The Role of the Esports Agent
The esports agent is an intermediary who is responsible for safeguarding the interests of an individual, be it an athlete or a club. Specifically, the esports agent represents the interests of an athlete or club in contract negotiations. Depending on his mandate, the agreement concluded with the subject represented, the esports agent can also manage sponsorship, public relations and also the financial planning of his client. The experience and the ability to conduct negotiations make this figure indispensable both for those who want to enter the competitive world of video game and for those who are already an established athlete but want to have his own interests protected in a professional manner.
The esports agent has to exercise his activity profitably and this requires that she/he should particularly be skilled in certain areas. First, it is important that the agent is knowledgeable of the video game market, both in general and for the specific field in which esports agent wishes to operate. Alongside this, he/she needs to have the ability to collect data and to know how to analyse them. The profile also involves the typical elements of an expert in intermediation: being able to negotiate, having an adequate networking, learning sales techniques and knowing how to promote.
Negotiating the contracts of esports athletes is one of the activities that requires a large investment of energy both in terms of preparation and conduct. To conduct a negotiation effectively, the esport agent needs to fully understand the market value of his client, which means knowing the esports market as well as knowing the managers or other officials negotiating on the other side. Every negotiation must be prepared in advance before it takes place and nothing must be left to chance. One element that is often used is to buy into both the business and the contractual terms of an esport athlete, coupled with comprehensive statistical analysis showing that the client is worthy of the contractual terms required.
Sometimes the process leading to the conclusion of an agreement between a client and the company follows the reverse route, i.e. the esports agent searches among his clients or through market research for a profile that the company is interested in hiring. In this way, the esports agent guarantees that he will always have a way of reaching an agreement that suits the parties, protecting the interests of his clients and ensuring that he can find the esports professionals that the company is looking for.
To professionally assess the e-sports attorney a useful reference is the activity of the sports agent. Sports agents can manage the interests of athletes with deals worth millions of euros but the majority of sports agents work with smaller deals. Below is an overview of some elements related to the average gross turnover of sports agents in the USA market.
Sports agent (source: payscale - updated to December 2021)
- Average Base Salary: € 55,000
- Average hourly rate: 23 € / hour
- Top 10% average annual salary: 91,000 €
- Bottom 10% average annual salary: 26,000 €
The esports agent's fee is justified not only by his research and analysis skills, but also by his expertise: legal, financial and the ability to create documents that best suit the client's needs. Although not entirely necessary a law degree, this is often the best route to the profession, although it is always possible to take advice from a law firm or someone with the legal expertise to review contracts and advise accordingly. Again, in contract and legal management the aim is always the same - to develop the appropriate knowledge to have the sales and marketing skills to help clients get the best possible financial returns for their athletic abilities.
The ideal esports agent profile includes:
In-depth knowledge of esports
esports agents must have a high level of knowledge of the esports their clients play, know every detail, background and rumour as well as all the data they can use to evaluate and analyse players and teams.
Network of knowledge and interpersonal relationships
in order to have a better chance of success, esports agents must have an extensive network of knowledge as well as being able to communicate effectively and professionally with athletes and team managers.
Salesmanship and consistency
negotiations to reach an agreement often take a long time in the order of weeks or months. The preparatory work for some negotiations might even start a year before the agreement is made. It is therefore essential to be able to organise activities chronologically and to have adequate constancy in carrying out the activity of an esports agent.
The esports agent can work as an independent agent or as an employee of an agency that requires his services. There are a number of agencies that may be interested in having a professional dealing specifically with the esports market. The independent esports agent has much more freedom to organise his work and he/she also a greater burden of responsibility for each individual operation for which he/she will be responsible.
The professional activity of the esports agent is very demanding and very often involves being always available to follow the needs of clients and maintain their professional image. When the esports agent is not working directly on a contract negotiation or solving a problem, he/she must analyse statistics and prepare for future negotiations, which implies a very high activity rate. On the other hand, the limited number of clients, depending on the demand, allows an esports attorney to work part-time.