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What to Look for When Choosing an Esports Agent

5
Jun

What to Look for When Choosing an Esports Agent

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Image courtesy of Slayton Consulting Group.


Professional football players have agents. Professional basketball players have agents. Professional golfers have agents. It only makes sense for professional esports players to have agents, too. In this industry that only has continued to grow over the past few years, legal representation for players is important now more than ever. How do you know what to look for in an agent, though? In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about choosing the agent who’s right for you.

  • A Rapidly Growing Industry
  • The Role of an Esports Agent
  • What Happens After a Contract Expires
A close-up Playstation controller is the focus of this image. In the background, there is a blurred television screen that features a car.
A PlayStation controller is in focus, while a game involving a car is part of an out-of-focus background.


A Rapidly Growing Industry


The esports industry is one that has been growing and booming for a few years now. In 2016, roughly $900 million was produced by esports world, and there were about 300 million people who watched esports. Three years later in 2019, the market is expected to exceed one billion dollars, and the audience is expected to hit roughly half a million people.


While this rapid growth that doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon is good for the industry and the players, no doubt will problems arise concerning agents, contracts, and sponsorships. People now are realizing that there is money here, and sometimes people’s own selfish interests will take precedence over the well-being of the players.


Now more than ever there comes the need for esports players to have agents. However, as of now, only 10 to 15 percent of esports players having an agent or some other form of representation.

A gamer wearing headphones focuses on the computer screen. The blurred computer screen features a chat screen.
A gamer wearing headphones looks at the computer screen where the games and chats are.

The Role of an Esports Agent


Like those of professional athletes, an esports agent’s job is to help their client to the best of their ability and look after their client’s best interests. The main job is to represent the client and make sure the player gets the best deals. Finding the agent that is best for you requires a lot of research, so here is what you should expect from an agent:

  • An understanding of contracts
  • Knowledge of how to market
  • A wide network of connections
  • An established reputation
  • Experience in the field


Now, we’ll go into more detail about each of those points.


An Understanding of Contracts


One of the most important aspects you want your agent to be informed about is contracts. Teams, organizations, or anyone with bad intentions can easily word statements weirdly so that you, as a player, might not be able to understand entirely what they mean. That’s where your agent comes in. Someone who understands contracts can know what to look for and can spot questionable passages or statements. Contracts in the esports world are different than those in the world of professional athletes, as they do not have to be standard. Take special care to note what is in and what is not in the contract.



This image reads "esports player contract" at the top, and it is a rough example of what a contract in this industry would entail.
Official esports contracts will look much different, but this gives a basic understanding of what esports contracts look like. Image courtesy of Laws of Esports.



Knowledge of How to Market


One of an agent’s main job is to be the player’s marketer. Oftentimes, an esports agent serves the roles of the marketer and the negotiator. One question you want to ask yourself is: does your potential agent have marketing experience? This is important to know, as you can research to see how their style of marketing might differ from another agent’s style. Your agent’s role as your marketing professional is to help you get sponsorships, give you advice when needed, and maintain your image and likeness.


A Wide Network of Connections


Connections and networking are vital to the esports industry, as they are with other professional fields. If an agent is to properly represent their client, they need to have already made connections in the field. That way, agents can more easily negotiate deals with teams or organizations because they have people who they know can help them.


An Established Reputation


Similar to having a wide network of connections, it is important to have an established reputation in the esports world. Obviously, you don’t want an agent who is known for being unreliable, unprofessional, or unethical. Research potential agents and ask yourself questions. Does the agent seem like they can be trusted? What do others say about this agent? If possible, read up on some of the testimonials from players who have been or are currently being represented by this agent.

Experience in the Field


When you apply for a job, oftentimes there are a few years of experience required before being able to have a certain position. The same is applicable to esports agents. Agents need to know pretty much everything there is to know about the esports world. You should feel confident that your agent knows exactly what they are doing. Sure, your agent might encounter an entirely new scenario, but they should know what to do and how to handle it. You need an agent who has extensive knowledge of the industry and how it operates.


What Happens After a Contract Expires?


Say you went through all of the steps of acquiring an agent, signing a contract, and serving out that contract with your team. Once your contract expires, what happens next? Well, there are a few options:

  • Extend your contract
  • Test your market for a few months to see what else is out there
  • Stage a buyout, in which another team would buy your contract
  • Become a totally free agent



So there you have it. Now you know what you should and shouldn’t look for when searching for an esports agent. The main takeaway is that your agent should be respected, experienced, and professional. If you still have questions, you can always reach out and talk to our talented esports agents. Now go out and find the agent who’s right for you.


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