I have started my “trade” in esports back in 2014 under Esports by INQUIRER.Net. To be honest, I wanted to do esports writing as something that will align with the two things that I love the most: writing and video games. After all, I didn’t want my English writing skills to deteriorate (I was taking up Foreign Language Education and I was planning to get my Masters in Creative Writing).
The years back in 2014 are hard. You’ve got to improve, you got hard taskmasters and you’ve got to show that you have it.
Yet, I was happy that I learned a lot of things.
In addition, you almost have nothing, other than the right to say, “hey, I’m an esports writer!”
Doing proper esports writing means that you have to read, research, write and revise material. While it is true that one can write breaking articles all within the space of 30 minutes, most articles need to be done with care and precision. And yes, I’ve done a ton of mistakes along the way before I actually come to this point, where I can reliably write articles and be able to double-check, even triple-check them as a force of habit.
After my odd gig with INQUIRER.Net, I went to WASD in July 2015. It was during my time there when I got a freelance pass to cover the Asia Minor in Malaysia back in 2016.
It was the highest point of my esports writing career…as far as CS:GO is concerned.
The best part of my esports writing career was getting a $1,000 grant from Smilegate to create content for CrossFire Stars. It was good times – and I was able to put that P50,000 to good use over the next two years.
But then, after some disagreements with WASD in July 2018 or so, I decided to resign to pursue my own path in doing content.
It’s not easy to get readers out there.
It’s not easy to generate relevant, high-quality and readable content. Also, you’ve got to check for errors and such.
But it’s all worth the grind, they say.
Then, here’s the thing: A person needs to maximize the time spent in esports content when one is doing it part-time.
For those who don’t know me, I spend 45 hours on my day job, five to six days a week and take six units of Masters in Creative Writing. In addition, I travel quite a lot and I do write other things than esports. In layman’s words, you can say that esports writing is a sort of freelance venture for me (or a serious hobby, if I dare say).
So, here is how I spend my 20-hour week (this doubles during weeks with events):
- I talk with the management of a local internet café chain in Zamboanga and help them with their events.
- I do social media for them and try to increase their engagement. They just want the page to grow and to attract players from the peninsula, so it’s pretty good, I guess.
- Once done, I talk with players, read the latest CS:GO news and try to keep up with the local CS:GO scene.
- Afterwards, I look and see if something is newsworthy (or article-worthy, whether at the provincial or national level).
- In addition, I talk from time to time with CSGO2ASIA and other places that I write for in order to basically conceptualize, pitch and make content for them. When one makes an article for something like CSGO2ASIA (basically Asia’s thinktank when it comes to CS:GO), you’ve got to aim for the stars in terms of quality and make sure it’s readable and relatable for the Asian region.
- When there are events, I go there. I try to take an interview and see whether it’s interesting and valuable enough to be placed out there. Then, it becomes a news/feature/interview/insight article.
Oh, this is not to mention that some people don’t appreciate my existence, my blunt manners or my content (though these are non-issues in comparison to having bad content in general).
The Philippines is a Dota 2 country by and by, even though the CS:GO and FPS community in general grows stronger on a day-to-day basis. As a result, readers aren’t that common, unless you are writing for CrossFire (and some of my CrossFire articles were read by thousands of readers a couple of times).
But if you really want to do something, you’ll find a reason to do it. You’ll find something that goes beyond passion.
You will find the time, the effort and the methods needed to reach readers out there.
It’s not just about the money, fame or recognition, though these will come when you prove that you can put out high quality stuff consistently.
Every reader you gain is a victory. Every opinion you change is a victory. Every policy that you are able to steer towards a positive outcome is a victory. Every single person that respects your content and would defend your right to push it out is a big victory.
I learned all these things the hard way. But it’s worth it.
And as long as I have the time, I’ll always do my best to write about the things that matter about the games that I love. And I hope that I can do it in the best and most consistent way possible.
I hope that I would be able to uphold this creed.