You wouldn’t be blamed for being new to photographing the esports tournament scene; only a select few photographers have worked in the field until very recently. However, with esports truly coming into its own in recent years, the opportunities for photographers are growing every single day.
If you’ve landed your first gig as an esports tourney photographer, congratulations! Don’t worry, you’ll find that the esports scene is absolutely incredible, vibrant, and full to the brim with professionals of all types. If it’s technique or industry custom that you’re worried about, we’ve got you covered.
If you keep reading, you’ll find a solid guide to being ready on your first tourney.
Tip #1 – Treat Esports Like Any Other Sport
Many newcomers to esports forget all too easily that esports are called a sport for a reason; the athletes there to perform have honed their skills, their focus, and their teamwork to incredible levels. With that in mind, it’s important that photographers respect players need for space, time, and simple communication. Just like crowding a baseball player before a big game would be considered a faux pas, the same goes for esports competitors.
Tip #2 – Don’t Forget the Fans
One of the best elements of the esports scene is the sheer passion present in the bleachers. Fans of esports are known for being breathtakingly devoted to their favorite teams and players. Sometimes, you’ll even find major gaming celebrities and professionals spending their time in the seats of a hot esports tourney.
Don’t just get pictures of the players, capture the spirit of the event. There’s a certain electricity that cannot be seen anywhere else when a player or team pulls off something truly breathtaking.
Tip #3 – Learn the Game
Before you go to any tourney, spend a lot of time on YouTube and Twitch.tv learning the ins-and-outs of the game whose participants you’ll be photographing. You need to understand the gravity of a good pass in a FIFA game or why an early tower can change the flow of a MOBA-style game, for some examples.
Also, you need to be able to recognize who’s who; games can be emotional, especially when player’s personal history with the game is on show, and you need to know what to look for.
Those are the basics! Esports events are fun, high-energy, and, most of all, fueled by powerfully interconnected communities. Keep that in mind and you’ll find yourself snapping the moments that only insiders would know!