With over 100M downloads globally, PUBG MOBILE (PUBGM) has shown great success as a mobile gaming title. Even in India, it has managed to gain a sizable user base, witnessing 50M downloads and around 33M active users within a year of its release. Since the arrival of Tencent Games, the Indian esports scene has witnessed a considerable boost with PUBGM tournaments contributing to nearly 30% of the combined annual prize pool of all esport titles.
In addition to players and organizations, a less talked about beneficiary of this growth spurt has been esports talents such as desk hosts, analysts, stage hosts, and commentators.
One such indirect beneficiary is Zerah Gonsalves – talent head and desk host/analyst at NODWIN Gaming, who says, “India is an oyster for talents. The coming of PUBG MOBILE and the feasibility to play the game and create content around it has put India at the forefront of esports.”
Gonsalves felt out of her element in the initial days of taking on the role of talent head. In the absence of clear guidelines for an unconventional position as this, she took her time to understand that in addition to simply recruiting talent for multiple game titles, she was expected to also make them understand their responsibilities when representing NODWIN Gaming on camera.
The first question that immediately comes to mind is how does one shortlist a suitable candidate for such a role?
“Mostly the qualities vary from person to person, but there are a few basic ones that help us in the selection process,” says Gonsalves. “The candidate should possess sound knowledge of the game for which they want to be hired. It helps if they possess an understanding of multiple games, as it increases their chance of being hired for a longer period of time. Apart from this, it is very important that the candidate knows how to pronounce most words correctly along with the ability to speak clearly. And finally, they can’t be camera shy.”
Some basic traits like how they present themselves in front of an audience or a camera, and the kind of synergy they have with their co-talents, is quite crucial and could often make or break a deal. Gonsalves also remarks that dressing sharp and carrying a smile does not do any harm while adding volumes to the person’s character.
When it comes to the selection of talents for a tournament she says that “It completely depends on the scale of the event and the client.” Initially, she would watch showreels of the talent that were already in the market looking for opportunities and would then take things forward with them from there. However, she soon realized that this didn’t offer everyone in the community an equal opportunity to work in the Indian esports industry.
Utilizing social media not only made her job a lot easier but also helped her to reach out to the community in a better way, as she started putting out information on her Instagram a week prior to the event in a bid to try and find some new candidates.
Talent heads are often put in a position where they need to evaluate a candidate’s ability to commentate versus their influence (ability to pull in a crowd) when being selected to work at an event. When asked about this, Gonsalves clarified that she prefers neither, instead choosing to let the client’s requirements drive these decisions.
She claims that though the number of emerging potential talents in India has increased drastically, there is a lack of guidance and direction when it comes to formally joining the industry.
“The best way to enter esports is to first find your unique talent in the field, and then put your work out there for the world to see.”
She suggests that aspiring talents stay active on LinkedIn, using it as a tool to reach out to potential employers within the industry. Sharing her own experience she says that “It is much easier to enter the world of esports as talent now when compared to when I started out. Opportunities to work in esports were very hard to come by back then, with just a few events taking place in a year. Today, there are so many events that happen back-to-back, which in itself gives you a sense of security.”
Gonsalves, using her experience as a desk host/analyst, gave a few pointers to talent thinking of pursuing the same, “As an analyst, your job is to notice things a viewer does not see, so always keep your eyes out for details. Make sure that you know about all the recent changes made to the game, along with the teams and players participating in the tournament. Knowledge about their strengths and weaknesses is the key when formulating your analysis in the pre and post-game discussions.”
Disclosure: NODWIN Gaming is a client of and a minority investor in AFK Gaming.
Aditya Singh Rawat is a staff writer for AFK Gaming.
Credit: Source link