How to become an Esports Journalist
Year after year, the esports industry gets bigger and better in every way. By the end of 2018 it will have turned into a billion-dollar business in terms of revenues, reaching more than 300 million people worldwide. And with so much action and expansion going on, new companies emerge, old ones increase in size, and more people are required to help satisfy the content demand of esports fans across the globe.
Where to start
1. You need to be an esports enthusiast
Before you get involved in esports as a content creator (either as an esports writer, esports journalist or something else), make sure you know what you’re talking about. Become deeply familiar with the esports titles you want to write about, their professional scenes and their communities. Writing about League of Legends or Dota 2 without actually having played these games extensively AND watched a number of important tournaments is akin to writing poetry in Russian without really understanding the Russian language. To people who are just as clueless as you are you might sound like Alexander Pushkin, but to esports natives you’ll sound like a complete tourist.
Each electronic sport is a Universe of its own, with many notions and mechanics that need to be understood before you can write about it competently. And the deeper you want to go in your analysis, the more knowledge you need about the game. Writing a simple news article may not require you to know all that much about the game itself, but writing a guide, a match analysis or any type of content that involves these elements does.
2. Volunteer for an esports job
Just like with many other types of jobs, whenever someone wants to hire an esports writer or esports journalist, they generally ask for samples of your work. What else have you done so far in this industry?
And to be able to answer that question in a way that’s advantageous for you, you need to have a portfolio. The best way to build such a portfolio is to volunteer for jobs at various companies that provide esports content. You won’t be paid for your articles, but at least you’ll get some good writing experience and also have a chance to expose your work to an audience. Anywhere between 3 and 12 months of writing as a volunteer will prepare you for your next step.
The good news is that if you really do have a good understanding of at least one esports title and can competently write about it, there will be a next step. The bad news is, you’ll have to actively search for it. The likelihood of someone contacting you for a job at this point (because they saw your work and liked it) is pretty slim, but the portfolio you’ll have built will be a nice asset whenever applying for one.
The only requirement you should have when agreeing to work as a volunteer is this: your articles must be published under your own name. This aspect becomes less important as time goes on, and you may actually reach a point where, except for your best work (such as opinion pieces and guides), you won’t have a problem working as a ghost writer. In fact, if you’re really successful, you may reach a point where you’ll insist to work as a ghost writer and where this will be one of your most important conditions for accepting a job.
Skills to develop
Besides learning all you can about the esports titles you want to cover and their professional scenes, there are a number of skills that you can’t do without when trying to become an esports writer or esports journalist.
- Become highly proficient in English
Most jobs in esports that involve content creation will require excellent writing skills in English. If you don’t satisfy this condition, people will generally not want to work with you unless you’re incredibly good at what you do!
If you happen to be the exception to the rule, they may ask an editor to take care of your messy content, but you really shouldn’t rely on this.
- Become a better communicator
If you want to write, then learn about communication skills and thinking processes (because that’s where your communication comes from). There are many aspects to this, but it’s enough to learn a little bit about each to get a better idea of how you could improve as a writer. Learn about argumentation, critical thinking/rationality, teaching, storytelling, copywriting and humor.
Where to look for jobs
Apart from the obvious places (esports news websites, top esports betting sites, tournament organizer portals, esports team sites and so on), there are several websites where you can actively apply for a job if you want to become an esports writer or an esports journalist. These are ReKTJobs, gamejournalismjobs.com, The Esports Observer, UpWork and obviously Indeed.
Want to write for us? Get in touch through our Contact Form here.
You’ll find plenty of opportunities to work in the esports industry on them. Just make sure you know your stuff before applying!
I’m sure you’ve heard this advice a 100 times before, but I’ll say it anyway because it’s true: love what you do and success will eventually come. Get busy learning as much as you can about esports and writing, and you’ll surely be able to work as an esports journalist one day.
Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” – Henry David Thoreau