A University of Brighton graduate has become the first full-time British newspaper esports journalist.
Jack Stewart, 21, graduated at the Eastbourne campus with a Sport Journalism BA(Hons) degree just this summer and was quickly snapped up by a national newspaper to report on competitive video games.
He said, “The Daily Mail advertised they were looking for an esports journalist online and, luckily, one of my course mates had just started working there and pointed it out to me – blabbing on about esports for three years clearly paid off in the end.
“My course helped a lot and having my National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) qualification played a big part in me getting the job.
“On top of that, all of the lecturers were very supportive of me writing about the topic, despite the fact that most of them had never heard of esports.”
Also known as electronic sports, esports are a form of competition involving sport and video gaming.
They are quickly increasing in popularity, with millions watching tournaments worldwide.
Jack said, “I wrote about esports for my dissertation and gaining interviews for that opened a lot of doors. I used most of my student loan to fly to an event in Los Angeles to gain interviews which was an invaluable experience. It was a big risk though so I don’t recommend that everyone should do that.
“What I do recommend is following your passion, no matter how stupid your favourite topic may be. That niche will make you stand out and your lecturers will give you the guidance you need.
“I’ve always been a big gamer and it has introduced me to a lot of important friendships in my life. After high school, all of my friends and I would talk and play video games online together. We couldn’t meet in person so that was the next best thing.
“On top of that I have always been very sporty and competitive. Combining those two concepts is a match made in heaven for me. I now get to write about and talk to the professional gamers that I have admired for so long.
“It’s a growing industry that has a huge following yet it’s mainly unheard of in the mainstream. I thought it would take me years to land a full time job in this space. I thought I would be an old man by the time national newspapers took interest.
“It goes to show that your future job may not even exist yet but it’s possible, you just have to be dedicated and go out into the real world and make it happen.”