Who and How Earns on Esports?08 January 2020
Esports industry is a promising and profitable niche where not only professional esports players can earn a living. To whom does esports bring real money? What are the ways that allow making a profit in this field?
Thanks to the annual growth of the number of Internet users, as well as the increase in the number of competitive games, esports has quickly turned into a multibillion industry. Only the laziest gamers have not heard that advanced players of popular disciplines can earn big money. However, there is a number of other professions, representatives of which make a profit in this niche. Let us review popular and profitable options for earning money in the esports industry.
International tournaments offer prize funds that amount to numbers ending in a pleasing number of zeroes. Smaller competitions also offer quite decent rewards. Overall, the income of an esports player always depends on professionalism and popularity. There are several ways to monetize your unique gaming skills.
- Participation in tournaments.
- One-time PR offerings.
Salaries of professional players depend on their skills, discipline, media coverage, and achievements. After joining the team and signing the official contract, the esports player gets a salary formed of not only prize fund money but also sponsorship investments and revenue from the sales of merch products. Depending on these factors, the income may range greatly: from $3,000 to $10,000 per month.
Additionally, popular esports players can monetize thanks to their online followers. For example, using brand activities – by posting photos on social media where they wear branded clothes, hold an energy drink of a certain label or devices from the required manufacturer.
Commentators of esports events earn similarly to sports broadcasters – many of them are on the staff of esports studios, work for certain esports leagues. Besides, this profession also allows making money through the monetization of your audience.
Several studios specialize in the coverage of esports events (StarLadder, WePlay! Esports, Maincast). Broadcasts are run online, which significantly increases the audience reach, which in turn influences the income. The peculiarity of the commentator’s profession is that the task is not simply describing what is happening on the screen.
A professional has to understand the subtleties of the game, tactics, and nuances, and the ideal option is to be a gamer. Like players, representatives of this profession strive to participate in global tournaments, for example, International Dota 2 Championships. Stepan “DonStepan” Shulga reports that foreign English-speaking commentators earn $1,000 per day but salaries are significantly lower in the CIS.
Streamers and video bloggers
Streaming can bring you revenue that exceeds the income of many esports players: naturally, it depends on the level and popularity of the streamer. YouTube and Twitch are widely used for video blogging and streaming. For example, a very popular Fortnite player and streamer nicknamed Ninja who has 10 million followers on Twitch earned $5 million per year before he moved on to Mixer. Popular Twitch streamers from the CIS are Dendi, Sharishaxd, S1mple, SilverName. Many of those who make attention-getting streams have or had a connection to the iconic Na’Vi team.
Popular streamers can monetize on affiliate program ads: the bigger the audience the user has, the bigger the sum he will receive for views of affiliate videos. Donations (direct money transfers to the streamer from followers) are also a popular way to raise funds. Subscriptions, sponsor advertising, and native advertising bring a good profit as well.
Other professions in esports
With the arrival of a growing number of teams, esports disciplines, and tournaments, the industry requires more specialists involved in the back office operations: marketers, managers, HR, and PR specialists. Here, the background in the basic specialty is required, as well as the interest in esports. Vacancies of esports platforms and organizations can be found online, for example, in the Telegram channel Esports x Gaming Jobs.
How to start earning money in esports
It is impossible to become a professional esports player in one day. Everyone starts from small things by training every day and gradually increasing the level. You can do it on your own or turn to an esports school in one of the esports organizations.
In our country, educational services are offered by the esports football academy FINT and esports Windigo Academy. Besides, there are plans to open an esports master’s degree program at the National University of Ukraine on Physical Education and Sport.
There are special tournaments for amateurs and semi-pros, where professionals are not admitted. Such championships allow leveling up, as well as demonstrating your skills and having chances for being invited to a serious team.
Apart from team games, there are single-player disciplines (FIFA, Hearthstone, etc.), where players can get rewards for first places and streams.
Some players that once were members of esports teams shifted to streaming. For example, the former professional CS:GO player Shroud. He is more successful in streaming and earns more than his former teammates.
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