach increases and their ability to find a golden goose everyone else is missing also increases.
Let’s say for example you wanted to get recruited for a Super Smash Bros Ultimate team. Are you attending events like Evo or Frostbite? I know travelling can be expensive but are you serious about going pro? You will have to take risks and make sacrifices.
Obviously, if you are going all the way to the event and just losing, it’s a waste of your time and money. So if you expect to lose, don’t go. But if you seriously see yourself as an exceptionally skilled player who needs to be recruited and you expect you can do well at a tournament in events like Evo and Frostbite, go there and make a name for yourself.
Not to mention if you do win, there’s a lot of money that you can earn from those types of tournaments.
Signup to Third Party Ranking Systems Like GYO Score
Lastly, you also want to signup for third-party ranking systems like GYO Score that were established to help esports teams recruit players.
I haven’t personally used one for scouting, so I can’t say much from a personal perspective, but I know teams seriously look at the metrics on sites like GYO Score to determine which players are right to recruit,
You will need to signup to a platform like this, ideally you do multiple of them and just over-time improve your metrics.
The key thing to think about with a platform like GYO Score is that your improvements over time are also being documented. Meaning, if you don’t improve (or worst, getting worst), being on a platform like GYO Score may hurt you more than help.
That said, if you did plateau, the team will likely notice that before recruiting you anyway. Your best bet is to continuously improve and grow.
How to Increase Your Chances of Being Scouted
To increase your chances to be scouted:
- Don’t Be Toxic!
- Increase Your Stream and Social Media Metrics
- Be Professional While Networking
- Be Consistent on Social Media
- Keep Your Personal and Business Branding Clean
- Actually Play Well and Improve
Now that we talked about the different mediums and things you can do to get scouted, let’s improve your ability to be scouted and recruited by esports teams.
Sure, you want teams to notice you. And we will talk about how to improve noticeability below. But chances are, you already are being noticed by an esports team but after vetting you, they decided it’s not worth even reaching out to you and doing an interview.
This could be for a number of different reasons. Let’s talk about exactly what those reasons are and how you can improve your chances of being noticed, scouted and recruited by a professional esports team.
Don’t Be Toxic!
The number one issue that top players have when it comes to being recruited is that when they are toxic, teams don’t want them. Remember how it’s fundamental to stream yourself. Well, a big reason why teams like to watch your play while you stream is to see how you react to certain situations.
If you get very angry, flame or can’t deal with loss, you are a ticking time bomb looking to cause issues within an esports team. I know a number of different players who have the skills to be great professional players, but no team wants them because they don’t want to bring toxicity into their team environment.
The same thing happens in sports all the time. The guy with the wrong mentality, who isn’t looking to put in the work and is always getting into fights is the last guy anyone wants, regardless of their ranking.
This is because by being on a team, you are repping the team. Being toxic will not only spread like a wildfire to the other plays and demotivate them, but it will also look bad on the team from a PR standpoint.
Don’t be toxic. If you are toxic, learn to control yourself, especially online and during streams, if you seriously want to be approached by an esports team.
Increase Your Stream and Social Media Metrics
Not only will this help you be found easily, but it’ll make you more valuable. Esports teams make 58% of their team’s revenue from sponsorship, your streaming metrics at time are more valuable than your actual gameplay. That is exactly why teams recruit content creators.
If you are good and bring in metrics that a content creator would, not only do you have a better chance of being recruited, but you’ll have a significantly larger salary since you complete 2 functions and are just that much more valuable.
That said, having good metrics will also obviously improve your chances of being recruited, and that’s what we want here. Becoming as valuable as possible is the right mindset when you are looking to seriously become a pro and help an esports team win a world cup.
Be Professional While Networking
Please be professional while networking. There are so many kids that aren’t professional and instead are annoying while trying to get an esports team to notice them, and all I’m thinking is this is exactly how to get a team to put you on the blacklist.
Teams need mature players. Being professional shows maturity. If you aren’t mature enough, you likely won’t be able to put in the long hours, keep up with quotas and properly communicate to your teammates during games. Not to mention an immature member is a liability if they act in a dumb way to get the team or himself in trouble.
Just be professional. Don’t consistently reach out to a team. Don’t be overly in their face and don’t keep posting about yourself in their Twitch streams.
