How to start an esports team
So you’re going to start an esports team and your goal is to play in the largest tournaments and events. Before you get to that point, you need to lay some foundational ground work on how you’re going to generate revenue a brand awareness and all the extra things that come in with owning a team.
Come up with a name that’s unique
Come up with something that’s identifiable and unique. Good names are hard and unique and good names are even harder to come up with. Always look up the name prior to registering anything. You want to make sure you don’t go down the road and get into a lawsuit as those are expensive. The upfront work and prevention will save you time, grief and money.
Ask yourself what your unique selling point is?
How will you differentiate yourself with the thousands of other esports teams that come and go throughout the years. Even the some of the largest esports teams struggle to differentiate themselves amongst the competition. Think about what your differentiation
Come up with a logo that’s unique
Get a logo, draw one, get a designer do something. If you’re pitching a company that you’re the next big thing then make sure to get a logo that represents your brand. Make sure it’s a unique logo so you can avoid
Have a website
Yes, have a website. WordPress is one of the easiest websites to manage. If you are contacting sponsors or general people, have a website. Let people know you’re a semi legitimate business with more than a gmail account. Other alternatives include wix, shopify, squarespace etc.
Have an email that’s from your business
If your email says firstname.lastname@example.org don’t expect to get a serious reply from a lot of people. Take pride in your business and get an email domain. A suggestion I would recommend is getting google business email. It should be around $5/month or so.
Create a business plan
Make sure you research how esports orgs make money. Esports teams, esports tournaments all need to make money. Running deficits to make it big is wishful thinking. Early on you’re going to make nearly nothing. Have multiple points of revenue and don’t rely just on one. Ie don’t solely rely on prize pools or influencers to generate money for you. You need multiple ways to generate revenue.
If you’re going to hire 10 people, how are you going to pay for those 10? If you’re going to get players, how are you going to do so while retaining them? All of this isn’t free.
Work on your elevator pitch
Check out my old professor’s 240p video on an elevator pitch. He was also a producer/advisor on Dragon’s Den early on. Great class and I remember it favourarbly. The important part is the content of the pitch deck. Take a look at it and make sure to take notes!
Create an esports pitch deck (if you need funding)
Here’s a sample esports pitch deck. There’s a ton of work involved in getting a pitch deck. Mine is OK and i’ve done a ton of revisions. There’s way better ones out there so google the best ones and take inspiration. Just make sure you have one and be prepared for a ton of NO’s or no responses when you start pitching. It’s completely normal if you don’t have any connections to funding groups.
Find a lawyer
Find a lawyer who understands contracts and double bonus esports. Check out my article here on finding an esports lawyer. Don’t sign anything without getting a lawyer to look at it. Have a contract in place for your players etc.
When you’re signing sponsors make sure you’re adhering to your contract otherwise you can be in breach and risk no payment.
Pay your staff
Pretty easy, don’t pay in exposure. Pay something that you both agree upon and pay on time. Pay your players on time as well. Word spreads fast if you’re not paying even if you have good intentions and say “you’ll catch up”.
Be honest with yourself
Teams being profitable is tough work. Be honest with yourself and be realistic.
Those are some general tips for starting an esports team or organization. If I missed anything, let me know and I can add. As always, feel free to contact me.