Esports as a Global Career: Opportunities and Challenges

Updated On: March 12, 2024 by   James Connolly   James Connolly  

Venturing into the world of esports can often seem akin to stepping into a new realm teeming with both promise and perplexity. We’ve navigated this labyrinthine industry hand-in-hand, taking stock of the fact that global awareness of esports was set to soar to an eye-opening 2 billion enthusiasts by 2020.

Our meticulously crafted article lays bare this vibrant sector, showcasing the dazzling prospects alongside the formidable hurdles one might encounter. So grab a cuppa, settle in, and prepare for an insightful read that could very well be your ticket to gaming glory.

Key Takeaways

  • The esports industry is a rapidly growing field with a global audience, offering diverse career options such as professional gaming, content creation, team management, and event organisation.
  • Professionals in esports face challenges like the lack of formal recognition and potential health hazards due to long gaming sessions; however, advancements towards a unified ecosystem provide growth opportunities.
  • There is significant financial potential in esports careers owing to rising prize money and startup investments focused on enhancing digital infrastructure within the competitive gaming scene.

Understanding Esports as a Career

Esports is the competitive playing of video games at a professional level, with numerous career paths available within the industry. With its rapid growth and potential for global reach, understanding esports as a career offers exciting opportunities for those passionate about gaming.

Definition of Esports

Esports stands for electronic sports, where we see skilled gamers compete at the highest levels in various video games. These competitions range from international tournaments to local events, often involving hefty prize pools that can reach millions of dollars.

Just like traditional sports, players must show exceptional talent, strategic thinking and teamwork.

Our industry has grown rapidly over recent years and now reaches an audience of billions worldwide. It includes a wide array of games such as multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs), first-person shooters (FPS), real-time strategy (RTS) games, and many others.

We witness professional players dedicating their lives to mastering these games whilst teams work behind the scenes on strategies and game plans. Through live streams or packed-out stadiums, fans from all corners of the globe come together to support their favourite teams and share the thrill of competition.

Growth and potential of the industry

The esports industry is rapidly expanding, creating numerous career opportunities for those passionate about competitive gaming. With the rise of digital infrastructure and favourable demographics, there is a growing demand for professionals across various roles, including professional players, team managers, content creators, and event organisers.

Additionally, the increase in prize money and investment from startups signifies the industry’s potential for sustained growth. Esports federations are also actively developing talent programmes to nurture individuals pursuing careers in this thriving field.

As global awareness of esports continues to soar, it has become clear that the industry offers an array of promising career paths beyond just competitive gaming. The development of digital infrastructure not only helps support professional gaming but also facilitates opportunities for content creation and event organisation within the industry.

Various Career Paths in Esports

There are various career paths in the esports industry, including professional player, team manager, content creator, event organiser, and analyst/commentator. Each of these roles requires different skills and offers opportunities for growth within the industry.

Professional player

Becoming a professional player in esports is an exciting and challenging career path. Gamers who pursue this route can compete at the highest level, showcasing their skills in tournaments with substantial prize pools.

The industry has seen significant growth, providing numerous opportunities for dedicated players to make a living from their passion. With the rise of esports federations and investment in talent development programmes, aspiring professionals now have more support to pursue their dreams within the competitive gaming arena.

As global awareness of esports continues to expand, opportunities for professional players are expected to increase alongside the industry’s thriving job market.

Team manager

As a team manager in the esports industry, you play a crucial role in overseeing the performance and development of your team. You are responsible for coordinating practice sessions, organising tournament schedules, and ensuring that your players are mentally and physically prepared for competition.

With responsibilities such as talent scouting and roster management, you have the opportunity to shape the success of your team while navigating challenges specific to individual talents and personalities.

Moreover, by providing strategic guidance and fostering a positive team environment, you contribute directly to your team’s competitive edge.

With new opportunities emerging in esports management, there is an increasing demand for experienced professionals who can navigate the complexities of this rapidly growing field. As a result, it’s important to stay updated on industry trends and best practices while leveraging your communication skills to maintain strong relationships with players, sponsors, and other stakeholders.

