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Exploring the trend to shift to becoming a content creator after a successful esports career


Esports is a world of wonder where none can fit permanently, as a player of course. I’ve been with the scene for a few years and often wonder about what’s there after a successful career. There are so many things going on in this competitive arena that numerous players just disappear in the following year. So, what happens to the players that we do not see after their time is an issue that needs to be understood. The content creator life that these players choose after ending their esports career is interesting to study.

However, I’ll simply say that “successful” esports players just head towards a career in the same field, not as a player. They make themselves fit in other roles such as casters, analysts, and coaches, or create an esports organization. I’ll try to explore the behavior that is why these players shift to the most preferable position, which is becoming a content creator.

Esports players serve only for a marginal period, a long career is uncertain

Esports players cannot choose a long career even if they want to. To stay at the top of any title, the players need to practice constantly. But the focus, speed, and quick thinking don’t increase over time.

After a certain age, these abilities start to decrease and this is when a player comes to understand the reality. Besides, there’s always a fear that games will come with any update that could tweak the game in a way that certain specialties of a player just vanish. They need to relearn the role again. Current players also struggle because while they’re playing, the benched players are always breathing on their shoulders to outperform them.

Image via Snax Gaming

Even if it happens, the running ones cross the thought that they’re done and the skills are outdated. This puts immense and constant pressure, fluctuating their mental health as well. “There are always other players who are hungrier in the scene“, said Amirul “Feekz” Amir, an MLBB professional player for HomeBois.

We need to know the factors for which a player couldn’t make a long esports career. The very first factor that will cross this discussion will be the reaction time. Esports need players to react super fast, make quick decisions, and related things. As Business Insider wrote, “Professional video gaming is a young man’s game.” After a player crosses his 20s, “their reaction time slows and the game’s mechanics become more difficult“, says Diego “Quas” Ruiz, a professional League of Legends player from Team Liquid.

So, the players are always in search of a more stable career. It can be content creation if the stage is set. Pro players who have been top-tier athletes are likely to have this advantage. So, shifting to content creation is not a trend after all.

There’s limited money as a player, the opportunity is higher for creators

Even the top-tier esports players couldn’t save enough for the rest of their lives. It’s always a concern to do something to make a living. Moreover, when the prime time of a player’s career hits, most of the players need to leave study, and college behind. Thus, academic life also becomes very uncertain whether to return or not. Everything then leaves a few choices behind for any player.

So, it become neither a trend to shift towards content creation but rather an obvious choice. There are other professions as well to take the career path but all of the other options are centered on esports. The other choices except content creation are such as joining as a caster, forming an esports organization, becoming a coach or analyst, etc.

This is where the popular faces stand out. Using the community that they managed to build over their esports career, they got a boost in their content creation role. Besides, most organizations are hunting for content creators to build brand awareness and value. Adding a popular streamer and content creator is a must to continue competition in the industry.

So, the players become either creators or join as the same in any organization. These streams are free to watch, provide entertainment from the regular gameplay, include challenges, feature other players and industry insights, inside news, etc.

The list of ideas never ends as something is going on in the online world. Utilizing these, the creators always stay on top of any issues. Even if there are no events to join, creators can earn a lot by running ads, gaining sponsors, selling merchandise, and receiving donations from the audience.

Many go back to their studies and the rest are separated among different opinions. As we are exploring the backstory for the trends to become a content creator after a successful esports career, we’ll stick to that for now. A few primary reasons for choosing a career as a content creator would be the following.

Easy to shift your career to content creation after esports with the existing audience

Any popular player in esports who is active across several social media channels would have a lot of followers, subscribers, etc. Being a leading pro made the base and brought the audience to the social channels. So, it is already an existing platform for the player who is searching for a career after esports. using the followers, it is easier to continue in this genre rather than going out to explore other opportunities.

BGMI television Indian Esports, Revenant Esports Invitational ShowdownBGMI television Indian Esports, Revenant Esports Invitational Showdown
Image via Krafton

We got a few examples to cover here. Naman “MortaL” Sandeep Mathur will be the prime example of this. Existing as one of the best players during his prime, the player crossed millions of followers on his social media channels. The Indian esports scene, where it stands today, is no wonder backed by Mortal along with a few other figures.

The presence of the gaming industry has its history and roots way before the mobile esports scene broke the internet in India, but the boost it got is undoubtedly from the rise of battle royale titles like Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) and Free Fire.

