There were 5,018 esports jobs advertised globally in the first eight months of the year. These jobs came from 1,014 esports brands, which were hiring in 322 cities around the world.
Interestingly, only six of these cities hosted more than 100 esports job opportunities, while only 11 posted more than 50. As such, esports could be described as an industry of employment hubs. A concentrated one, at that. We often refer to California as “the home of esports jobs” due to it accounting for more than half of all openings in 2019. Esports doesn’t solely exist and thrive in California, though. A number of other cities throughout the United States and the rest of the world offer excellent opportunities in this fast-growing entertainment vertical.
To illustrate this, here’s our list of the top 10 hiring cities (or “hubs”) in the esports industry, along with a little bit of information about the esports brands that power them through their continued growth and success.
1. Los Angeles, California, USA (Riot Games)
Riot Games – the video game publisher behind smash-hit esports title League of Legends and the esports-ready first-person shooter Valorant – almost single-handedly powers Los Angeles to the top of this ranking, being responsible for an enormous 317 of The City of Angels’ 557 total available esports jobs in 2020 to date (57%).
Skillz, Electronic Arts, TSM, and Twitch are some other major esports companies that can be found hiring in this hub too.
2. San Francisco, California, USA (Twitch)
Twitch powers an impressive three entries on this list, beginning with San Francisco, its home base. The former Justin.tv – now a subsidiary of Amazon after a US$970 million acquisition in 2014 – is an integral part of the esports ecosystem as the largest live streaming service in the industry.
Twitch has been responsible for 287 of San Francisco’s 520 total available esports jobs in 2020 so far (55%), though other esports brands like Skillz, Ubisoft, Riot Games, and Discord are regularly hiring in the city too.
3. London, UK (Twitch)
Twitch is also the predominant hiring esports company in London, too, accounting for 51 of the English capital’s 192 esports jobs this year (27%).
As such, London could be called the prime European destination for esports jobs, with other well-known esports companies such as Fnatic, FACEIT, EXCEL, and Gfinity also often hiring for roles here.
4. Berlin, Germany (Freaks 4U Gaming)
Berlin isn’t too far behind London when it comes to European opportunities, though, with the German city hosting 131 jobs from esports brands so far in 2020.
Marketing agency Freaks 4U Gaming is the most actively hiring company for esports-focused jobs in Berlin, accounting for 26 of all opportunities (20%).
Caseking, VERITAS Entertainment, G2 Esports, and Bayes Esports are some of the other big names that can regularly be found hiring in Berlin.
5. Santa Monica, California, USA (Activision Blizzard)
Activision Blizzard is one of esports’ true “mega brands”, with the video game publisher being behind the Overwatch League and the Call of Duty League, two world-famous city-based franchise leagues, and owning a number of subsidiaries.
Activision Blizzard has been responsible for 39 of Santa Monica’s 113 esports jobs this year (35%), with PUBG Corporation, PlayVS, Team Liquid, and Cloud9 – the next most active hiring companies in the city – all being some way short of that number.
6. Irvine, California, USA (Blizzard Entertainment)
There were 100 esports jobs based in Irvine in the first eight months of 2020, with Blizzard Entertainment being responsible for an impressive 64 of those (64%).
Blizzard Entertainment – one of those Activision Blizzard subsidiaries we mentioned – is perhaps best known for its World of Warcraft series, but its two most famous esports titles are surely StarCraft and Overwatch.
Twitch, Amazon, and Razer are also somewhat active in Irvine, but it is very much a one-horse town when it comes to hiring for esports jobs.
7. New York City, New York, USA (Twitch)
Our first East Coast entry is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Big Apple. And, even less surprisingly, Twitch is the esports brand that powers this hub.
Twitch has hosted 39 of New York City’s 96 esports jobs so far this year (38%), though Statespace, Overtime, theScore, and Electronic Arts have all been looking for esports staff in NYC too.
8. Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil (Garena)
Our only entrant from South America ties with New York City for esports opportunities (96), which is quite amazing when you think about it.
Brazil is esports crazy though, and esports brands like Garena – the most active hiring company here with 22 jobs advertised (23%) – Riot Games, Twitch, BBL Esports, and Level Up BR all appear to be making the most of that.
9. Seattle, Washington, USA (Amazon Game Studios)
Of the 95 esports jobs based in Seattle so far in 2020 Amazon Game Studios was responsible for 63 of them (66%), the biggest individual share on this list yet.
What’s more, if we were to include Twitch (another actively hiring esports brand in this hub) in that share it would become a gargantuan 80%!
Evil Geniuses, PEAK6, and GameWorks all hire in Seattle too, but nowhere near as prolifically as Amazon Game Studios does.
10. Portland, Oregon, USA (Skillz)
Portland takes the cake when it comes to individual share, though, with mobile esports specialists Skillz (a company valued at US$3.5 billion) accounting for 55 of its 56 jobs between January and August of this year (98%).
Wondering who hired for the solitary remaining job there? It was Evil Geniuses.
That rounds out our list of the top 10 esports employment hubs around the globe and the esports brands that power them.
For completeness, we should mention that the only other esports hub with over 50 jobs in 2020 is Burbank, also in California. It’s almost exclusively powered by production company Next Generation Esports.
Interact with Riot Games, Garena, Twitch, Activision, Freaks 4U gaming and more online at Esports BAR+ Americas, September 22-25 !