Getting Your Start in Video Game & eSports Media

Well, you want to get a start in the eSports industry. But you don’t know where to start or what you want to do. With digital reigning as the most popular form of media, there are tons of outlets available that eSports needs as it comes up to par with traditional sports.

Journalism is by far the easiest way to try to make your way into the industry. With the wide array of volunteer / pay-per-view offerings that are available online, you can easily get started to build up your portfolio and better your writing skills. Although these volunteer or low pay positions don’t seem to be too appealing, it’s a really good way to start, especially if you work with a team that promotes good a journalistic standard and integrity. Just make sure you spend enough time proof-reading and that the content you create is unique. You’ll be moving your way up in no time.

Hey, players like to write, too.
Photo credit: Red Bull eSports

Working in video/photography is less in demand than writing, but there’s still a good amount of opportunities out there. A good way to start would to be attend events and tournaments with your own equipment and shoot your own videos/photos to build up your portfolio. Aside from shooting at esports events, doing your own shoots work well, too, in order to build your own style. It also helps to know how to use video editing software to add some sick edits to both the videos you shoot, and in-game footage of eSport tournaments (most popularly CS:GO frag movies).

Weird montage parodies are always impressive

With all these forms of digital media, it all depends on you and your work ethic. Working for some brand name company can only do so much for you. In order to survive in this industry, you have to be creative and unique. There are too many video game/eSports news outlets that spew out the most generic articles such as “Spring 2016 LCS Week 3 Recap” or even listicles (list articles). I know those articles bring in at least some views with click-bait or SEO optimization, but there’s no soul!

I can’t say I haven’t fallen into that trap myself, with an article like this, for example. But, to spruce it up, I at least brought in some emotion and style. Of course eSport teams would want articles on their players and teams, so these things need to be made, but it doesn’t hurt to add your own voice when doing these. When given the chance, try to pitch some of your own creative ideas to create features or analytical articles.

Your style and subject matter can take many forms. From deeply analyzing a particular aspect of an eSport game like a player, team, or in-game character. To finding some interesting topic in the gaming realm that you don’t see many people talk about- but may be interesting to a wide audience- you are the one that creates your career path. It’s difficult nowadays with the vast amount of writers clamoring to make a name for themselves in the industry. But once you create and develop your unique portfolio, the only way to go is up.

Another avenue you can take when trying to get into eSports media is videography and photography. I can’t say I know too much about either, but I do make a mean montage parody. I created this video at the beginning of the montage parody craze, and thought it would be interesting to see what a larger audience would say to the ridiculousness of my editing. It was pretty experimental on my part and Team Curse’s part, and that’s why it worked. It taught me a valuable lesson in that, if you find a trend, and put your own unique spin on it- you can get some quality traction. To be in media is to be constantly experimenting and trying to find what your audience engages with the most.

I started off as a journalist and worked my way through different eSports teams such as Team Curse and Team Liquid just trying out new things along my way. Along with writing, I’ve also dabbled in social media marketing, creating YouTube videos and even competing in Super Smash Bros. Melee tournaments. While it may be good to focus and master one area, it’s also good to go around trying new things for both experience and to see if you like it more than what you’re currently doing. Keep experimenting, keep creating, and you’ll eventually find your voice within the industry.

Written by Brendan Viloria