Unveiling the Esports Odyssey: A Journey with James Yang, Director of Global Esports Center, Tencent Games

James Yang Tencent Games Thumbnail

Unveiling the Esports Odyssey: A Journey with James Yang, Director of Global Esports Center, Tencent Games

Mimi Craig
6 min read | 14 Feb 2024

In esports, where passion converges with innovation, James Yang, the Director of Global Esports Center at Tencent Games, stands as a beacon of inspiration. In an exclusive video interview, we delved into his remarkable journey, insights and the keys to success in esports.

Watch the exclusive interview here!

A Surprising Entry into Esports

As the interview unfolded, the first question probed into James Yang’s role at Tencent Games. What emerged was a tale of unexpected opportunities and a passion for gaming that spanned more than two decades. James confessed that he never imagined working in the esports industry initially. However, Tencent sought him out when they launched PUBG MOBILE, recognising his profound enthusiasm for esports. They needed someone to spearhead and build something extraordinary from the ground up.

A Rocky Start Leading to Fulfillment

When asked about his journey into the esports industry, James Yang candidly shared that it was a challenging start. However, the challenges only fueled his determination and today he finds immense satisfaction in contributing to the growth and success of the esports landscape.

James Yang Video Sitting to Film Video Interview

Key Skills for Success in Esports

The discussion then pivoted to the crucial skills needed to thrive in the esports industry. James provided a dual perspective, emphasising the skills required for both players and professionals in various roles within the industry. For players, talent, competitiveness and focus are paramount. On the professional side, whether in directing, production, community management, or marketing, passion for gaming and a commitment to excellence in one’s specific role were underscored as essential.

Navigating Education and Experience

When queried about the required educational background or experience, James shared his own trajectory, starting as a game designer. He emphasised that there isn’t a specific formula for becoming a game designer. Instead, he encouraged individuals to showcase their skills in their chosen field and advised aspiring professionals to focus on excelling in their current roles to open doors within the esports industry. If you’re looking to start your esports journey, find out more about the esports BTECs and Degrees and to see what path is right for you, click here.

Advice for Aspiring Esports Professionals

James offered valuable advice to those looking to carve a path in esports. While acknowledging the numerous academies and skill-building avenues, he emphasised the importance of maintaining strong academic performance. “Study harder and play harder” was his mantra, highlighting the need for a solid educational foundation to strengthen one’s career prospects in the esports industry. For those looking to get into the competitive spirit, try your hand at competing in our year round Student Champs tournament for schools and colleges aged 12+. You can register your interest here!

James Yang Tencent Giving Advice for a Career in Esports

The Future of Esports

Looking ahead, James shared his insights into the future of esports. He painted a vivid picture of the industry’s excitement, driven by the passion of the audience and players. However, he acknowledged the challenges, citing the industry’s around-the-clock nature. Esports, he noted, is a content industry, offering creative opportunities to shape the ecosystem. The growth of the gaming industry and the increasing popularity of content consumption on various platforms make it an opportune time to join the esports domain.

The Passion that Fuels the Journey

As the interview neared its conclusion, James reflected on the best part of his job—the palpable passion of the people involved in esports. He mentioned that the industry’s continuous growth and the increasing appetite for content make it an exciting and fulfilling space to work in.

In essence, James Yang’s journey encapsulates the dynamic spirit and boundless opportunities within the esports industry. Aspiring professionals can draw inspiration from his story, realising that the esports landscape is not just about gaming but an ecosystem with diverse opportunities for those with the passion and determination to forge their path. The future of esports, as James envisions, is not just promising but an exhilarating journey waiting to unfold.

Coming Soon

Next up in our career pathways series with Abdallah Al Ghifari (T0ksiee), Senior Esports Manager, Level Infinite MENA, Tencent Global Games talks about his journey from amateur player, to caster, to host and now esports manager. Keep an eye on our socials next week to gain exclusive access to the next interview and visit Level Infinite’s official website to find out more here.

Keep up to date with British Esports

Why wait? Get the latest resources, articles and opinions direct to your inbox.
So you can say you heard it before your friends.