Content creator

As content creators in the esports industry, we play a pivotal role in engaging and entertaining audiences through various platforms. Our work involves producing engaging video content, live streaming gameplay, and creating social media posts to grow fan following.

With the increasing demand for esports content, including match highlights, player interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage, there are ample opportunities to showcase our creativity and storytelling skills.

Leveraging digital tools allows us to connect with fellow gamers worldwide and build a thriving community around our content.

We also have the chance to partner with brands seeking to reach the gaming demographic. Collaborating on sponsored content can provide a source of income while also enhancing visibility within the gaming industry.

Event organiser

As event organisers in the esports industry, we play a crucial role in planning and executing gaming tournaments and events. Our responsibilities include venue selection, scheduling matches, coordinating with sponsors, managing logistics, and ensuring a smooth experience for players and spectators.

By leveraging our knowledge of the competitive gaming landscape and understanding gamer preferences, we create engaging experiences that elevate the excitement of esports competitions.

Our work as event organisers contributes to the growth of esports by creating opportunities for players to showcase their skills on a global stage. With an eye on demographic trends and emerging gaming markets, we strive to offer diverse and inclusive events that appeal to gamers from all backgrounds.

Analyst and commentator

Transitioning from event organisation to the role of an analyst and commentator, it’s essential to recognise the impact that these professionals have on the esports industry. Analysts and commentators play a pivotal role in providing expert insights into gameplay strategies, player performances, and overall tournament dynamics.

They offer valuable commentary during live broadcasts, enhancing the viewing experience for fans worldwide.

These roles are critical in elevating the competitive gaming experience, bringing clarity and excitement to viewers while also advancing their understanding of the game. Aspiring analysts and commentators can pursue careers within esports broadcasting or contribute through content creation, ultimately shaping the narrative of competitive gaming tournaments.

Opportunities in the Esports Industry

The Esports industry offers a range of exciting career options, from professional player to event organiser. With the growing demand for professionals, increase in prize money, and development of digital infrastructure, there are plenty of opportunities for those interested in pursuing a career in gaming.

Growing demand for professionals

Esports is witnessing a surge in demand for skilled professionals, creating diverse career opportunities in the industry. The rise of esports has led to increased job growth and openings for individuals with expertise in gaming, event management, digital content creation, and analytics.

As the industry continues to expand, there are growing investment prospects that offer lucrative potential for gamers and aspiring professionals alike. With academic programs focusing on nurturing talent and fostering career paths within the field of esports, there’s a significant shift in how gaming is perceived as a viable avenue for fulfilling high-paying careers beyond just competitive gameplay.

The global awareness of esports is projected to continue its upward trajectory, offering an array of platforms and opportunities for emerging professionals across various sectors of the industry.

Increase in prize money

The esports industry has seen a significant increase in prize money, making it an attractive career option for professional gamers. With major tournaments offering substantial cash prizes, the potential for financial success in competitive gaming has never been higher.

This rise in prize money not only reflects the growing popularity of esports but also presents a lucrative opportunity for talented players to pursue their passion while earning substantial rewards.

As startup investments continue to pour into the industry, the prize pools are expected to further escalate, creating more incentives and opportunities for aspiring pro gamers.

The surge in prize money signifies the industry’s potential for growth and profitability, attracting both established players and newcomers seeking to establish themselves as successful professional gamers.

Development of digital infrastructure

With the increase in prize money and growing opportunities for investment in esports, there has been a significant focus on developing digital infrastructure. Esports is heavily reliant on digital platforms for tournaments, streaming, and content creation.

The industry’s rapid growth has prompted the expansion of online gaming platforms and the establishment of advanced networking systems to support high-quality gameplay and global connectivity.

These developments have created numerous job opportunities in software development, network engineering, and cybersecurity within the esports industry.

Favourable demographics

The esports industry benefits from favourable demographics, with a significant portion of its audience comprising young people. Studies show that the majority of enthusiastic esports fans fall within the 18-34 age group, reflecting a strong appeal to the tech-savvy younger generation.

Moreover, with an increasing number of millennials and Generation Z individuals turning into avid gamers and followers of competitive gaming, there is robust potential for continued growth and expansion in this sector.

Additionally, as more females are becoming involved in esports, the industry has witnessed a notable diversification in its audience base.

