Every good esports event will have a team of backstage whizzes pulling the strings. Here’s what you need to know about them…
What do production crew do?
People in the broadcast and production department at an esports event will be working on a wide range of activities, from lighting and camera work, to ensuring all the technicalities are working correctly, such as the streaming set up and any screens/projectors/speakers, and will have to work to a set schedule.
Video production staff may need to record additional interviews before the event and edit them in.
Some esports studios will have their own dedicated broadcast/production rooms for staff to work.
The crew will ensure that everything is displayed correctly to the viewer, including sounds, live action, camera shots and that the casters and guests have their microphones working correctly, to give you an example of a few of the things they’ll be looking after.
What skills do you need?
Good technical skills are a must, as is having the know how to keep the show going no matter what.
There are many video production, broadcasting and camera courses available which can give you the skills needed to work behind the scenes at an esports tournament. Many TV and film production courses can give you skills which are transferable to an esports environment.
Having good organisational skills is also important, as is having an attention to detail and creative thinking to come up with outside-the-box solutions. You may need to work quickly and efficiently under pressure.
How to get into broadcasting
You may be able to volunteer as a backstage crew member for an esports tournament and pick up some skills as you go.
Use the experience to find out what it’s like and to establish key contacts, which may be able to give you more work in the future.
There are many big TV broadcasters out there that offer good work experience placements, apprenticeship and graduate schemes, which can set you on your way.
Hours and salary
Pay and hours vary. Some tournament providers will have in-house broadcast crew with a set salary, while others will hire freelance staff or third party production companies, usually on a contractual basis per day.
According to the National Skills Service , starters can receive £15,000 to £18,000, while experienced crew members can earn £20,000 to £25,000 and above. Bear in mind these figures are for production crew roles as a whole, not within esports specifically.
Working hours depend on the event; there could be some early starts, evening work and weekend shifts. With so many esports events taking place in different parts of the world nowadays, you may be regularly on the road travelling from venue to venue.