Make sure when you do reach out to network that there is a reasonable amount of time between each follow-up message. One week is a business courtesy. But if they replied and acknowledged you, when you want to follow up to that I’d wait anywhere between 1 to 2 months.
Rinse and repeat. Don’t get impatient because you will actively hurt your chances.
Also, proofread what you typed. Use a plugin like Speechify to read it to you so you can hear grammatical mistakes if you aren’t too good with writing. Have your friends or family check it over if you really need to.
Spelling errors can be so small but it comes off very badly in a business setting. Be smart and act professionally to ensure the best chances for an esports team to notice, scout and recruit you to their esports team.
Be Consistent on Social Media
No team wants to hire a liability. By not being consistent on social media or your streaming platform, you are telling the team that you may not be consistent with your practices and have to be terminated early.
Trust me, as someone who worked at recruiting players, this is something I actually looked at and was a red flag for me. If you stream, doesn’t matter if it’s once a week, you better not take occasional random 2 month breaks every 3 months.
The same doesn’t really apply to your social media unless you have good metrics, which could hurt the evaluation of your salary and may come off as inconsistent depending on the circumstance.
The same goes for your actual playing of the game. If you took a month-long break from playing, I’d want to figure out why. Did you lose internet? Did you burn out? Were you just simply bored?
This would tell me a lot about you and what I can expect if I recruited you into my esports team. You have to be consistent and have good reasons why you lost consistency.
Keep Your Personal and Business Branding Clean
This one should be obvious but for some reason, it doesn’t seem like everyone gets the memo so I’ll spell it out here. Don’t be dumb on your social media accounts and say things that aren’t acceptable.
Don’t post about politics. No one cares about your views and you won’t change anyone’s mind on social media. Don’t get into political or religious arguments. Are you serious about getting a career in esports? Well focus on that goal and don’t get derailed in things that can actively push you backwards.
I’ll say some other obvious things but clearly players aren’t getting it. Don’t date underaged youth. Don’t attack people and get into drama. Don’t say bad things about the organization you are currently with.
Don’t say racist, sexist or homophobic things. Anything that can get you cancelled, and there are 30 different things that can do that, just don’t say them. Especially in our hyper-sensitive world, just be very careful about what you post and say online.
Actually Play Well and Improve
This last one is also extremely important, you need to seriously get good at the game you are playing. You should know how to do that, but I’ll throw in some tips here to help you if you weren’t employing them already.
Firstly, look at the amount of time you are playing. If you are younger than 20, you should be putting in anywhere between 12 to 14 hours into your gameplay. Obviously attend school, let’s not be dumb here, but on days you are off you should be grinding out.
Grinding out is not limited to playing. In fact, mindlessly playing won’t yield you the best possible results. During those 12 to 14 hour sessions, rewatch your vods. Look at where you went wrong and where you went right.
Decide to take complete ownership of the results of each match, regardless of if it was someone else’s fault for your loss and determine what you specifically could have done differently to win. Regardless of what happens, if you’ve lost (and even if you won), there are always things you could do differently.
Use tools like GYO Score and look at your analytics. See your growths and declines and set proper benchmarks for improvements and determine how you will hit those benchmarks.
Do you need to play more aggressively for more kills? How about more passively for fewer deaths? Is your impact on the game lower than the pro player average? Why is that? Ask yourself more and more questions as you look at your analytics.
If you seriously want to go pro, plan and work as such. This road you are going on is a major risk and to win it, you have to be living it all day every day.
This will mean missing family events, parties and spending less time with friends. That’s just the price to pay for becoming great.
What to Do After You Get Scouted and Approached By an Esports Team
When you get approached by an esports team, you will want to have a player agent, a lawyer or someone you trust helping you fight on behalf of your rights. They will put you through a vetting process and once you pass, you’ll need to negotiate the terms for your contract.
Let’s talk about both the vetting and negotiating process in more depth.
Esports Team Recruitment Vetting Process
At the time of which you’ve been approached, they’ve already vetted your metrics and likely have a bunch of questions to ask you.
The conversations will always start off with small talk and banter. This is a conversational ploy to have you be more comfortable and more transparent in the conversation.
If you hear the other party telling jokes or try to make small talk during the conversation, that could be a sign they believe you are uncomfortable and/or holding information that you aren’t properly sharing.
