Maxime VACHIER-LAGRAVE (MVL), Chess Grandmaster, joins STAKRN Agency
March 17, 2021

Esports is a rapidly evolving world, and it can be hard to keep up. The sheer scale of this evolution is staggering, with the economy of the industry now numbering several billions of dollars. As an entertainment, esports is already worth more, and watched more, than most traditional sports.

And more money and viewers mean more professional teams, and professional esports players. But electronic sport is also a very young industry, considering the age of both the industry itself, the viewers, the organizations, and, of course, the players. With the amount of money involved, some people see in esports an opportunity to abuse a widely inexperienced market. This is especially true for young, talented, and often naïve players, that will sign just about anything to accomplish their dreams of making it as a pro.

This is where the esport agent comes in.

Pierre “Mewt” Ratier, Esports Talent Manager @ Stakrn Agency:

“As former CEO of BAM eSport, it was important for me to keep working with players that became free agents after the team shut down. I wanted to help them find the best esports deals and projects. Far from the business side of the issue, it was their well-being and their personal ambitions that mattered to me.”

Esports agency: the future of player management

The role of esports agents and, by extension, esports agencies, have become increasingly important in the last few years and will become strategically crucial in the years to come. But what is an esports agents’ job, exactly?

Esports agents for dummies

Often legal contract experts, sometimes management or consulting specialists with a wide network of sponsors and teams, are brought in to look after a player’s best interests.

In theory, they are supposed to help them find the best offers from teams & sponsors and avoid bad or dishonest contracts and manage their public image. In practice, they often find themselves doing much more than that, and help very young talents grow into confirmed athletes. They end up advising and guiding them both in their personal and professional lives.

Pierre “Mewt” Ratier, Esports Talent Manager @ Stakrn Agency:

“Being an agent is putting the player at the center of the esports discussions and resolving problems. Our other priority is succeeding in matching the expectations of the brands and teams we work with, within our talent pool, inside or outside of our agency.”

Do not get me wrong: an esports agent is a necessary job, and agents are professionals. They do what they do for money, to get food on the table; nevertheless, being a successful agent may also mean caring for the personal wellbeing of players. You cannot be oblivious to what issues or anxieties they may be suffering if you want to help them manage their social media or professional network as best as you can.

Most of the time agents they are paid in percentages (5% to 10%) of deals they help find and / or negotiate for players; this does not include tournament earnings.

Why hire an esports agent/agency?

As mentioned earlier, an agent will help the player get the best deals, but they will review contracts and offers to make sure their player is not trapped into terrible legal options. Sometimes, players think they have the upper hand in the negotiation with a team and will grossly misjudge their worth. Too many times in the past star players have signed and committed to bad deals, with very restrictive options. Esports agents and agencies are here to make sure this doesn’t happen any longer.

Even though team owners do not have malevolent intentions (most of the time), they will invariably do what is in their own best interest. As such, it is important that players do the same.

It is estimated that only about 20% of professional esports players currently have agent representation, a number that is bound to, and should, grow very quickly in the future!

Are you a player, or is someone close to you a pro player? If so, what are you waiting for, go and hire an agent?