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Odgers Berndtson: Annual income of esports top management can reach $170 000

George Miller



Odgers Berndtson: Annual income of esports top management can reach $170 000
Reading Time: 4 minutes


Headhunters are often among the first to identify trends, thereby making them the people who come to find the best managers.

The esports market has also followed this trend. Since 2015, we have seen the formation of a new large-scale industry. Initially the clubs and teams looked like a group of niche enthusiasts without any built-up system, wishing to attract 1-2 professionals from the corporate world. Today the industry looks as a full-fledged ecosystem of the largest clubs, companies and holdings. Each of them has its own staff, corporate structure and Leadership Team. However, there is very little systematized information about the internal structure of cybersports, such as what the clubs have in common or what is the salary market like, although the transparency of an industry is one of the most important factors in its growth and development.

Odgers Berndtson has interviewed twenty top club managers around the world – from North America to Oceania, including Western Europe, Russia and the CIS countries. The results of this study will be useful for all market participants: clubs to compare themselves with competitors, investors who want to enter the esports market, professionals who want to work in the industry, and for fans who are interested in understanding what’s behind their favorite players.

Organisational structures

During interviews with representatives of esports clubs, we have identified 2 main management models (each of them can be subdivided into 2 subcategories):

The first model is a business structure with traditional key functions inside: Sales, Operations, HR, Finance, etc., which report to the CEO. These structures follow the classic organisational model from the corporate world. 81% of the clubs we surveyed have this type of organisational structure.

The remaining 19% of clubs have only two key managers – CEO (Chief Executive Officer) and COO (Chief Operating Officer), who share areas of responsibility among themselves. The most common configuration is when one manager develops such functions as Sales, Marketing and Gaming, and the another one is responsible for the back-office (accounting, finance, etc.). In 50 % of these companies the club outsources the functions of sales and marketing, and the rest have these functions (including sales and marketing) implemented internally.

Sports management

The main resource of the esports business are players, teams, and sports results. Nowadays, clubs use 2 main models of sports management. 57% of clubs have a Sports Director / Chief Gaming Officer who is responsible for team management and sports performance. In the remaining 43%, this function is linked with one of the top managers of the club (CEO / COO). The main factor in both approaches is the CEO / COO’s personal professional gaming experience.

Compensation packages

After we have gathered and systemized all data of compensation packages in the clubs, we saw a big difference in absolute values (up to 10 times). This is due to the different living standards in the regions where esports clubs are present. To present the relevant average earnings in key positions, we removed 10% of the minimum and maximum values.

Annual income:  

•           CEO – from $ 70,000 to $ 170,000 gross;

•           COO – from $ 50,000 to $ 160,000 $ gross;

•           CCO (Sales, Partnerships, Sponsorships) / CMO (Content, Marketing, PR) – from $ 50,000 to $ 150,000 gross;

•           HRD / CFO / CIO / Legal Director – from $ 40,000 to $ 120,000 gross.

Compensation packages insights

Over the past 1.5-2 years, the structure of compensation packages has changed towards a form similar to other industries – a fixed part and a bonus (the amount of which depends on the KPIs fulfillment). It is important to note that about 40% of top clubs stimulate their top team with long-term incentives (LTI).

The main KPIs for top management are operational: P&L performance, growth number of subscribers on social networks and active fans, views of matches / team content, users retention, and attraction of partners.

Most of Chief Gaming Officer and the CEO have sports results reflected in KPIs. This distinguishes esports managers from colleagues who manage clubs in traditional sports, where in most cases the entire team of top managers has an additional bonus from the team’s athletic performance.

Market trends

•           An esports club is no longer just a collection of players who play for themselves or their investor. It is a full-fledged business with media and commercial parts. Esports has become a valuable part of the entertainment market;

•           The staff ranges from 18 to 75 people. Only 21% of the organizations we had surveyed have more than 50 employees. Esports clubs, unlike traditional sports teams, still have compact structures;

•           Esports companies are becoming increasingly mature and open toward external markets. They hire people having no professional gaming experience, invite business consultants to tackle recruitment tasks, draft strategy and move the club forward;

•           Proper P&L management is a short- or mid-term task for 75% of top clubs;

•           Employment’s agreements with athletes have changed:

– KPIs for sports results now included

– employment contracts became long-term;

– the club’s share has increased in the prize money from tournaments.

About the study:

Odgers Berndtson is one of the largest international consulting companies with a focus on top executive search, assessment and development. Odgers Berndtson is the only executive search company with a dedicated Global Gaming Practice. The practice specialises on recruiting executive teams for the gaming and esports industries.
Authors: Leonid Koen, Andrey Salitov.


Newzoo Joins Forces With EVOS Esports To Expand Its Market View With Southeast Asia Data

George Miller



Newzoo Joins Forces With EVOS Esports To Expand Its Market View With Southeast Asia Data
Reading Time: < 1 minute


Newzoo, the world’s leading provider of games and esports analytics, announced today its partnership with EVOS Esports, Southeast Asia’s leading esports organization housing over 15 professional teams across five different countries.

By adding EVOS Esports to its partnerships program, Newzoo will get improved insights from the Southeast Asian market, a region expected to further boost the growth of the esports business. Furthermore, EVOS Esports’ mobile focus within the market represents an additional layer of insights that Newzoo will use to further solidify its esports estimates, which are featured in its landmark Global Esports Market Report and the Newzoo Platform.