Firstly, they’ll want to learn a bit more about you. Give an introduction of your background and who you are on a personal level. This gets you to start opening up and will lead them down a trail of questions.
From there, they’ll likely have a number of questions about things they’ve learned from your metrics. They will also have some standard questions and questions specifically from the answers you gave.
Recruiting a player is a big investment, therefore the team needs to be certain you are a good pick.
Once the interview call is done, you will be informed if they want to sign you, do another interview or if you won’t make it. Some teams won’t even inform you if you don’t make it, so be cognizant of that.
Negotiating Your Contract
You will want a lawyer or player agent to look over it for you. The lawyer won’t help you on the specific terms, but will look at the legalities behind what is written and let you know what you are giving up and what you have to gain in this exchange.
A player agent is better since they’ve looked at multiple contracts before. The agency likely has their own specific lawyer that will look at the legalese for you, therefore you won’t have to hire your own. Since the agency vets through hundreds of contracts, they’ll know what terms in the contract are industry standard and which are the teams trying to pull one upon you.
The fact of having an agent will let the team know that they can’t try to pull strings in their favor, so even just informing the team will give you more negotiating power. Not to mention that you will be properly informed of what is written.
Becoming an Official Team Member
Once you’ve signed the contract, you will be an official team member. You will be introduced to your coach, any analysts, the GM, the CEO and your fellow players.
You will also be provided with a bunch of their branding that you will need to put on your social media and inform you have commitments you’ll need to make.
They will also ship over the team’s branded merchandise and any sponsorship-related merchandise you will need to advertise on stream.
As a player, you may have to move (depending on the team and the specific game) to their gamer house and they will likely give you a day’s schedule.
Why Should You Be Recruited By an Esports Team
As an esports player, you want to be recruited by an esports team to increase the revenue you make by playing games, gain entrance into top tier tournaments, give you the ability to fully focus on improving in the game, gain prestige, become popular and grow your skills in a competitive environment.
Getting into an esports team is the obvious choice for most top players, but many players also ask why.
I listed the reasons why you should above, but let’s dive a bit deeper into each of these to help you get a better understanding of why you should get scouted and recruited in the first place.
Get Paid to Do What You Enjoy
One of the biggest reasons would be to get paid to do what you enjoy. Depending on how good you are and what team you get signed on, you can make anywhere between $1200 to $430,000 annual income plus additional incentives based on social media metrics.
That could completely change your livelihood. For some of the lower players that are making just about $1200 a year ($100 per month), you will need to also get payments directly from your streaming career and sponsorships.
Gain Entrance Into Top Their Tournaments
Almost all top-tier tournaments require you to be associated with a professional team to be able to participate. Let alone having actual teammates in team-based games.
Having an esports team as your banner will allow you to signup for these tournaments and be confident that all the behind-the-scene processes are being taken care of so you can focus on winning yourself that juice prize money.
Be Able To Fully Focus on The Game By Having All Other Headaches Covered
Speaking of things getting taken care of, a massive benefit for being in an esports team (based on the size of the team and your importance) is that a team will usually do everything for you so you can focus on playing the best you possibly can.
This would mean they’ll pay for living, do all the cleaning, autopay your bills, set up all travel, cover your hotel, signup for your tournaments, set up your fitness plan, set up your scrim times, tell you where you need to improve and manage your social media.
This allows you as the player to focus on just competing and taking downtime respectively. All the other work common people need to do is being covered to make sure you can bring the greatest ROI to the team.
Come on, let’s be honest. Being able to say you are a professional esports player instead of saying you are unemployed playing video games from your parent’s basement is pretty cool.
It gives you that slight prestige of not only accomplishing this feat but also being someone that others aspire to be like and look up to.
You will become popular if you make a name for yourself.
That said, the team is likely already popular. Therefore you can say things like “I’m Kelfish4 from G2 Esports” and people may not know Kelfish4, but they sure as hell know about G2 Esports.
Having that kind of title will make you a lot more popular in the general gaming and esports sphere.
Grow in a Competitive Environment
Last but definitely not least, you will be put in an environment that will make you the best possible player you can be.
Everything will be professionally set up for you, from your fitness to your practicing plans. They want to make sure you are the best player possible to make them the most money, therefore giving you the greatest opportunities for growth.
If you want to become a world-class player, joining a top esports team will be your gateway to that dream.