Esports job spotlight: Organisation manager

Managing a company or team requires serious hard work and dedication, but it can also be hugely rewarding.

We get some advice from Fnatic CEO and founder Sam Mathews (pictured below) and London Royal Ravens MD/ReKTGlobal chief gaming officer Michael ‘ODEE’ O’Dell (pictured right) for their views.

 

What does an owner or manager do?

An owner will look after all aspects of how an esports company or team operates. This includes hiring staff, deciding which games and tournaments to take part in, the company ethos and direction, branding, marketing and business strategy, paying wages, handling accounts, partnerships and more.

While the owner might not work on those aspects every single day, they may have people employed to look after them, and as the owner will ultimately have the final say and make decisions that will shape the company and its future.

Some owners prefer to focus on the team aspect and bringing in the best players, while others might learn more towards partnerships and others might prefer to take on the traditional CEO role and set up different departments and delegate accordingly.

Organisations also have team managers that take care of the players and work with the coaches – we’ll have a separate guide on this job later in 2020.

 

What skills do you need?

Esports organisation owners and managers are often entrepreneurial, ambitious and creative.

They will need to stay one step ahead of the game, identify emerging trends and act on them to ensure their organisation grows and succeeds.

Some owners will say that winning is everything, and will prioritise results over other aspects of the business, while others will focus on a unique ethos and style, or value their fans more than anything.

Whatever direction your organisation takes, you will need a good business sense, great communication and people skills, and serious drive. It is not easy to make it in the increasingly competitive esports space, and you will be competing with big organisations with venture capital funding.

Related reading: Esports funding guide: How to find sponsors and generate revenues

 

Fnatic’s advice for aspiring owners and managers

Fnatic founder Sam Mathews (pictured above) tells the British Esports Association: “It’s one of those things – it’s all about being professional these days and not promising the world. It’s about delivering on your promises.

“One of the things we pride ourselves on is actually being true to our players, not overpromising, delivering against our expectation and then hustling. You’ve got to hustle to get sponsors these days.

“Realistically, to enter the big leagues of top-tier teams, it’s about signing some great talent and almost becoming a management group for them.

“For us, it’s been a long road to get where we are and there’s been a lot of challenges. It’s still a competitive landscape with money coming in that we have to compete against, but I think that in joining esports now, you’re riding a wave. And it’s going to get better and it’s going to get bigger.”

 

Working hours and salary

The sky is the limit – on both counts. If you are running an organisation, it could become your life. Look at the likes of Fnatic’s Sam Mathews and Michael O’Dell – these guys live and breathe their UK-based brands, they are working on them all the time and obviously enjoy it.

If you make a truly globally successful team, you could sell it on to a bigger buyer for possibly millions, or keep it going and generate a regular revenue stream.

As mentioned, the sky is the limit – the top teams will be worth millions of pounds, but it’s incredibly tough to reach the top, let alone stay at the top.

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