In a perfect world, everyone is born knowing exactly what they want to do for the rest of their lives, they do it happily, and they enjoy every second of it. Unfortunately, the real world is not so perfect. People of all ages change their life goals and plans every day, and that is totally acceptable. The downside of this is in how competitive most job markets are nowadays, and eSports journalism is no exception. If this is a path you desire, start as soon as you can. The following sections will discuss some general suggestions on getting started at various times in your life. The one piece of advice that applies to all ages is that you should find a game or two that you absolutely love. Play it. Watch it. Write about it. Make friends who do the same. I started playing League of Legends early in Season 1 and started playing Hearthstone as soon as the Beta opened to the public and I love everything about those games. You have to have a passion for a game before making it your career.
If you are somehow figuring out your life path before high school, there are definitely things you can do. First and foremost, take writing assignments in class seriously. Journalism is a profession based on writing, so you mastering the basics is a huge help. Now is also the time to start learning the ins and outs of the game you play, familiarizing yourself with the professional scene, and maybe start finding a couple popular journalists that cover your games. Most importantly, at this age you should not be focusing all of your time on your career plans. Realistically they will change five times before you graduate high school. Enjoy the game for what it is- a game, and do not make it too much work for yourself yet.
High School is the ideal time to decide your career. One of the best parts of high school is getting to try different classes to expose yourself to different fields. Take an AP literature class. Write in the school newspaper. The key to figuring out your career in high school is actually building an impressive academic resume to get you into a university that will best give you the tools for your career. If you take a large number of writing and journalism classes in high school, your dream journalism school is more likely to accept you than if you took only general courses. Again I will stress writing for your school newspaper. While most eSports journalism is online, your university courses will have you cover newspaper, magazine, broadcast, and other journalism, and being exposed to that and being well rounded is always a bonus.
If you are currently in university and are already a journalism major or something similar, right on. You are already on the right track. The only additions I would make are joining your school’s video game club to practice covering their eSports teams (if there is not one, maybe cover a different nearby school). I would also suggest starting to write for the school paper sooner rather than later and looking for internships as soon as possible. Some internships are extremely competitive and you may have to apply more than once. Everything you do in college should be something to benefit your career. College is not just for a degree. It is for the experience and knowledge you gain as well, and if those experiences look good on your resume, that is a double win. If you are in university and are not a journalism student, do not rush to switch majors. Take a couple early journalism courses to test the waters before going through the process of switching majors. Your advisor will thank you. This is actually what I did and my academic advisor said he wished more students would take a semester to test the new major first. After that, if you still love the coursework, do exactly what is described above.
After university, if you do not have an education in journalism but still want to be an eSports journalist, that is totally okay. You may not have a formal education in the topic, but you may have twice the game knowledge as someone who does. Write as much as you can wherever you can and get yourself published. When you are not doing your day job, practice your writing. It is always a good time to practice.
The last piece of advice for starting your career early again apply to anyone. Get yourself published. Websites like eSports Observer and jobs in eSports are great ways to find a website looking for new content. This is where I found BreaktheGame and a few months later, I am running the site. Accept that the pay will not be great at first, but definitely try to find somewhere that pays if you can. If not, find a reputable site that will have you work for something like merchandise. Team Dignitas was my first content job and it was that experience on my resume that helped me climb the ranks at BTG so quickly. Any experience can be good experience if you make it that way. I wish you the best and look for the next installment you A Career in eSports!