In exchange, Newzoo will advise EVOS Esports with market insights, helping the organization to benchmark, spot opportunities, and provide strategic insights for its further expansion.

“Southeast Asia is currently the most exciting region for the overall future growth of esports and gaming, both from a business and consumer engagement perspective. EVOS Esports is right at the center of this.”, said Peter Warman, Newzoo’s Co-Founder and CEO. “Partnering with an ambitious and forward-thinking esports organization like EVOS Esports supports us in keeping up with this huge esports region to further strengthen our view on the global and local esports ecosystems.”

“We are excited to be the first esports organisation in Southeast Asia to form this partnership with Newzoo. With Newzoo’s market intelligence and expertise, it will assist us in making actionable data-driven decisions as we scale our business verticals across the region. With access to the tools and insights provided by Newzoo, we look forward to achieving continued success, especially when discussing with commercial partners.”, said Ivan Yeo, EVOS Esports’ Co-Founder and CEO.

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MakerDAO Partners with FirstBlood Technologies Competitive Gaming Platform “Earn DAI for excelling at the most popular Esports games available today”

George Miller



MakerDAO Partners with FirstBlood Technologies Competitive Gaming Platform “Earn DAI for excelling at the most popular Esports games available today”
Reading Time: 2 minutes


Today, ​FirstBlood Technologies​, the ​online competitive ​gaming ​platform and maker of Gaming Blockchain Dawn Protocol that lets ​esports​players challenge the field and win real rewards for excelling at their favorite games,​is integrating with ​MakerDAO​ to bring decentralized stablecoin integration to the ​FirstBlood Platform​. MakerDAO, the protocol behind the popular ​DeFi stablecoin Dai​, will enhance accessibility for enthusiasts and professional gamers alike by offering rewards in DAI to competitive gamers playing on FirstBlood. This signals an immense victory for gamers, and allows for permissionless cross-border payments to be made in what is arguably the most popular DeFi crypto-token available today. While the FirstBlood Platform supports it’s own native token $Dawn the addition of an algorithmic stablecoin sweetens the prize pot for gamers all around the world.

Joe Zhou, the Co-Founder and CEO of FirstBlood, says “we aim to leverage the massive DAI community and facilitate blockchain adoption into the world of competitive gaming. With players competing from every continent, payments in cryptocurrencies will simplify barriers to entry for users, and provide a stable and secure environment for players to earn rewards for rising to the challenge.” Of the partnership, Rune Christensen, CEO of the Maker Foundation and co-founder of MakerDAO, had this to say, “the borderless, decentralized nature of Dai makes it the perfect stablecoin to use as in-game rewards for FirstBlood players. The stability, transparency and ease of use of Dai will let players spend more time focused on competing and less time sorting out how to manage their rewards.”

To celebrate the partnership, MakerDAO is offering 10,000 DAI in prizes to sign up and compete on FirstBlood. All prizes will be paid in Dai. The details are as follows:

  • Beginning the 3rd week of November 2020, FirstBlood players will have an opportunity to compete against each other in the newest game-integrated on the FirstBlood Platform, Call of Duty: Warzone.
  • On the third Monday for the months of November, and December of 2020 and January 2021, FirstBlood will host the Maker Monthly tournament, which will have a $1,500 prize pool, payable in Dai.
  • Starting November, 4th, 2020, FirstBlood will host the Daily Dai with a prize pool of $100 each day for 40 days.
  • Events are available for players on PC, Playstation, and Xbox.
  • To sign up and get started, simply visit the FirstBlood platform and create an account at​.
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Rix.GG signs Joonas “Mognus” Salo to Rocket League roster

George Miller



Rix.GG signs Joonas "Mognus" Salo to Rocket League roster
Reading Time: 2 minutes


Rix.GG, a new esports organisation, announces the signing of Finnish superstar Joonas “Mognus” Salo to its Rocket League roster.

Rix.GG’s Rocket League roster ahead of RLCS X Winter Split will be:

  1. Dan “Polar” Rees
  2. Lorenzo “Dead-Monster” Tongiorgi
  3. Joonas “Mognus” Salo

By signing Joonas “Mognus” Salo, Rix.GG is taking a hybrid approach to both nurture home-grown talent and bolster it with unrivaled expertise in Rocket League. Joonas “Mognus” Salo brings with him a wealth of experience, competing and winning at the highest levels of the esport. Rix.GG hopes the move will lead to the development of a winning team strategy to become one of the top Rocket League teams in the EU.

Jamie Lewis, founder, said: “We [Rix.GG] are doubling down on our efforts to build a top tier team and are delighted to have a world-class talent like Mongnus on board. We feel he is the perfect addition to our budding team.”

Ibrahim Taylor, team manager, said: “Mognus is widely regarded as one of the most capable Rocket League players, someone that has seen great success for many years at the very pinnacle of competitive Rocket League. He also gels very well with the team and the great atmosphere is clear to see. Polar and Dead-Monster are both keen to continue to improve, with the experience and history Mognus brings he is the perfect person for them to combine with to take them to new heights.”

Joonas “Mognus” Salo, said: “I’m happy to be joining Rix.GG as a new third player for its Rocket League team. They take good care of their players, so I know I’m in good hands. Immediately from the first scrim I noticed the potential that Polar and Dead-monster have. With my experience, I hope to bring more consistency to the table

and bring out the best of my teammates. It will definitely take some time, but I hope you can support me and my new team on this journey.”

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