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How to Become an eSports Manager: What You Need to Know

Written by St. Andrews

As technology continues to grow rapidly, so have careers in the eSports industry. Learning to become an eSports Manager is a relatively new career that will continue to grow. For those students who enjoy playing video games, this could be a great fit between doing what you love and making a career out of it. 

The eSports industry is a big business. In 2020, the industry was valued at $950M on a global level. With the growth of faster internet service, cheaper technology, and innovative gaming systems, the market is nothing to scoff at. Becoming an eSports Manager is an exciting career opportunity in this lucrative industry that continues to break records every year.

While eSports are all about gaming, many other factors play into a successful eSports Manager career. Much of this career revolves around event planning, business savviness, leadership, and excellent people skills. eSports Managers can find themselves working at the top video game companies, like Blizzard Entertainment, down to managing an individual player. The average annual salary for an eSport Manager is $95,000 and can be more based on years of experience. 

However, to become an eSports Manager, you’ll need some knowledge and education beyond years of playing your favorite video game. The eSports business is much like physical sports in organizing, maintaining, and growing the sport itself. St. Andrews University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Sports Management with a specialization in eSports Management. Learn more about becoming an eSports Manager and what you need to do to begin working towards a career in this exciting industry.

How to Earn a Specialization in eSports

As a relatively new career option, St. Andrews University is a leader in offering a degree that specializes in eSports Management. This new industry is young but has shown its staying power in value and excitement. First-year students at St. Andrews must take general education courses and degree-specific courses to graduate.

General Education Courses

The St. Andrews General Education program (SAGE) allows students to take courses that prepare them for any major field of study.

  • First-Year Experience: Transition and Transformation (3 credits)
  • Compositions I: Inquiry through Writing (3 credits)
  • Composition II: Reasoning through Writing (3 credits)
  • Human Thought and Culture I: Ancient to Medieval (3 credits)
  • Human Thought and Culture II: Renaissance to Modern (3 credits)
  • Transitions (1 credit)
  • Global Issues and Ethical Response (3 credits)

Additional General Education Courses

Students can customize the rest of their SAGE courses based on their interests and educational goals. 

  • Mathematics (3 credits)
  • Natural Science with lab (4 credits)
  • Arts & Aesthetics (3 credits)
  • Humanities (3 credits)
  • Social Science (3 credits)

Upper-Level Courses

The eSports Management program at St. Andrews is a total of 57 credits. The following are the required courses to take. All of these classes are 3 credits each.

  • Business Technology
  • Principles of Marketing Management
  • Microeconomics
  • Foundations and Principles of PE and Sport
  • Introduction to Sport Marketing
  • Sport Programming
  • Sport Event Management
  • Sport Funding and Finance
  • Sport Communication and Social Media
  • Governance and Ethics in Sport
  • Sport Economics
  • Sport Leadership
  • Risk Management and Legal Aspects in Sport

Additional Requirements

St. Andrew’s tailors this degree to include the following additional requirements as well as a choice of classes to customize your eSports degree. Again, every course listed is 3 credits.

  • Introduction to eSports Management
  • Stakeholder Analysis of eSports
  • Trends, Issues & Research in eSports

Choose 2 of the following courses in consultation with an advisor:

  • Accounting I
  • Business Statistics
  • Management Communications
  • Advertising and Promotion
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Principles of Finance
  • Entrepreneurial Finance and Accounting OR Game Art Foundations

Capstone Requirement

Students can choose one of these courses to finish up their eSports degree:

  • Senior Internship
  • Senior Practicum
  • Senior Guided Independent Study

Skills Needed for eSports Management

Many students who pursue an eSports degree have grown up playing video games. However, a love for video games is not the only needed skill for a long and successful career. eSports Managers do so much more than play video games; in fact, much of their job does not involve sitting down to play a game or two. 

Leadership

Managers in any industry need to know how to lead people and lead them well. Leadership is less about telling people what to do and more about coming alongside your employees and working as a team. As an eSports Manager, you’ll work with different kinds of people. Knowing how to lead well is a crucial skill in this career.

Time Management

While we all know that it can be easy to lose track of time while playing your favorite video game, you must have excellent time management skills as an eSports Manager. Much of this career involves organizing and timing different parts of the business that all must be coordinated. Launching events on time and keeping track of other deadlines is a huge part of the job.

A male and female eSports manager negotiate the terms of a contract

Photo via Shutterstock

Communication 

eSports Managers need to know how to effectively communicate with the players and those within the industry who don’t know anything about video games. Excellent communication skills help those in the field relate to many people with varying degrees of understanding. Being able to speak to one person and a broad audience is a key skill of every eSports Manager. Negotiation skills are another crucial part of becoming a successful eSports manager.

Business Knowledge

You may notice that much of the eSports Management curriculum involves business classes. While gaming is fun entertainment to the naked eye, there is a lot at stake in business underneath the fun. Knowing how to run a business and having all of the skills to succeed in business is incredibly important in this industry.

St. Andrews University recognizes that eSports is an industry that will only continue to grow. As a school that already offers Sports Management degrees, we went one step further in creating a degree specializing in eSports Management to fill the need of this in-demand industry. Learn more about our exciting program to help you become an eSports Manager with a degree from St. Andrew’s University.