‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast
Volunteer writing is one of those random things that keeps popping up, so I’ll just lay it out for everyone. Some people don’t like this because they are doing work for free or “exposure.” In addition to that, people say that it is devaluing the entire field, or at least that’s the case in esports photography. I don’t know enough about the writing aspect to comment one way or another. As for the exposure, I’ll go ahead and tell you that you won’t get much exposure as most people don’t read the byline anyway. You will have to do that part yourself, whether it be through social media or reddit or whatever. I think it took more than one year before people on TeamLiquid.net realized it was me writing anything instead of attributing it to Wax or Major, though to be fair I never bothered to correct anyone as I thought it was funny at the time and didn’t care.
As for the positives. you can get experience and sometimes good editorial help. Some people need that structure of a deadline and help when they first start. I will say that many trial writers I’ve seen generally burnout pretty fast as inspiration seems to run out for them or they get bored of whatever they were writing about.
As to whether or not you do it, it’s up to you. Do it if you think it has value for you. Don’t do it if you think it doesn’t have value for you. I’m not sure what the fuss is about.
When I started to write, I volunteer wrote for three years. At points I was writing around 3-4 articles a week for months at a time. But here is the sticking point for me. I assumed the “worst” case scenario that I would never be paid to write and that no one beyond the hardcore would recognize me anyway (and many cases, many of the hardcore still didn’t recognize me). I was fine with that as I liked writing and if I was never paid, that was fine for me. So the question you should ask yourself is: Do you like writing about esports for its own sake? Then go ahead and do it. If you feel like you need to be compensated, then don’t do it. This isn’t a black and white choice. Both decisions have their own merits.