Acquiring the Right esports Talent

02nd Nov. 2018

In any company, matching skills and finding talent plays a major role in achieving growth and overall business success – but it is especially true for the tech scene. In the world of esports, success depends on attracting, hiring, and retaining the right people, with the right skillset. But, when it comes to acquiring talent, there are two issues that need to be navigated.

One – esports is not recognized as a real sport by the majority of governments
In many countries, tech companies benefit from easier work permit and visa applications for people with STEM degrees. Meanwhile, sports teams can usually take advantage of visas for internationally recognised athletes, or people with extraordinary skills – the P-1 visa in the US, for example.

However, games do not exactly count as a STEM skill, nor are they recognized as a proper sport. This can make it difficult to acquire cross-border talent. Of course, in today’s world, with remote working more popular and accepted than ever, there are options for esports players to compete remotely. One French team, for example, is based in Berlin and Seoul, and competes internationally. This can work up to a point, but for PR and marketing purposes, it can prove to be difficult – can you claim to be a ‘London team’, for instance, if the majority of your players are based in different cities, or even in different countries? Then there is the difficulty of creating a fully cohesive team mentality among your players.

Two – esports is a young person’s game
For, and our investor Tej Kohli, esports is a promising and exiting field precisely because it is so relatively young – but while this carries many advantages, it also comes with challenges. esports is not a time-tested and well-hones industry in the way that more traditional sports are. Soccer, for example, has universities and professional schools offering business degrees specialized in sports management.

Because esports is a relatively new phenomenon, it tends to be young, inexperienced entrepreneurs heading up the business side of it – the venture capitalists, tech company executives and seasoned entrepreneurs who would usually be there to lend their backing, advice and experience to a new company, simply don’t understand esports. Instead, it is all too often being left up to inexperienced figures to essentially find their own way, with all the mistakes, missteps and failures that can arise from such a risky strategy.

However, there are signs that this situation is changing. This year, Staffordshire University became the first university in the UK to offer undergraduate and masters degrees in esports – a sign that it is beginning to be taken seriously as a rising industry. But there is still a very small pool of people who have both the esports knowledge, and the industry experience, to solve this dilemma.

For esports to succeed as the truly global phenomenon that it is capable of becoming, it needs to clear these two hurdles currently standing in the way – and that is where come in. We are incredibly proud to have some of the most knowledgeable names in the worlds of esports, entertainment and investment on our advisory team. Their expertise enables them to provide effective, wide-ranging esports solutions – from PR and marketing solutions, to advice on talent acquisition.

Get in touch to find out more about our esports expertise.