Finding a Job in eSports – Part 3

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Still haven’t quite found what you’re looking for in the eSports landscape?  Sheesh, how many suggestions do you need?…Luckly for you I have another option ready to fire.  This one is a doozie, and of all the ways to break into the industry (aside from actually playing at a professional level) is the most difficult to be successful in.  Streaming.

We Are Live in 3…2…:  Live streams have rocked the gaming world and are a large contributor to the rapid growth of eSports as an entertainment source.  There are thousands of live streams covering hundreds of games at any given time across the globe and joining that army of online entertainers is both simple and free.

At the moment, Twitch is the best bet for gamers who want to stream.  It is free to sign up, has a loyal fan base, and an extremely easy to use format for both the viewers and the streamer.  Being that Twitch is highly regarded and hasn’t been having internal issues (you may remember Own3D), and that it allows amateurs to stream game play (unlike Azubu.tv), it’s probably the way to go.

Earlier I mentioned that live streaming is a difficult way to get into the eSports scene, I say that because of 2 main reasons:  You are literally competing with the pros, and streaming is not a “feeder program.”

When you stream you are basically showing your screen and game play to anyone who tunes in.  If you are looking to play competitive eSport-type games such as DotA or StarCraft you are directly competing with the professional gamers for viewers.  Most likely they have a higher skill level in the selected game than you, so you must find more to offer than simply playing the game.  On the bright side, this is an entertainment business and personality can trump all else in many cases (check out Trick2G or Phantoml0rd).  Regardless of how funny, cute, insightful, whatever else you might be, skill is also a determining factor.  Playing well is required, but being the top of the ladder is not.

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The second reason why putting on a gaming show from the comfort of your own home is a difficult way to break into the biz is simple:  Other than actually playing at a competitive level there is no job in eSports where you would be mimicking the skills you are practicing.  Of course there is cross over, you are chatting with viewers, being personable, and maybe even analyzing the game.

Some simple tips for having a successful stream:

–   Interact with chat.  People come to be entertained and be a part of a community, not to simply watch someone else play a game they could be playing themselves.

–  Webcam.  It sounds simple, but a stream without a webcam rarely will have many viewers.  I do not have an actual number or study to back this point up, but when is the last time you sat and watched a stream which didn’t have a cam?

–  Pick your times wisely.  Many streamers have a set schedule and I recommend you do the same.  Try to strike that balance between when all the big dogs are streaming and before a majority of your audience goes to bed.  Maximizing your potential viewers while minimizing competition is key to success.

–  Have fun.  Viewers can tell if you are enjoying the stream.  They will follow suit, so keep it positive and have a good time.

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