How to deal with professional teams in esports

Whether you’re just starting out and planning an esports tournament, budgeting an eports tournament or you’ve hosted a few tournaments already; player and team management is an important aspect that’s overlooked sometimes.

How to communicate with professional teams

So you’ve tentatively created a tournament and you’re wondering how to communicate to a team. The good news is, if you’ve done this before you’ll be able to contact a manager or someone in the organization to point you in the right direction. Don’t reach out to pro players themselves as they’re pretty busy and more than likely going to ignore you.

If you’ve never done this before and are trying to contact a pro team you’re going to have a hard time. Here’s why it’s super hard.

  • Pro teams hear a ton of BS. A ton.
    • Good luck trying to convince your new org is gonna drop an unreal tournament for your first one (it’s possible but they’ve been burned enough times to know)
  • A lot of contacts are not public.
    • A lot of teams are not public facing for their scheduling / contacts and managers are quite different for each game. Be sure you can find the contact easily or you’ll waste a lot of time
  • Teams get approached a lot, have a solid plan ready
    • Be prepared with something concrete
  • Don’t waste their time
    • Pretty clear, if you don’t have anything solid don’t message them
  • Be clear on the ask and what you want them to do.
    • Ie, I would like to invite you to this tournament on April 2nd – 5th for $10,000. The prize breakdown is as follows. Here is the schedule. Your team plays 3 potential match days for a total of XYZ matches. Are you available / interested?

How to get pro teams to join your esports tournaments

It’s pretty simple to get esports teams to join your tournament. Here are some tips

  • Have a plan
    • Chances are you’re not going to get every team in your tournament that you want. Have a plan for when they say no or if some drop last minute. Resilience is key
  • Have a schedule
    • Having a rough schedule and telling them how many match days they’ll play will be important. No one wants to play 3 month tournaments for $2000 anymore. You have to adapt your tournament for your audience (pro teams)
  • Have a ruleset for your tournament
    • It’s not whose line is it anyway. Make sure the rules count!
  • Have a track record
    • If you don’t have a track record you’re going to have to make one and work your way up. Track records help sell yourself to pro teams.
  • Have a prize pool that you can pay out
    • Don’t promise XYZ dollars and not be able to pay it out. There’s enough of that shit in esports and we don’t need more. Make sure you can pay it. Don’t rely on investors happening if you’re starting out.
  • Be on time
    • IF you have a meeting with one of the teams, be on time. If you have a schedule for your tournament stick to it. Player experience is key and time is money friend.
  • Be there to answer any questions about the tournament and your plans
    • Teams may have a few questions about your tournament. Be there to answer what happens if XYZ happens.

How to get pro teams to come back to your events

  • Have a ruleset
    • Rules matter. Teams respect that. Make sure the ruleset makes sense for the game you’re in
  • Prevent cheating in your tournaments
    • Have a ruleset that addresses cheating and what you’ll do
  • Have a good player experience
    • Be on time, clear rules, clear admin communication, easy to follow schedule and be there to answer any questions
  • Pay your teams on time
    • Very easy right? Pay on time :). The esports classic
  • Pay your staff on time
    • Same as above. No one wants to be stiffed
  • Be flexible on scheduling if possible
    • Don’t be a super hard ass but be flexible and firm. There’s a difference
  • Listen to feedback
    • No one wants to deal with bozo the clown for a tournament organizer

So there you have it. Some quick bullet points about dealing with pro teams. This is pretty general and there’s a ton of specific if it’s a live event vs online vs bootcamp. If you want help navigating the industry, feel free to reach out to me and we can set something up!

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