And with the presence of a huge community craving for more esports, the choice is easy to become a content creator. This is happening in almost every corner of the world as new esports players showcase some extraordinary talents, the crown is following the trend.

The run after popularity and influence

This is correlated with the previous point. Once players get the taste of popularity and fame, they just cannot ignore it. But this has little to do with plans as popularity won’t get them money rather using the popularity will get a huge stack of cash. Still, popularity does have some impact on the players to shift towards a career in content creation.

Most of the players see content creation as more sustainable than an esports career as a player. “Content creation gives me an alternate route that keeps me within the mobile esports scene. It has also allowed me to continue to engage with my fans and supporters and has brought in new followers too who appreciate my post-retirement content“, Feekz answered when I asked for his opinion on picking content creation after esports.

The influential power of a creator is huge. The games even come up with custom-themed in-game items featuring creators. Little focus has been given to the players in terms of what they invent behind a content creator. Besides, with the backups from a vast number of followers, creators are always more effective for any game to spread the branding.

Building a personal Brand as a content creator in esports

There’s little chance for players to rise as a brand while playing in any team. Everything they do went under the organizations mostly. But in content creation, the self-branding is always on top of anything else and the opportunity to rise as a solo brand is way more sustainable rather being under else’s roof.

Games are also more focused on spreading branding via the creators than the tournaments. It’s easier to reach more people via content creators than organizing events and also it is less costly. The manpower a title needs to put in to make an event successful, the strategy, the marketing, etc. cost way more than what a content creator would take.

Thus, players are often focused on content creation. However, no one will sponsor a creator without an audience. Thus, after spending countless hours and efforts on esports to become a top player, the next focus these players put is on creating a loyal fanbase or even trying to create a number to back them in the future.

Freedom to work at will

While life as an esports player is contractual with the teams, there is less opportunity to enjoy or manage time for oneself. Players have to go by the contractual rules while content creation is more of a job with much freedom in it. There is no hard and fast rule for practicing as content creators do not need to be top-tier players, the job is to simply entertain the audience.

Blacklist International esports teamBlacklist International esports team
Image via Blacklist International

Content creation is vastly widespread. Not only does a creator need to stream games but the topics can be so many. For example, making vlogs, reels, community meetups, event hosts, etc. are other roles where a content creator can spend his time as well as create content out of everything that goes on with his daily life. This is not possible for a player. Thus, the freedom is another key factor. With a higher amount in the account and freedom, it is no fool’s choice to make a career in content creation after esports.

Passion for esports drives to become a content creator after an esports career

The final point of this issue where we took a peek at the esports players who shift to a career in content creation is the passion for esports. Well, the passion is not for any certain title rather it moves around several games. Focusing on a particular game will not be effective as new titles are always breaking in and taking the audience. Thus, the passion lies in the overall esports scene, not focused on any specific game.

Without having a passion for something, the job will become a burden for anyone engaged in that field. So, the presence of passion is also there otherwise, the players would not be able to spend more time and effort on the titles. They did what they loved, and now they’re making money out of it. There’s another factor that drives players to content creation, mental health.

The pressure that players have to go through is unparalleled. Little efforts are made to keep a good environment regarding mental health. United States National Library of Medicine also emphasized the need for promoting mental health in esports.

As I talked to Feekz, he said, Executing their targets, keeping the fans happy, and the pressure within the tournament scene combine to put a lof more pressure than content creation. Mental health awareness is an area that I believe the esports scene should focus on more; I definitely would have benefitted from it during my time as a professional athlete“, he added.

Amirul Amir, Amirul Feekz Amir MLBB professional player for HomeBois, Feekz, Amirul Amir, Amirul Feekz Amir MLBB professional player for HomeBois, Feekz,
Image via Feekz

Most of the players once engaged in esports shifted to content creation. But it is also a tough world out there. Only the popular faces could survive. But this has the opposite side as well. Being a popular esports player doesn’t bring success to mark a step as a successful content creator. The streaming world is also difficult as this field needs constant research for what the audience may want to watch. Besides, not everyone can manage the hype, and create a charismatic profile to retain the audience.

After all, the shift to becoming a content creator is obvious for most of the players. The esports players are called “athletes” for a reason as they cannot sustain themselves as a player for long. Thus, it is easy for the players to become creators and go on with the life of a content creator.

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