E-Sports Professionals


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Continue to play video games while you are in high school, but be sure to take a wide range of classes to develop your knowledge and explore other fields. Recommended classes include computer-related courses (including digital design, game development, and programming), mathematics, social studies, psychology, and history. If you plan to be a video game streamer and have a presence on social media, you’ll need good communication and writing skills. Take English, speech, and writing classes to develop these skills.

Postsecondary Education

You may think you don’t need to go to college because you’re going to beat the odds and become an e-sports professional. But this is not a realistic approach. Only a small number of gamers ever make a substantial living in e-sports. As a result, you should focus on your studies and attend college or receive other postsecondary training (apprenticeship, military training, etc.) that provides you with a fallback profession in case you are unable to become an e-sports professional.

As you think about possible majors, try pursuing study in a field that you enjoy. If you love everything to do with technology, you should take as many computer science classes as possible. Perhaps you’ll want to design video games as well as compete in e-sports. If so, you should major in game design. If you want to work in the e-sports industry as you pursue your dream to become a professional gamer, you could study marketing, business management, sales, or other fields that would allow you to work in that specialty.

A growing number of colleges and universities are beginning to offer classes, and even degrees, in e-sports. For example, Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia, offers a variety of e-sports-related majors. Visit https://www.su.edu/esports/ for more information.

You may even be able to attend a school that is a member of the National Association of Collegiate E-sports and compete in e-sports against other college teams. This is a great way to get noticed by e-sports scouts and move to the big time. Visit https://members.nacesports.org/af_memberdirectory.asp for a list of members. Some schools even offer scholarships for gamers.


Some colleges and universities are beginning to offer undergraduate and graduate certificate programs in e-sports. These programs typically don’t help students become better gamers, but develop the skills to have a fulfilling career in the e-sports industry in management, business operations, or marketing. For example, Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, offers a graduate e-sports certificate to students who complete the following classes: Sports Marketing, The Business of E-sports, Event Management, and Front Office Operations. The University of California at Irvine, Shenandoah University, and other schools also offer certificate programs. Contact schools in your area to learn what types of educational opportunities are available.

Other Education or Training

Many colleges and universities offer classes on e-sports management, marketing, and related fields that will be useful as you develop your knowledge of the industry. The Esports Association offers e-sports training seminars, competitions, and other activities and resources that will help you to hone your skills. Additionally, the online learning platform Udemy offers a course called Become a Pro Gamer that provides advice on career development. Visit https://www.udemy.com/course/progaming/ for more information.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

No certification or licensing is available for e-sports professionals.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

The most-successful e-sports professionals have spent thousands and thousands of hours practicing for and competing in e-sports events.

In addition to excellent hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity, e-sports professionals need drive, determination, a strategic mindset, a willingness to work hard and continue to learn throughout their careers, and a passion for e-sports. They also need strong social media skills and marketing skills in order to effectively promote themselves and build their audiences. Live streamers also need these skills, but they may also be born entertainers: funny, engaging, good storytellers, and even sometimes edgy (in a good way) in order to attract and maintain a fan base.