• Destiny Bez

Esports and Video Game Coaching 101

Updated: Sep 4, 2019

Esports and video game coaching has become a popular career choice for many gamers with extensive knowledge and skills playing console, PC, and mobile games.

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

What is esports/video game coaching?

Without a doubt, playing video games competitively is a growing career field. As competitive gaming extends from arcades, consoles, and computers to the massive world of mobile gaming, public interest in the sport continues to grow. The highest player salary tops $3,626,277 – by Kuro Takhasomi, a DOTA 2 champion – and single tournament prizes can net players as much as $200,000. As with any team or solo-combatant sport, players need coaches to elevate their game and give them focus. Subsequently, the opportunity to guide up-and-coming gamers into scholarships, gaming careers, and championship prize money has created a massive market for video game coaches.

As major broadcast networks televise esports tournaments and universities recruit players for teams, even parents are beginning to see the value of hiring a video game coach. Articles in Forbes and Business Insider detail stories of parents hiring esports coaches just as they would hire an athletic coach.

Video game and esports coaches can specialize in: A skill (such as using specific controllers or counting graphics’ frames per second), Specific Games (such as Fortnite, Hearthstone, Counter-Strike, or Street Fighter), Game types (such as fighting or first-person shooters), How to maneuver through tournaments and the gaming industry (such as which tournaments to enter and when)

What do gaming coaches do for their clients?

Though their sport is playing video games, these types of coaches help their players in ways similar to football or basketball coaches. They help players hone skills specific to their game and position, provide confidence and encouragement, and guide them through matchups and tournaments with information on their opponents and battle techniques. Ultimately, coaches need to have enough experience with a game to be able to spot player weaknesses and advise them with techniques for improvement.

A video game coach may sometimes act like a manager for their player, helping them decide which tournaments to enter as well as giving them advice throughout the event. A skilled gaming coach will also be able to teach their clients about the major entities in the gaming industry (such as gaming companies like Activision and Electronic Arts) as well as potential brand partnerships (including Monster energy drinks and Alienware computer hardware).

What is the annual salary for an esports or video game coach?

While the majority of video game coaches work on an hourly basis, most make between $24,000 and $50,000 per year. However, coaches for professional players and teams around the world make an average salary between $69,000 and $84,000 per year. Typically, higher name recognition (either as a player or coach) nets coaches higher salaries.

How much can a gaming coach charge for their services?

Most video game and esports coaches make between $15 and $35 an hour for their services.

Some coaches charge more or less depending on the type of instruction (in-person versus online). Additionally, coaches may have time minimums (such as a two-hour minimum for lessons) that alter the cost of services.

How can I get started as a video game coach?

Video game coaches can get started without any formal education, though a coaching certification may give you more of the interpersonal skills necessary to run a successful coaching business. After setting up a legal business, new video game coaches should focus on building their network of clients. This can be accomplished through marketing (via Facebook ads or posting flyers in your area) or by talking to people you already know.

A vast knowledge of video games is required to become a successful coach. Most gaming coaches have done one or more of the following:

  • Spent countless hours studying a game

  • Have rare and unique in-game achievements

  • Won a gaming tournament

  • Been featured by an industry magazine

  • Played for a professional team

Coaches who lack certain gaming career achievements can still help players learn the competitive gaming industry and how to navigate their personal business and public relations. As such, with a professional website and a network of potential clients, video game coaches can start making money right away.

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“How Much Do Pro Gamers and Epsorts Players Make?” by Julian Krinsky Camps & Programs. Published June 5, 2018. Retrieved July 18, 2019 from https://info.jkcp.com/blog/professional-gamer-salary-esports/

“Parents are paying as much as $35 an hour for'Fortnite'coaches for their kids” by Kaylee Fagan. Published Aug. 1, 2018. Retrieved July 18, 2019 from https://www.businessinsider.com/fortnite-coaches-2018-7

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