It is simply now impossible to doubt the potential for eSports.

Once upon a time, there may have been a large number of sceptics who struggled to process that teenagers could earn millions simply by playing the same computers games that any old kid plays in his or her room.

However, as the entire industry continues to grow from strength to strength, many traditional sports fans have begun to come on board with the concept and embrace the new wave of sporting entertainment.
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This carry over of traditional sports fans to eSports has been fuelled massively by major sporting leagues such as the NBA and MLS, as well as numerous professional teams, who have helped legitimise various tournaments and eSports themselves by collaborating with gaming companies.

NBA 2K has recently announced the launch of the NBA 2k League with the MLS also confirming the formation of the eMLS. These are just two examples amongst many with the trend only set to develop more and more.

New eSports leagues set to fuel growth to $2.3bn by 2023

However, one major difference between traditional sports and eSports are the jobs created within each industry.

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Research from CareerBuilder has suggested that for every one job within a professional sports club or organisation, a further four blue-collar jobs are created.

Examples could be jobs involved in the building of infrastructure such as training grounds and stadiums, retail stores selling team merchandise, food production and preparation for athletes and so on.

With CareerBuilder’s findings in mind, VentureBeat has suggested that the same applies to eSports organisations, however, in this case, the jobs created are of the white-collar variety.

The following are some examples…

Sports Therapists 

Injuries in sports are very common and the number of physiotherapists and doctors involved within traditional sports is well known. Just like traditional sports, eSports gamers also experience various injuries, however, these tend to be more confined to the wrist and hand areas due to excess use of a controller.

The real issue within eSports, however, is the mental side of things. Just like traditional athletes, professional gamers spend hours and hours practising. Instead of being out on a playing field or gymnasium, however, their training is spent almost entirely in front of a screen playing the same scenario over and over again for up to 14 hours a day.

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The very nature of this type of training leads many pro-gamers to burn out quickly into their careers. Traditional sportsmen already have as short a career as they come, rarely lasting beyond the age of 35 in most sports, however, for pro gamers, the career is even significantly shorter.

This had led all eSports teams to employ various sports therapists to help ensure the gamers are as mentally healthy as possible, in an attempt to reduce the risk of players burning out at and early age.

Various techniques such as meditation and separate forms of exercise are often used to help ensure the gamers are as mentally healthy as possible to perform to the best of their ability.

Agents and Lawyers

Only in recent times have pro gamers begun to hire agents to help manage their professional careers. Prior to this, many individuals were at great risk of being exploited by various leagues and teams without the proper rules and regulation in place to protect them from such issues.

Nowadays, however, there has been a large trend in agents and lawyers being hired to carry out the legal work and act as an aid to the player’s who are now beginning to earn serious money.

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Just like in traditional sports, pro gamers can be earning large amounts of money, even into the millions, and when the stakes are as high as that, the white-collar professionals come calling. eSports revenue is set to reach an astounding $1.5 billion by 2020, with this kind of money at stake, the creation of jobs for agents and lawyers is only going to increase.

So there you have it. With the growth of eSports not looking like slowing down anytime soon, the creation of these white-collar jobs is only going to increase.

In the digital era, we now belong to, it wouldn’t be a surprising prediction for eSports to overtake traditional sports in terms of size and popularity on the day.

Only time will tell.

List page image ©Paul Chaloner

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