sta vs ncsa vs spin - who is the best?
There are many places out there that offer esports recruitment, and each of them are quite different and serve people with different goals. So how do you know which one to choose?
Luckily, there are only 3 major companies right now that have recruiting services for esports. In this article, i'll give you an overview of what each platform does and highlight the most important characteristics of each service.
NCSA College Recruiting was established in 2000 as a traditional sports recruitment platform. They are the biggest sports recruitment company in the world, and have over 600 employees. The feature over 30 sports, including niche ones such as Water Polo, Field Hockey and Flag Football.
What does NCSA do? NCSA provides student-athletes with personalized support and guidance throughout the recruiting process, from building a recruiting profile to identifying the right college programs, and preparing for campus visits and interviews. Additionally, NCSA offers resources and tools for student-athletes and their families to help them understand the academic and athletic requirements for college eligibility, as well as the financial aid and scholarship opportunities available to them.
Does NCSA still recruit for esports?
Unfortunately, as of February of 2023, NCSA has officially de-listed esports as a program on their platform. You will no longer find any mention of esports on their site. They continue to offer services for existing clients, but plan to remove esports off their platform in the future.
This makes your choice much simpler - now you only need to compare Stay Plugged In vs Smith Talent Acquisition
Stay Plugged in
Stay Plugged In (SPIN) is an online service that helps players connect to college coaches. They were founded in 2020 and are established in large part by the North Carolina esports organization "Charlotte Phoenix". They have somewhere between 11-50 employees per their LinkedIn page.
What does SPIN cost?
Stay Plugged in has a free plan and a $50 annual plan. The free plan lets you create a profile, register for events, and create an esports profile. However, if you want to directly get in touch with programs on the site, you have to upgrade to their $50 plan.
What does SPIN provide for paid users?
Stay Plugged in mentions that they provide a personalized recruiting plan and that you get access to 1 on 1 discussions with "recruiting specialists".
What does SPIN charge colleges?
SPIN charges colleges between $500-$2000 a year to be a partnered school on their site. Any college can create a free profile, but they would have to pay $500 minimum to reply to any messages or see people's contact information. This can be a large barrier to entry for small schools interested in bolstering their recruitment.
Pros & Cons of SPIN
+ low cost for students
+ free tournaments with small prize pools
+ lists out colleges that offer scholarships
- no examples of recruitment services
- no information on scholarship opportunities
- no information on recruitment specialists
- no free resources on where to get started
Stay Plugged In for the cost provides a solid value for students who want to get started on recruitment. There doesn't seem to be a lot of clarity around the services they offer, or how to message college coaches. We would recommend SPIN for those who want a self-guided experience and do not wish to spend much on recruitment.
Smith Talent acquisition
What does Smith Talent Acquisition do?
Smith Talent Acquisition was founded in 2023 by industry veteran, Sam Smith.
They are a company that specializes in esports talent recruitment. Similar to NCSA, Smith Talent Acquisition is a personalized recruitment service that helps connect aspiring esports athletes with colleges and universities that offer esports scholarships and programs.
Sam, the owner & prominent recruiting coach at Smith Talent Acquisition, has 8 years of experience in the collegiate esports ecosystem. From his time working at NCSA, Sam helped promote over 75 families who were awarded over $100k in esports scholarships collectively.
What does Smith Talent Acquisition cost?
It depends, there are free and paid options. If you want to maximize your opportunity of receiving an esports scholarship, we would recommend our Membership. It provides yearly guided assistance to help you through every small step in a long recruitment journey.
There are also individual sessions you can pay for in case you are not looking for guided service but need general advice.
What does our Membership provide?
The Membership gets you the following:
Monthly coaching sessions
Esports Portfolio, designed to promote your academics/athletics
Evaluation Session, aimed at creating a plan for recruitment
Personalized routing to Colleges within our network
In addition, we provide these exclusive benefits for all members:
Weekly recruitment workshops
Priority engagement with Coach Sam
24/7 support from our team
How do I get started on esports recruitment?
To get started, check out our free tools. After filling out a quick questionnaire, we give you access to a recruitment database tool, our community discord server, a recruitment assessment form, a free esports scholarship guide, and finally an orientation video that shows you a step-by-step process on how to get started. When you are ready, we'd love to get in touch! Book a free consultation and learn about how we can help get you connected to College esports programs!