ESports or electronic sports is a type of competition which is enabled by electronic systems, especially video games. ESports are generally conducted as multiplayer video game contests between professional players or pro gamers.
The input of the players and teams that they make up and the output of the eSports system are facilitated by computer-human interfaces. There are various eSports tournaments like The International, League of Legends World Championship, Evolution Championship Series and others that are broadcast and involve prize money. In fact, the growth of eSports has been so phenomenal in recent years that there are talks why pro gaming teams should not become businesses themselves to earn secure sponsors.
With online viewing of eSports competitions exceeding 2 billion hours and dedicated gaming arenas coming up for them, pro gaming has become an industry of its own. This opens up the opportunity to employ advisers or agents who can help teams to secure sponsorships besides other commercial benefits. Looking for the best eSports agency for pro gamers is hence a very relevant job in the industry now.
What Esports Agents Do
The eSports agency works in the same manner as traditional sporting agents do. The traditional agents help professional sportspersons in securing on-field contracts and endorsement agreements. But salary negotiation and individual representation would be not of much use in pro gaming since it is about competition-based leagues without involving individualized pays.
The eSports agency, instead, will do better in focusing on bringing sponsorships and other commercial scopes for the team.
A big way by which an eSports agent can help pro gamers get sponsorships is by cashing in on the team’s online presence. Agencies are known to have the skills to turn online followings into sponsorships. Having the best Esports agents for pro gamers help the players or teams concentrate on their game while he works on securing more sponsorships.
Paying eSports agents
The agents generally receive a percentage of the players’ salaries and a higher share of any endorsements they get. But such arrangement does not fit the pro gaming world since salary’ is yet to become a common term for the players and many sponsors in professional gaming contribute through products instead of cash. Esports agencies, thus, can receive a percentage of the prize money which comes after winning competitions in lieu of the services they provide besides a percentage of a sponsorship money which the team has secured. This makes it more challenging for teams that are yet to make a name in the eSports world to keep an agent.
An agent can only build on the brand given to him but the responsibility of creating the brand lies with the players/teams. But the silver lining is that with the increasing popularity of eSports and the possibility of more money flowing in, the role of the best eSports agency for pro gamers can only get wider.
What a good eSports agency should have
Someone who is aiming to make a good living out of the eSports industry should have a knowledge of the following:
A strong understanding of the contract system: The eSports industry does not have contracts like those in professional sports world. This might look a disadvantage, but a skilful agent can use this to the players’ or team’s advantage by importing some creative terms. For instance, if a player is demanding a higher pay than his/her team is willing to give, then instead of reaching a stalemate situation, an agent can bring in other incentives in the picture – like performance bonus. The lack of a standard player contract means the agents will need to know both what is there in the document and what isn’t and ensure that the players have a protection in it.
Knowing about sponsorship agreements: Besides the players’ contracts, it is also important for the agents to negotiate on sponsorship agreements to generate revenue for the players/teams. An experience with the contracts business makes the agents better equipped to put forward the players’ concern and win handsome benefits for them.
Knowledge of marketing: ESports agents can also be marketing agents in various ways. Either there are agents who only look after marketing besides ones who take care of the players’ contracts or agents who look after both marketing and negotiating the contracts. There are also agents who are engaged in marketing of players and it depends on the players to take a call on employing such agents by taking into consideration the latter’s relevant experience.
Familiarity with the industry: It is very important for the eSports agent to have a thorough understanding of the dynamics of the industry so that they can effectively guide the players in matters related to person and finance. The agents must know about the key individuals, companies, players to be successful. The more the connections an agent has, the better are his chances to seal good deals for the players. For a player, however, knowing about the agent’s connections in the industry might not easy enough. However, everyone should try their best possible to check the reputation of the agent.
Having a reputation: An agent’s reputation is also extremely significant for him to make a mark. An agent who is known to be reliable, ethical and hardworking has a much higher chance of succeeding in the industry than one who is not. It is always desirable to seek feedback in the industry to know about an agent’s personal qualities.
If an agent meets all the above criterion, he/she can be easily described as one of the best eSports agency for pro gamers.
Finding the best eSports agency for pro gamers can be of immense help to a player’s career in an industry which has a potential. But as human vice is evident everywhere, not all agents are honest and efficient as one would like them to be. The eSports industry is yet to put in place a regulatory system to ensure that only the best agents survive in it. Till it happens, it all depends on the players’ judgment while signing in an agent. The points mentioned in this article will help them reach a better judgment.