A Brief Look at a Professional Gamer’s Salary
If you were to tell the average person several decades ago, that Competitive Gamers would one day have the ability to earn 6-7 figure salaries, most people would have called you crazy. The common perception would have been that gaming is just a hobby, or that it rots your brain. Now, fast forward to the present, some gamers are making more than doctors and lawyers!
Today, eSports (Competitive Gaming) has become a global sport, and it continues to grow at a staggering rate. Much of the growth in recent years can be attributed to the media and corporate interest in the sport. In fact corporate sponsorship now makes up a large portion of a professional gamer’s salary. In the following article, we’re going to discuss the major sources of a pro gamer’s salary, as well as some average figures.
The first source of income for a pro gamer that we’ll discuss here, is from event winnings. Tournaments, Leagues, and LANs are the main types of competitive gaming events that offer prize money. Tournaments and LANs in the esports industry are typically put on by young entrepreneurs who charge an entry fee to players. Since these tournaments and lans are often relatively small-scale and with a limited budget, prize money usually sits in the range of $150-$500 per event for top finishers (1st-3rd place).
E-Sports Leagues on the other hand are typically better organized, have a larger operating budget, and offer substantially larger prize money for top finishers (1st-3rd place). Here, depending on the league, potential earnings can range from $500-$100,000+ per event. Leagues such as Major League Gaming (MLG) or World Cyber Games (WCG) are some of the better known and larger Competitive Gaming Leagues, where top professional gamers can earn a living competing in.
The second notable source of income for Pro Gamers is from corporate sponsorships. Top Professional Gamers often have the ability to acquire sponsorships and endorsements due to their marketing power which comes from regular interviews, large social media following, and large fanbase. Sponsoring companies will almost always be trying to market their brand/product/service to the video game playing demographic. A good-sized sponsorship for pro gamers will typically fall within the range of $10,000-$70,000+ over a contract period of 6-12months. For aspiring Pro Gamers who often reach out to companies for sponsorships, the most important questions you should be asking yourselves is “Why would this company sponsor me?” and “What can I do in return for this company to improve their marketing, if they sponsor me?”. If you can’t clearly answer these questions, then you’ll more than likely have little luck getting sponsored.
The third and more recent form of income that Professional Gamers are beginning to capitalize on is from revenue-sharing video streaming services such as YouTube, Justin.tv, twitch.tv, etc. The perk of being a Pro Gamer, is the fact that other gamers watch and analyze video of a Pro Gamer’s gameplay. Regularly uploading video gameplay or interviews, can earn Gamers revenue from ad impressions served to people who watch their videos. Depending on how many views you accumulate, figures can range from several hundred, to several thousand per month.
These are the 3 main forms of income of a Professional Gamer. Of course, there are certainly plenty of other areas competitive gamers can earn money too. For all you aspiring pro gamers, keep in mind you don’t need to be professional in order to earn money from participating in events, or though revenue sharing services like YouTube. Attend as many tournaments and LANs as possible, be persistent, and you might one day be a Pro Gamer too!