Esports is quite a niche industry. How did you first get into it?
It was really by chance. I was looking for a job, and there was an opening for the role of a Community Manager in a particular non-profit organisation in the industry. I already had an interest in gaming and youth development, and I thought that I could marry both of my interests in the position, so I just applied for the job.
It was a contract role initially, but then they decided to convert me to full-time, and it’s been four years since. If I hadn’t landed this job, I probably would have been a flight attendant instead.
What has this experience working as an Esports Community Manager been like for you?
It’s been quite fun! We don’t have a lot of budget as a non-profit, so a lot of the time, we have to double-up in terms of roles and responsibilities, especially when we host events. In fact, in my time at the company, I actually picked up hosting and shoutcasting.
Shoutcasting is basically game commentary for live Esports matches, and it works the same way as sports commentaries.
For Esports, people might not really understand the game being played if they’re just watching it for the first time, so what a shoutcaster does is paint the picture, narrative, and storyline of the game for viewers to better understand what’s happening. They’ll talk about the stakes of the competition, what the players went through to reach this stage, and so on.
And usually, shoutcasting is done in pairs. One would be a play-by-play caster, who tells you exactly what’s going on in real-time and hypes the audience up, while the other would be a colour caster, who tells you their analysis of the game itself and the plays being used.
What are some of your favourite games to watch or shoutcast?
My favourite ones would be mobile games. So that’s your League of Legends and Dota, because the complexity in those games is quite deep. There’re a lot of layers to it, and I think at the end of the day, most people would want to watch a game that’s not too easy to understand, because having the shoutcaster explain it is the most engaging part.
What about your favourite games to play?
I started off my gaming journey with Pokémon, and I still love it a lot, but as I grow older, I’m starting to enjoy venturing into indie games more and more. These are games that are developed locally, or games that only cost $10 or $20, but the gameplay is just as good as an AAA (high-budget) game that costs $70.
Recently though, I’ve been playing a lot of Valorant, but that’s because it’s a way to bond with my friends. We have a five stack every night after 10pm, and we go to sleep by 12am. It’s our standard routine.
What are some of your goals for the future?
Previously, my goal was to create a platform for youths to step into the Esports industry and explore this unconventional career path, and recently, a pool of local shoutcasters graduated from a programme that my company organised, so I feel like I’ve achieved what I wanted to achieve in this particular role and company.
Now, I’m starting to put myself out there again, to get out of this comfort zone that I’m in and find the next stage of my career. I don’t know where I’ll be or where exactly I would like to go—I’m just taking opportunities as they come.
For now, I just want to focus on my role as a community manager and build up the other aspects of my job that I have not yet acquired in the past four years, such as digital marketing. Eventually, I hope to land a job somewhere in a bigger gaming company in the future. Yeah, I’ll probably stay in the gaming industry for now, since it’s so niche. Though I also wouldn’t mind venturing into music or the arts in the future as well.