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Game Your Way to a Career: Entrepreneurs

You know what time it is! That’s right, it’s time for another installment of our “Game Your Way to a Career” series. This time, we’re talking about entrepreneurship. Today, we’ll explore the overlap between game-based learning, esports, and 21st-century skills to discover how this combination can cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit in K-12 learners.

via Giphy

What do you think about game-based learning and esports? As always, don’t forget to share your thoughts with us on Facebook or X!

The Esports Ecosystem: Entrepreneurs

Before we get into entrepreneurial roles in esports, let’s revisit the North American Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF) and its research-backed, comprehensive Esports Ecosystem. NASEF identifies four distinct career pathways within the esports realm: strategists, content creators, organizers, and, of course, entrepreneurs.


According to this framework, entrepreneurs are the creative-minded and business-savvy individuals who breathe life into esports organizations. Their activities range from crafting websites and sponsor decks to designing graphics and formulating marketing plans.


The entrepreneur role is significant – these individuals provide the necessary foundations for esports entities to flourish by securing funding, creating a strong online presence, attracting corporate sponsorships, and more. Entrepreneurs act as catalysts for the growth and sustainability of the esports industry. Through their efforts, they contribute not only to the business side of esports but also to the overall ecosystem, fostering a vibrant and competitive industry!

The breadth and versatility of an entrepreneurial role

NASEF’s definition above underscores the multifaceted nature of entrepreneurial activities in esports, and in a vast array of career paths at large. For example, crafting a compelling website involves not just technical skills but also a keen understanding of user experience and branding. Likewise, developing sponsor decks requires a strategic blend of creativity and business acumen, ensuring potential sponsors recognize the value of associating with an esports team or organization.

Graphics, often a visual representation of the brand, demand artistic flair coupled with an understanding of how design influences audience perception. Entrepreneurs specializing in marketing plans navigate the ever-evolving landscape of digital promotions, leveraging social media, influencer partnerships, and targeted campaigns to propel esports organizations into the spotlight. Overall, there are many different paths, ranging from creative to administrative, that fall under the umbrella of entrepreneurship. 

More than meets the eye

Let’s take a look at two ads – both are centered around esports, but they each have a very different tone. Entrepreneurs learn to know the audiences of their marketing/recruitment materials, and moreover, the angles they can take to strike a cord within those audiences

This ad for a Nike esports camp utilizes a combination of humor and futuristic visuals to communicate to a viewer that esports is not only fun, but requires collaboration, discipline, and dedication. 

Alternatively, this League of Legends ad opens with common negative conceptions of esports to then show the success of and enthusiasm around esports, flipping the script. 

Every decision in these two ads is intentional. There are people behind the scenes – like marketing professionals, graphic designers, and other business professionals – who deliberate over the tone, delivery, and rollout of each of these ads. These videos help shape public opinion of esports and ultimately, get more people interested, involved, and investing in them. 

Game-based learning and entrepreneurial skills

Games themselves provide an immersive platform for honing critical skills such as creativity, problem-solving, and strategic thinking – all essential components for entrepreneurial success. Furthermore, research – such as this study, this study, oh, and this one too – throughout recent years has shown that game-based learning and entrepreneurial skills go hand in hand

Aspiring entrepreneurs can find parallels between the challenges presented in certain games and real-world scenarios. The ability to navigate complex in-game economies, devise innovative solutions to in-game problems, and strategize for success directly translates to the skills needed in the entrepreneurial landscape. For example, games like Zoo Tycoon and the Civilization series require players to manage public perceptions (of their zoos or civilizations, respectively), oversee monetary and resource decisions, and grow their business endeavors to their fullest potential. All of these skills cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit in players. 

Platforms and companies are taking advantage of this – new entrepreneurial game-based learning experiences are popping up left and right. For example, makeup company e.l.f. has entered the gaming space with its Roblox experience, e.l.f. UP!, which supports entrepreneurial learning within the popular virtual environment.

via Roblox

In collaboration with user-generated content (UGC) creators, VentureBeat reports that e.l.f. plans to offer custom in-game items inspired by its popular products, creating a revenue-sharing model due to Roblox’s commission structure. The brand envisions e.l.f. UP! as more than just a game, aiming to foster creativity, social impact, and serve as a virtual incubator for future entrepreneurs. 

If you’re looking for a game about entrepreneurship aligned to specific curriculum standards, check out PBS’s game, Start It Up, which is available to play for free on a web browser. In the Start It Up,  players put their managerial skills and innovative ideas to the test. 

via PBS

This game offers a fictional venture for players to launch and operate, providing a dynamic and challenging environment where success depends on strategic decision-making. As players continue their venture, they will discover if they possess the resilience, foresight, and innovation required to thrive in the competitive business realm.

Similarly, RoboSellers, an entrepreneurial learning game we created with JA Titan, also teaches players many business management skills through a simulation. In the game, players take on the role of a shrewd robo-entrepreneur going on a galactic journey to trade robot parts on distant planets and expand their customized robot enterprise. 

As they explore diverse alien worlds in pursuit of unique inventory, players engage with fundamental economic and entrepreneurial concepts, such as cost assessment, understanding value, and comprehending the impact of financial decisions on a business’s overall success. 

As you can tell, both within and outside of esports participation, video games and gaming communities provide players with numerous opportunities to learn all sorts of entrepreneurial skills, ultimately preparing them for future careers in business. 

Let’s get down to business

An entrepreneurial mindset is characterized by innovation, adaptability, and a vision for growth. Navigating the competitive landscape of esports requires individuals who can identify opportunities, take calculated risks, and envision the long-term sustainability of their ventures.

Are you drawn to the world of entrepreneurship within esports? Whether you’re a student exploring future career paths, an esports coach, or an educator guiding the next generation, becoming an esports entrepreneur is filled with opportunities to learn, grow, and make an impact.

At Filament, we celebrate the convergence of game-based learning and the vast possibilities within the esports ecosystem. If you’re passionate about transforming your ideas into impactful learning games, or exploring the educational potential of esports, we’re here to support your journey. Reach out to us today to learn more!

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