Interview

How to get into Esports: An interview with Khang Thai

As the Senior Global Esports Lead, Khang sets the vision and strategy to establish Razer’s dominance and leadership in the esports industry. He oversees all marketing and content, sponsorships, and tournaments like Razer Invitational. Prior to Global Esports, Khang was a part of the Mobile Business Unit, where he helped to shape the go-to-market strategy for the Razer Phone and Razer Phone 2. NGame Esports connected with Khang Thai to learn how he got involved in esports.

NGame: How did you get involved in the esports industry? 

Khang: Funny enough, when I started at Razer, I was on the mobile business team so I wasn’t actively working on getting into esports. I watched a lot of pro LoL players and enjoyed the game but I never expected to be on this side of the fence when I started. While I was on our Mobile Business team, I got involved with mobile esports through a sponsorship with Tribe Gaming and it opened a whole realm of possibilities for me. It was from there that I transitioned to the Global Esports team, and have been going full force managing marketing campaigns, sponsorships and partnerships, tournaments, and PR. Since Razer is doing so much within the space, it’s given me the opportunity to do a lot of things in a short amount of time and I’m so grateful for that.

NGame: What are your responsibilities in your current position?

Khang: Currently I oversee the Global Esports team, working on various esports initiatives to elevate Razer’s role in this space. This includes pro team sponsorships, marketing, PR, events and partnerships.

Some of the more recent work I’ve done includes helping develop Razer Invitational, which is an online tournament series we introduced to provide amateur teams a platform to compete in for international recognition. There are hundreds of thousands of gamers who struggle with getting discovered since there is so much noise in the industry, so we created Razer Invitational as a way to shine our very bright spotlight on talented players who participate and win the tournament. Currently, we’ve hosted Razer Invitational in Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Europe with great success and I’m super proud of the work we’ve done to introduce new talent to the world.

Another aspect of my role is building out a roster of unique and diverse teams to partner with under the Team Razer banner, our global esports brand. Under the Team Razer initiative, I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the greatest esports teams in the industry to drive esports awareness and culture across the world, as well as work together to develop future technologies that will change the way esports is played. We don’t sign just any organization to Team Razer; we focus on those that share our same values such as sportsmanship, dedication, and teamwork and I feel that’s reflected in the our larger esports initiatives

NGame: What advice would you give someone looking to get started in esports?

Khang: Well, the first step would be to identify which part of esports you’d like to be a part of – after all, the esports industry is HUGE! So do some research to see which areas of the industry you can contribute to – there’s a whole range from casters, analysts and production crew to marketers, partnership managers and content creators.

Esports is so radically different than where it was ten years ago and there are now more options than ever before, whereas in the past you were either a player, a coach, or a manager. There are different tracks that you can take to go into esports now – you can go the traditional route and try joining esports from the pro side of things: being a professional player, team coach or manager. There’s also esports on the business side: production companies, event organizers, community managers, sponsorship managers, social media managers, esports marketing for game developers, hardware companies or game publishers; there’s even roles for esports wellness in the form of physical therapists and psychologists!

Try also to gain some experience – either on your own or by applying to any starting roles that you see from hiring companies. If you’re into casting or content creating, study professional casters or content creators to model yourself after and to learn from. Practice and create on your own and improve from there. Grow your network within the esports working community – there’s always opportunities out there and you never know when you’d get that big break from within your network.

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