How to get into Esports: an interview with Samantha Cabitac

Samantha Cabitac is an esports professional whose experience spans from collegiate tournament administration to managing content for Call of Duty League and Overwatch League teams. As Samantha explains, a love for gaming can unexpectedly lead to a fulfilling career you never expected.

NGame Esports: How did you get involved in esports?

Samantha Cabitac: I’ve always been a gamer. When I went into university, I wanted to become a doctor. But into my second year, I realized I wasn’t as into it as I would have liked, so I switched over from science to business. All my friends were either in science or engineering at that point, so I was looking for people I could connect with. That’s when my friend suggested that I go to this club that holds LAN parties every semester. 

I’m not the most competitive person in terms of gaming — I suck (laughs) — and I was into League of Legends and Minecraft at that time, so I ended up joining as a tournament admin. The club grew from about 200 attendees to about 1,200 in a semester, so we got to rent out a building at the school. Our club became a chapter in Tespa, Blizzard Entertainment’s collegiate program. 

As I got more [engaged] in the program between social media and being a tournament admin, I got to be involved in Tespa as well, in terms of meeting other leaders across America. About a year and a half later, I was able to start working [directly] with Tespa and become a tournament admin for Overwatch tournament.

It just kept snowballing from there. Right after school, I had a full-time sales job at a tech company, in addition to contract work with Tespa and volunteering at our local events in the Toronto area. About a year later, I started volunteering with MSI Canada for their booths at events. I was told they were hiring someone as an account manager to help out with marketing. I applied and got the role. I was at MSI for about a year. My role was both in sales and marketing. I got to see the gaming side from the manufacturer’s perspective and worked with many different people. This was pre-covid, I got to go to events across Canada and meet some interesting people. 

After MSI, I had the opportunity to work with the Canucks Sports & Entertainment for their two esports teams, the Vancouver Titans and the Seattle Surge.

NGame Esports: What were your responsibilities in your position?

Samantha Cabitac: With the Canucks, I was the content coordinator. My responsibilities included community management for both the Call of Duty and Overwatch League teams. I worked with our mods on our servers and helped plan out watch parties and community events.  I was also helping out a lot with the content team — copy for social media, connecting our teams with the fans, etc. I also did a lot of connections with the players so we could get our content out on time. A lot of my role was helping out the content team, making sure all that we were doing — assets, etc. — was delivered on time. One of my responsibilities was also analytics reporting for all our social channels for both teams. In addition, I was responsible for updating both teams websites. 

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

Samantha Cabitac: If you’re in the collegiate space, definitely get involved with your esports/gaming club on campus. That’s the one way you can meet tons of people who are into gaming, even if you’re just looking for people to connect with. A lot of people are beginning to be affiliated with more organizations like Cloud9 and Evil Geniuses, who are starting to get involved. 

If you’re a young professional, I would definitely say to get involved in Discord communities and stuff like that. There are a lot of people who are very friendly that want to connect with you and are willing to give advice. I think a lot of people are afraid to ask, but just send them a message if they’re open to it. Say, “Hey, I’d like to take a few minutes just to ask you [some questions]. My name is whoever, I want to go into this space that you’re in, and I was wondering if I could take five-to-ten minutes for a call.”

People will always be willing to help. 

Written by HB Duran

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