Missed our Broadcast AMA Panel? Here’s your TL;DR.
The Tespa AMA series invites professionals from the gaming industry to discuss career development and to provide insight about different careers within the gaming industry. Topics include career paths, networking, and tips for applying and interviewing for jobs and internships.
Our sixth AMA features broadcasting professionals from the Overwatch League! In this AMA, we covered how they got started in the broadcast industry and advice on how you can start broadcasting your events to help put your chapter on the map
1) Do not take anything for granted and treat everything with the same importance.
Alex: I made this mistake earlier in my career and started taking for granted smaller shows for larger shows. I started putting more effort into the large shows and feeling more confident about smaller shows that I wouldn't even prepare for it. This resulted in missing a ton of things and everything going badly. I realized that I should be treating larger shows at the same level as smaller shows. If you want to get a job, you should be treating every opportunity like you're getting paid for it.
Coyde: Treat everything with the same importance so that you are able to work consistently in broadcast. If you're not treating events the same, then you aren't putting in the same effort and this could lead to issues where the event isn't as good as it could have been. For example, the Collegiate Rocket League championship was the same process throughout the season broadcast. At the end of the day both the live finals and the season broadcast needed to be treated with the same priority, despite how big or small the event was.
2) Communication and teamwork are the keys to a successful broadcast.
Alex: What's a live show without stuff hitting the fan? You can have the best production team ever, and something will go wrong that you didn't plan for. Being flexible, adaptable, staying calm under pressure, and being the leader that your club looks toward is important. You need to stay focused and calm. If you freak out, everyone's going to freak out. On top of that, it's not all on you. It's a team effort. Humans are smarter together, so when you put your brains together and solve something as a team and talk it out, you can accomplish more. Don't try to take it all on yourself.
Coyde: It's really important to realize that every person relies on every other person, whether it's from moment to moment or "I just need this information to start my day." Being able to communicate everything from essential information down to something like a malfunction is important. At the end of the day, it's a live broadcast and you can't cut or do another take. You have to be as prepared as you can be, but sometimes, things are just going to go wrong. For example, at the Dallas Homestand, the whole block lost power. It wasn't something that we could plan for, but then we were prepared for the Atlanta Homestand.
3) Gaming extracurriculars and production are great pathways to a career in broadcast!
Alex: Within esports, there are jobs outside of coordinating and producing, like marketing. Esports is marketing. It's marketing on the web, in the subcategory of gamers and esports. If you have that market awareness and subject matter expertise, it will be relevant to esports. It’s the same thing for business and business development. Sponsorships and advertising need business development skills. There's a lot of traditional jobs on the business and marketing side that you can go to school for, and as long as you take relevant gaming extracurriculars, you'll be ready to go in esports!
4) Transferable skills are very important!
Alex: The broadcast space is in a weird transitional space right now. Broadcast is about 10 years behind the times because of the way that video is produced. The people who know traditional broadcast are retiring, and not as many new people are coming in. I think transferable skills like computer science, networking, understanding Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCPIP), web, and programming language is so important to broadcasting.
Coyde: The old guard is aging out, the new guard is coming in, and we’re starting to see a skill gap. Summer Games Done Quick (SGDQ) is running on Support Class (which is what I use for graphics operations), and I’ve never used a traditional broadcast operation software like Viz or Expression, which are dedicated hardware machines built to make graphics run. Three or four guys have built up Support Class and it's a cloud and HTML based system that the entire show can be run in Chrome. This is really nice because it's so flexible and built around new technology by making things easier, more streamlined, and lighter. This particular software is built on open-source, free to use libraries that anyone can pick up and tackle. I also use OBS, everyone can use it and a lot of smaller productions use this. It’s super versatile and can either be used for an entire broadcast or could just be used at a streaming level.
5) Some final words from our guests.
Alex: Don't be used and abused. Know your worth, and fight for your worth. Be willing to take risks and wear multiple hats. Be a "do-er", that's how you get noticed. Get your stuff done, and do it well.
Coyde: Knowing your worth is super important, as Alex mentioned. There are people in any facet of any industry that will take advantage of you if you're a go getter who doesn't know their worth. Know what you bring to the table, and use it. Be flexible, transfer your skills to different situations, and learn.