Matt Akhavan on his experience with esports and school: “You need self-awareness, and you’re going to have to make sacrifices.”

by | Jun 15, 2018, 4:41AM PDT

In our previous interview with Matt, we discussed his experience as a manager, thoughts on collegiate esports, and tips for college students looking to work in esports.

This time around, we discussed his plans after graduation, how to balance school and esports, and important skills to have when pursuing a career in esports.

Matt is the current General Manager for the Overwatch League’s Florida Mayhem.

Plans after graduation

I’m going to continue working for Florida Mayhem. We have lots of stuff planned for the off-season. There is a lot of work to do and changes to be made. We want to make sure that our performance this season doesn’t replicate. That really starts with cultivating our academy team and taking a hard look at the structure of our team. That’s mainly what I’ll be doing after graduation. Since I’m with Florida Mayhem my plans are more straightforward.

Tips for balancing school and esports

Developing time management skills and waking up very early are some of the tips I’d give. For me, the only time I really have enough time to do anything is very early in the morning. I wake up at around seven and get some work done for the first couple hours of my day, and then I have school and work. It’s very important to get a good combination of work experience and education. You need the skills you’ve learned from both to get a career after graduation.

Lessons learned from when you started working in esports to now

The biggest thing I’ve learned is that you never stop growing. There’s always something more you can do that you didn’t notice at first. When I first started I really delved into my strengths, and I’ve always thought that I’ve been a very good manager. With each and every team that I worked for, I learned that there’s so much more that I could do. After working in esports for around three to four years, I’ve recently been focusing on things that I’m really bad at or what used to be weaknesses. I’m trying to improve in those areas because the influence that that has on your overall success is very important. I think it’s important for you to work on what you’re really good at in the beginning, and then start to work on your weaknesses after you’ve reached a good level for what you do.

An important skill to have and what to expect working in esports

You have to be able to monitor yourself and be very self-aware. You’re going to have to make sacrifices. Nowadays you’ll have to volunteer to get your initial experience. You’ll have to get past that, and then start applying for jobs. One of the most important skills that I personally look for when I interview is the ability to be self-aware. For example, when I ask a potential candidate what their weaknesses are, I’m looking for them to recognize exactly what they’re bad at and what they know they could improve on.

Congratulations to Matt on his graduation from UCI and best wishes for his future in esports!

Follow Matt on Twitter and Florida Mayhem. Cover photo by Alexander Bond. Arena and team entrance photos by Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment.