E-Sports: Career Issues

By Athena Constantinou, Managing Director, APC Sports Consulting, Nicosia, Cyprus

Electronic Sports, commonly known as E-Sports, have been gaining a lot of ground and popularity amongst players and watchers during the past decade.

2019 saw the revenue generated by E-Sports exceed US$1 billion, with an increasing number of high-profile and substantial sponsorships contributing significantly to its revenue stream.

E-Sports are computer gaming which has been organized at a professional level and it is highly competitive.  There is a lot of controversy as to whether computer gaming is actually a sport and whether gamers are actually athletes.

Be that as it may, professional gamers, just like athletes, have to put in a lot of hard work and training to acquire the necessary skills, which will allow them to compete professionally.

Even though there is no physical activity involved, the skill required from E-Sports gamers is viewed by a lot of people to be sufficient to consider them as athletes. E-Sports athletes need to have precise motor skills, incredible hand-eye coordination and the heart rate of a marathon runner!

Pursuing an E-Sports career has a lot in common with pursuing any other elite sporting activity as follows:

  • gamers train like other athletes;
  • they have a relatively short career with a peak performance in their late teens to early twenties;
  • they deal with doping issues with the use of performance enhancing drugs;
  • they may get injuries such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and wrist injuries;
  • they may experience mental fatigue and early burnout.

In contrast to other athletes, however, E-Sports athletes are not organized in unions, which makes them more vulnerable in terms of financial compensation, work-related benefits and fair treatment.

In our Money Smart Athlete June Newsletter, which can be accessed through our dedicated website at ‘www.moneysmartathlete.com’, we note the financial challenges faced by E-Sports athletes and offer insights and possible solutions to them.

Furthermore, we explore the future of E-Sports and the commercial, financial and other sporting opportunities for E-Sports athletes to help them navigate their way through the many issues, that come with an E-Sports professional career.

With, as noted above, E-Sports developing exponentially, time is of the essence for E-Sports athletes facing up to and putting sound financial arrangements in place, especially after their sporting careers have come to an end, sooner rather than later!

Athena Constantinou may be contacted by e-mail at athena@apc-sport.com