Branch Out, but Remember Your Roots

Unlike traditional sports, eSports come and go. While someone with a career in Basketball can say with confidence that his sport will always be relevant, someone with a career in League of Legends or Dota cannot say that. It’s important to be strong in your main eSport, but also be flexible enough to venture into others.

We all have games we like and games we do not, but you have to keep in mind that your favorite game may be obsolete in ten years, maybe more, maybe less. Some games seem like they will never die. While their followings are not as big, they still exist. Games like Warcraft, Quake, CS Source and Starcraft used to be major eSports. These were the games you wanted to watch. But as technology changes and new games come out, the gaming community’s focus shifts, and so does the money being funneled into those earlier games. These eSports still exist today, but with a much smaller following, especially compared to League of Legends or CS:GO. It is important to be able to find what the next big thing will be and get involved early so that you can establish yourself as an early expert. An example of this is Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles, who was a Korean League of Legends expert that, after much drama and plenty of other reasons, decided to make the switch from League to Overwatch around the time the Overwatch professional scene was being announced.  He was involved in the scene early on enough that even though his expertise has always been MOBAs, he is one of the top experts in Overwatch. This applies to journalists too, as what are we if not experts in our respective games that puts our knowledge to paper (or computer screen).

Another factor that could become an issue is money. It’s one thing if the company that owns a game stops providing servers for it, as could be a cause of the former reason, but it is another if there is just no money in having a career there. To use the example of MonteCristo again, one of the reasons he stopped working with Riot on League broadcasts was that they were not willing to pay him an industry-standard wage. He could not afford to put in the time and effort for a League broadcast because the money just was not there. Another way the money could not be there for you is dependent on your content platform. If you are completely independent, you can write about anything. But most websites will not cover just any game. Break the Game only covers Overwatch, Hearthstone, League, Dota and CS:GO, because those are the biggest games right now. Many other websites cover even less than us. If you were to apply and say you only cover Starcraft, a game for which there is a much smaller market, you may get turned down. This is why it is important to branch out.

While branching out is good, it’s also good to remember your roots. Aside from reminiscing about the old days with friends, there are many reasons to keep up with your original games. That is what got you into eSports! You never know when being able to reference aspects of an older game can help you in an article. Maybe someone wants a guest to talk about a popular eSport from fifteen years ago. You also never know when a game will stay longer than expected or make a comeback. I know I did not expect SSB Melee to be relevant for this long, and there are plenty of other examples. So branch out, try new games, be an expert in whatever your heart desire, but always remember where you came from.

Looking for a new eSport to explore? Check out my article, “What are the Biggest eSports?”

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