Let’s say you’ve got all the free time you need to devote your life to a career in esports. Let’s say you can afford to straight away jump into a full-time contract and have no job or education to worry about. Let’s say you have the skills, abilities, and dedication you need to make it as the next superstar on any pro-team…
That just leaves one thing: Joining a team. This poses one of the biggest hurdles in the esports world. There are multiple ways to join teams of course, but sadly, most of them are still relatively difficult.
1. Knowing someone
Easily the easiest way to get into an esports team is knowing the right people. It’s far from the most impressive or even the most fair way of gaining entrance to esports teams, but it may well work. Of course, knowing the right people is in itself a challenge.
Even if it is your dream to join a pro-Overwatch team, we don’t recommend this path. Official teams have official paths for players to enter their teams. Much like you probably wouldn’t want to play with cheaters or cheat yourself, skipping these processes in favour of, well, favours isn’t worth it.
This is a relatively straight-forward but nevertheless difficult way. Often, pro-teams (of any game/team) have scouts or managers that keep an eye out for new players that may be able to join the existing team. The way to get noticed by these teams isn’t too far off from what traditional sports teams do.
In other words: Play in amateur leagues, form an amateur team with other talented players and do your best to stand out from the crowd by playing well. Don’t worry, you won’t have to win every game, nor do you have to win any championship titles (although that would help). If this is how you would like to join a team, you should pay attention to more than just winning. You’ll want to demonstrate skill, variety and most of all sportsmanship.
Having a certain fan-base will help as well, but be sure to always be on your best behaviour. No matter how well you play, scouts won’t be interested in you if you have a reputation as a cheater, troll or abusive player.
This is a way of joining that almost all pro teams offer. Usually found on their website, you’ll be able to fill in an application form. While technically speaking anyone could do so, it helps to have a bit of a reputation as well as high rankings here.
Skill alone might get you in the door, but once again, being known as a courteous, kind and fair player will make all the difference. Teams and organisations have reputations to protect, and new players are especially expected to maintain this reputation.
Some teams hold recruitment competitions in order to find new talent for their rosters. In order to participate in one of them, you may have to travel a little, as they are usually held in person. This can be a major issue if you live far away from your favourite team, but if that is the case, you may still be able to get in touch with them in order to arrange something else.
Be on the lookout for whether or not the teams you are interested in joining offer this type of event. Not all teams will, but this is a great way to prove your skills while also making valuable connections in the industry. Who knows, you may even make new friends or find other players to train with.
This path is perfect for joining college-backed teams. Usually, when approved for a scholarship grant for esports, the student is expected or at least offered to join the school’s team. Make no mistake though, this is a difficult path as there are lots and lots of students that will be interested in the scholarship and joining.
There is also an age element to this – most esports scholarships are primarily targeted at freshmen, so unless you are one, you may struggle to join your favourite Overwatch team after all. We recommend that you use applications, competitions and potentially scouts to start your career in esports – of all these difficult paths, they are the most rewarding and also the most easily acceptable to most people.