As passionate gamers continue to thrive and new enthusiasts join the ranks each day, the demographic landscape remains highly favourable for sustained success within the esports industry.

Rise of startup investments

As we explore the burgeoning landscape of esports, it’s noteworthy to highlight the rise of startup investments within the industry. The influx of venture capital and angel investments in esports startups is indicative of growing confidence in the potential profitability and sustainability of this sector.

This trend not only signals a thriving ecosystem but also reflects an increasing recognition of esports as a viable career option for passionate gamers and professionals alike. With backing from investors, gaming enterprises are positioned to expand their operations, enhance technological infrastructure, and create compelling opportunities for individuals seeking careers in this dynamic realm.

Gaming enthusiasts can find promising prospects as startups continue to bolster resources that support various facets of the esports industry. In particular, these investments may yield advancements in gaming technologies, content creation platforms, event management solutions, and other ventures that contribute to the growth and diversification of esports opportunities on a global scale.

Challenges Faced by Esports Professionals

Esports professionals face numerous challenges, including gaming frauds and ethical concerns, lack of formal recognition, monetisation difficulties, and health hazards. These challenges can hinder their career growth and success in the industry.

Gaming frauds and ethical concerns

Gaming frauds and ethical concerns impact the esports industry, posing challenges to both players and organisers. With the rise of online tournaments and digital transactions, there is an increased risk of fraudulent activities such as match-fixing and cheating.

This unethical behaviour not only undermines the integrity of competitive gaming but also erodes trust within the community. Consequently, industry stakeholders are implementing stricter regulations and security measures to combat these issues effectively.

As passionate gamers or those new to competitive gaming, it’s crucial to be aware of these challenges and advocate for fair play and ethical conduct in all aspects of esports.

Instances of gaming frauds have raised concerns about data privacy and cybersecurity within the esports ecosystem. Protecting personal information becomes paramount as the industry continues to expand globally.

Lack of formal recognition

Esports professionals face a significant challenge with the lack of formal recognition in the industry. Despite its exponential growth, esports still struggles to attain the same level of legitimacy as traditional sports.

This absence of formal acknowledgment affects various aspects, from securing sponsorships and funding to obtaining work visas for international competitions. Additionally, without official recognition, esports may grapple with issues related to player rights and welfare.

The industry needs acknowledgement on par with conventional sports to provide more substantial opportunities for talented individuals and ensure their well-being.

The absence of formal recognition hampers the ability of esports athletes and practitioners to access healthcare resources, secure fair compensation, and protect their professional status.

Monetisation difficulties

Transitioning from the challenges of lack of formal recognition in esports to the monetisation difficulties, it’s crucial to understand the financial hurdles that professionals encounter in this industry.

Despite its rapid growth and global popularity, many esports individuals face challenges when it comes to generating sustainable income from their careers. This could be attributed to factors such as unpredictable tournament earnings, limited sponsorship opportunities, and complexities surrounding revenue-sharing models with gaming platforms.

Moreover, for content creators and streamers specifically, building a consistent source of income can be challenging due to fluctuations in advertising revenue and reliance on viewer donations or subscriptions.

Health hazards

Transitioning from the challenges of monetisation, it’s important to recognise that esports professionals face potential health hazards associated with their career. Prolonged hours spent in front of screens can lead to issues such as eye strain, poor posture, and repetitive strain injuries.

Additionally, the sedentary nature of gaming can contribute to a lack of physical activity and potential long-term health concerns.

It’s crucial for aspiring esports professionals to be aware of these health hazards and take proactive measures to mitigate them. This includes taking regular breaks during gaming sessions, practising good ergonomic habits, incorporating physical exercise into daily routines, and seeking professional guidance if experiencing any discomfort or pain related to gaming.

Advancements and Future Outlook of Esports

The advancements in esports are paving the way for a unified ecosystem, localisation and diversity, impact of data breaches, the effects of Covid-19 on the industry, and its potential for global reach and growth.

To learn more about how these advancements are shaping the future of esports as a career, keep reading!

