How Much Money Do Professional Esports Players Make?
Professional gaming and the concept of a “professional gamer” were much of fantasy until recently. Once considered an antonym, professional gaming is now seen as a potential income option.
While the money you can make with professional gaming varies, professional gamers sometimes get to make a good living.
Now, that brings us to the question – How much do professional gamers really make?
It is safe to say that they make an average of around $1,000 to $5,000 per month, which is nearly $12,000 to $60,000 per year.
Typically, a professional gamers’ salary is decided by various factors, like the games they play, their skill level, the tournaments they win, and their sponsors. Back in the time of Counter-Strike 1.5, a pretty competitive game, only those who won consistently stood a chance to reap the benefits. Often, competitive gamers are considered lucky if they win enough to cover their expenses and travel.
As we are talking a lot about cash flow and professional gamers earn a living, it is essential that we discuss the streams their income comes from. So, before we take an in-depth look at a professional Esports player’s salary, let look at the main capitalistic means that most Americans can recognize easily.
Top Means of Money for Esports Players
The prize money pool available to professional gamers who participate in eSports tournaments is really vast. With a single game, they can bag up to $200,000. In fact, a few popular and high-level eSports competitions, such as Dota 2 International, feature a prize of $10 million for the winning team.
The eSports industry regularly offers salaries to the participating teams. The average salary can vary from anywhere between $3,000 to $5,000 per month in gaming hubs like the US and China. Furthermore, the best echelon players get to mint much more—around $15,000 for a single competition alongside other bonuses. A few teams also provide players additional benefits like retirement plans and health insurance.
With a lot of big players trying to enter the sphere, eSports is brimming with sponsorship cash. Though a part of the money goes into cash prizes and competitions, the remaining bit is directly given to team ownership. This is the case in the Astralis Counter-Strike franchise’s partnership with Audi.
According to the Newzoo reports, around $456 million in the overall $1.1 billion eSports revenue came from sponsorships.
Thanks to all the competition happening in the online industry, an organized network of digital streamers have come into existence. They get to earn nearly $4.99 per month per viewer and show eSports competitions through platforms like Twitch. Furthermore, you will also find a lot of advertising and investing dollars flowing into the eSports arena.
Recent reports suggest that media rights comprise around one-fifth of revenues minted by eSports companies and players. Generally, media rights money is given to game developers and event organizers, who then decide to form bonuses and cash prizes to give some of the cash to players and teams. A study by Newzoo found that media rights include around $252 million of the $1.1 billion total eSports revenue in 2019.
Merchandising and Tickets
In 2019, the eSports industry saw a revenue of $103 million, where merchandising and tickets were the top factors that drove eSports payouts. Merchandising often happens once a sport grows in popularity. For instance, look at the PGA tour, the NFL, and the NBA. This is the scenario in almost all popular professional sports leagues. With gaming continuing its winning stride, we can sure expect merchandising and ticket revenues to rise on a global level.
Now, How Much Does a Professional eSports Gamer Earn Every Year?
In this section, we will address the question we have had for so long—the mean yearly salary of a professional eSports gamer.
Generally, a team’s salary is estimated to be around $4,000 monthly and $48,000 annually. On the other hand, the median earning per player from tournament prizes ranges around $8,300 annually. Lastly, an additional $1,500 comes from streaming every month. This figure sometimes reaches as high as $5,000, but that’s not always the case.
So, it is safe to say that an average eSports player makes around $74,300 per year.
But what about the top eSports players?
Johan Stundstein, also known as Notail, is a 26-year-old Danish player. He was the captain of the OG team that earned $3 million in 2019. Through his success, he got to tap into a vast fortune of $6.8 million.
However, it is to be kept in mind that a pro gamer’s career only lasts for about four to five years on average. So, when you think about earnings, you should also compare the length of your career to overall winnings.
Esports is an exciting industry that is rapidly rising in popularity. Numerous people across the globe find it entertaining to watch other people play, which has resulted in professional players attaining unprecedented status in sports. What’s more, eSports tournaments currently have odds and lines on the best sports betting sites in the United States.
And from what we know, there is a lot of money that comes in with the level of competitiveness and exposure. So even if you fail to make it big, you will still be able to make a decent amount of money through the various income streams.