Esports management goes beyond the struggles of grooming teams and the glory of victories. Through SHINE x *SCAPE Talent Development Programme: Esports, I was able to share years of experiences with mentee Leif Phang.

Leif is a passionate player in the esports community. With years of leadership experience gained in school, he wanted to learn in-depth the different aspects of coaching and managing a professional team.

A team manager has a wide job scope – he or she is a discipline master, a schedule

planner, a nanny, a counsellor, a negotiator and imperatively, someone who grooms and builds the players’ character on a professional level.

In the esports community, a manager’s relationship with the players can make a lot of difference, especially when dealing with delicate situations or conflicts. Needless to say, conflicts are not uncommon in teams. The manager plays a huge role in helping the players get past these issues and develop a stronger bond within the team.

I strongly believe that to be a team manager, he or she should be willing to be a good friend to the players. Outside the team, the players, like everyone, have their problems. This can affect their work (performance) in terms of emotions, which in turn impacts the team especially when they’re tight-knit like family. It is therefore healthy for players to have an outlet to express themselves. This will benefit their team as well as their own growth as an individual too.

Mental health is a huge factor in the competitive world. At high levels of gameplay, often mental state triumphs. This includes the state of mind of each player at the time of the match and their preparation before the tournament. A team’s manager and coach tend to be led by the same person in the culture of Asian esports. However, it is the manager’s particular relationship with the players that helps groom their personalities and attitude as professionals inside and outside of the game. In the long run, managers help groom talents as they pave their career path in esports.

When given the opportunity to represent their country and travel for overseas tournaments, players’ welfare should never be overlooked. It may sound ironic, but managing a team in a foreign country is not all fun and games. Travelling and playing long leagues can be physically and mentally draining for the players – and their welfare always has to take  priority.

After spending two months in Taiwan with my team for Overwatch Contenders earlier this year, I was able to share with mentee Leif the crucial preparations I made before the trip. There were many unexpected circumstances that had to be managed with gumption.

I’m extremely grateful that this Talent Development Programme has allowed me to share information and personal experiences with Leif. Helping him prepare his step into the esports management which can sometimes be overwhelming. There is so much passion in the scene and I’m honored to have been able to share my experiences to help these talents grow the industry together!