Unified ecosystem

Esports is moving towards a unified ecosystem, with the integration of different platforms and technologies to create a seamless experience for players and fans. This unification allows for smoother gameplay, easier access to competitions, and enhanced interaction between gamers from around the world.

Additionally, as the industry continues to grow, the development of a unified ecosystem ensures that all stakeholders can work together more effectively, leading to better collaboration and innovation.

One significant benefit of a unified esports ecosystem is the creation of standardised tools and systems that help streamline operations. For example, this leads to improved tournament organisation processes, making it easier for professionals within the industry to manage events efficiently.

Localisation and diversity

Esports is making its mark on a global scale, with localisation efforts aiming to make gaming accessible and relevant to diverse communities. By embracing local languages, cultural nuances, and preferences, the industry is fostering inclusivity and widening its reach across regions.

This approach not only enriches the esports experience for fans but also creates opportunities for aspiring professionals from different backgrounds to thrive in the industry.

Diversity within esports brings forth a rich tapestry of talents and perspectives, enhancing the overall dynamism of competitive gaming. Embracing diversity opens doors for unique storytelling, innovative gameplay styles, and fresh approaches to team dynamics.

Impact of data breaches

As we consider the impact of data breaches, it’s essential to recognise the potential risks that esports professionals face in this digital age. Data security is a growing concern within the industry, as cyberattacks and unauthorised access can compromise sensitive information.

With personal and financial details at stake, gamers and organisations need to prioritise robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard their data from potential breaches.

Moreover, data breaches not only pose a threat to individual privacy but also affect the integrity of competitions and gaming platforms. When sensitive information falls into the wrong hands, it can undermine trust in esports events and organisations.

Impact of Covid-19

The impact of Covid-19 on the esports industry has been significant, affecting both professional and amateur gamers. Many in-person gaming events were cancelled or moved online, resulting in a rise in virtual tournaments.

With people spending more time at home, there has been an increase in gaming activity and viewership across various platforms. However, the pandemic also led to challenges such as tournament cancellations and postponements.

Esports organisations have adapted by implementing strict health and safety measures for live events and transitioning to remote work setups.

As we navigate through the ongoing effects of the pandemic, it is essential for esports professionals to prioritise their physical and mental well-being while continuing to engage with their audience online.

Potential for global reach and growth

The impact of Covid-19 has accelerated the global reach and growth potential of esports. With an estimated 2.0 billion people expected to be aware of esports worldwide in 2020, this thriving industry is poised for even greater international expansion.

Esports presents a unique opportunity for professional gamers and individuals seeking diverse career paths within a rapidly evolving global marketplace. The extensive digital infrastructure and favourable demographics provide a solid foundation for continued growth, offering opportunities for investment and new platforms that cater to passionate gamers around the world.

The rise in awareness and viewership of esports, especially in markets like China with over 530.4 million participants, signals significant potential for further global expansion. As the industry continues to attract attention from all corners of the globe, it offers numerous avenues for newcomers to carve out fulfilling careers beyond just competitive gaming – making it an exciting time for passionate gamers looking to enter this dynamic arena.


In conclusion, the esports industry presents lucrative career opportunities for passionate gamers and professionals alike. The growing demand for skilled individuals across various roles is opening doors to a wide array of career paths.

As the industry continues to expand and evolve, it offers an exciting landscape filled with potential for those looking to pursue a career in esports. Embracing this dynamic field can lead to fulfilling and high-paying careers that cater to diverse skill sets and interests.

Whether it’s through pro gaming, content creation, or event management, the world of esports is brimming with possibilities for budding professionals who are ready to make their mark in this global arena.


1. What is Esports as a global career?

Esports as a global career means playing video games competitively for a living, where skilled players can become pro gamers and participate in gaming challenges worldwide.

2. Can you make money from an Esports career?

Yes, successful pro gamers can earn money from winning competitions, getting sponsorships, and streaming their gameplay to fans around the world.

3. Is it easy to start a career in Esports?

Starting a career in Esports requires dedication and skill. You’ll have to practice consistently, understand various games deeply, and be ready for tough competition.

4. Are there any downsides to becoming an Esport professional?

While exciting, an Esport professional faces challenges like maintaining peak performance levels under pressure and managing the risks of limited long-term job security.

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