The collaboration kicked off on 7 August, featuring the first virtual esports event in Singapore with virtual career fair, championships & insight sharing from employers
The esports industry has not only remained relatively undisrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic but experienced a rapid boom due to the increase in online activities. Gaming has evolved beyond just a hobby globally as more individuals consider it a viable career option. At the same time, gaming companies are leveraging the spike in online gaming as an opportunity to make inroads into educating and reaching out to individuals in the esports and gaming communities, giving rise to the popularity of competitive gaming. Asia has the largest audience of esports players and fans in the world, and generated US $543.8 million in revenue in 2020, representing a 4.9% increase over 2019 despite the challenges of COVID-19 and is on a strong course in 2021. The Singapore Government is also committed to power the industry and will further augment the country’s position as a video game and esports hub in the region.
On-ground sensing with partners and associations revealed that esports companies encountered difficulties in hiring due to a relatively smaller talent pool with such niche skills. While there are challenges with the lack of an esports ecosystem in Singapore, there are vast opportunities in talent building, as well as matching of good jobs in the industry to our workforce. The esports industry is typically associated with gamers, but support roles make up 80% to 90% of the job vacancies at esports companies as compared to that of players. These support roles can be filled by jobseekers without prior gaming experience. These roles include Coaches, Brand Managers, Content Creators and Live Production Crew.
Launch of the SGUnited Esports Jobs & Skills Discovery
In response, NTUC’s e2i, together with NTUC U PME and the Singapore Cybersports & Online Gaming Association (SCOGA) co-organised the SGUnited Esports Jobs & Skills Discovery from 7 to 31 August 2021 with three highlights:
- Insights on in-demand essential skills and available job opportunities from hiring companies, organised by U PME
- A virtual career fair with more than 100 vacancies
- Finals of inter-school gaming competition titled “Campus Legends” between Institutes of Higher Learning (Live streaming via Facebook)
The much-awaited competition commenced 7 August, and garnered more than 15,000 viewers.
As the first collaboration of this kind, the organisers aimed to create greater public awareness and education about the esports industry, focusing on the relevant skills and the careers in demand. Through collaborative efforts and steps to grow the interest and skills needed in esports, the organisers hope that more Singaporeans will take on the varied job opportunities available in this up-and-coming industry.
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between e2i & SCOGA on 8th August 2021
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between e2i and SCOGA as a commitment to bridge the skill gaps of our Singaporean Core workforce to meet the hiring needs of the esports industry. This will be done through the curation of stackable training programmes targeted at both new entrants and mid-career switchers to transit into the industry. For a start, e2i is working with SCOGA on a training programme where the first 50 trainees will get to understand the ecosystem of esports and know what are the career paths available. More details of this programme will be released later this year.
Ms Vicky Wong, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of e2i, shared “e2i is excited to partner SCOGA in developing a training and placement ecosystem for the esports industry. To power the ecosystem, the components of championships, skilled crew and vibrant gaming communities need to come together. With the industry partners, e2i will harness insights of hiring trends, needs of employers and focus on professional development of our workforce through curating joint events and programmes to improve employment prospects. With greater availability of esports talent and growing needs from publishing companies, our workers will be able to gain access to good jobs in the up-and-coming industry.”
Mr Dennis Ooi, President of SCOGA, shared “SCOGA is committed to training PMETs through engaging and meaningful programmes developed by our esports academy with the support of our industry partners. We are very thankful for e2i’s collaboration and support for the benefit of job seekers and employers in our sector.”
Mr Melvin Yong, Assistant Secretary-General of NTUC, said “The explosive growth of the esports industry globally means that there are many job opportunities available locally too, both for young job-seekers as well as mid-career switchers. Developers are always looking to make their games more intelligent, more interesting and more realistic. We need to quickly establish an ecosystem, together with the schools and the industry, to develop local talents in artificial intelligence, computer science, and even in physics and mathematics, as we ride on the growth of esports to create good jobs for Singaporeans.”
Job opportunities in the growth sector
Companies are actively hiring for these roles, which include events management and operations, project managers, marketing and partnership, graphic designers and software engineers among many others. Career opportunities in esports include conventional support roles (such as Marketing, Event Management) that do not require prior knowledge or experience in gaming. Key participating employers include Cargo Studio, Esports Entertainment Asia, Garena Online, Gumi Asia, Moonton, ONE Esports, Riot Games, TechStorm, among others.