Is Being an ‘eSports Coach’ a Good Job?

If you’re a gamer, chances are that you have watched Rocket Jump’s Video Game High School series, and on the off chance that you haven’t, you should check it out on YouTube or Netflix. The show depicts a high school for the most elite gamers around who’s after-school sports are eSports where they have coaches and go to gaming meets to compete for the crown and prize money. That fictionalized high school setting might just be a dream for gamers, but with the growing popularity in eSport gaming both in pop culture, media and in the sporting world, it might end up being more than just a television show.

The newest job in sports right now is a video game coach. That’s right; being a coach to gamers is a real job now and the coach does everything a football or hockey coach would do from sitting down and studying past game footage to making sure all his players get along. A video game coach, or eSports coach as they’re being called, can make anywhere between $30,000 to $50,000 a year including a performance bonus and health insurance tacked on to it. eSports coaches are making about the same rate as a minor league baseball coach would make, but it would not be surprising if that was to be bumped up in the near future once the medium has taken off and grown even bigger than it already has.

In a standard professional match of League of Legends, two teams of five players face off against one another using numerous spells and weapons throughout a transcendent countryside. This is where the eSports coach comes in. He will lean over shoulders during practices and tell his players when to use trinkets or commanding them to hit the closest enemies so when its game time and they find themselves in front of millions of fans packed into a arena his team is ready. During practices, coaches typically do what any other normal coach for a sporting team would do to prepare his team; they advise their players to get a good nights rest, avoid eating unhealthy food to remain sharp with their reaction skills, meeting players privately to give feedback on performances and lending a listening ear when needed.

Coaching can be wearying, with long hours of reviewing gameplay much like the film sessions NFL players will sit through but when it comes to Tournament matches the story switches as it can be exhilarating. The biggest gaming proceedings span packed inside arenas with millions of screaming fans watching their players every keyboard stroke ever mouse click of their favorite player. Coaches are naturally sporting their team’s jersey and giving advises to players between matches. eSports is more than just a fad as this year alone it has generated somewhere along the lines of $140 million in the U.S alone and $600 million in global revenue. That’s just from corporate sponsorships, advertising and ticket and merchandise sales, according to SuperData Research, a New York firm that tracks the video game industry.

The future is transcending into something more digital. All around we can see its effects bleeding over into our sporting events, which will soon probably have their own major league followed by their own version of a “super bowl.” It wouldn’t be the least surprising at all if we were to see a college version of the sport to pop-up on the collegic side of the league in the near future. High schools may never see the sport enter into their halls and toss down banners over the gym walls as they hang proud next to other more traditional physical sports, but many colleges would want to invest and jump in on the quickly rising sport before they miss the lucrative money train.