Are eSports a Viable Career Option?

You’ve probably been told that videogames are a waste of time throughout your life. We’ve all been lectured by our parents for staying up all night to complete a raid or to unlock an achievement, and it almost goes without saying that these lectures never changed our enthusiasm for the game. Sure, playing video games can be a blast, but did you know that you can make a lot (and we mean a lot) of money playing them?

In our last post, we spent some time discussing the world of eSports and the future of competitive gaming. Much to the dismay of your parents, in this blog, we’re going to take a look at the career opportunities for aspiring professional gamers.

Professional Gaming

You might recall from our last post that the world of competitive gaming has experienced explosive growth in recent years. The eSports industry is projected to be worth a whopping $1.5 billion by 2020, and the size of the eSports audience is projected to increase to 589 million in that same year.

So, now we’re going to answer the question you’ve been waiting for: how much money can you make as a professional gamer? Well, the answer depends on the game you’re playing and the team you’re on, but most professional gamers make enough to be considered middle-class (and some of them make much, much more). For example, Peter “Doublelift” Peng, a popular League of Legends player from California, has earned a combined total of over $135,000 from playing in 40 tournaments. Though his 2015 earnings only totaled $18,000, he went on to make just under $40,000 in 2016. Not bad for a 23-year-old. 

Many eSports professionals make the majority of their money through sponsorship deals with gaming merchandisers, YouTube ads, and streaming on Twitch. Many teams even pay their players a base salary, and salaries in the industry can range from $5,000 per month to more than $70,000 annually. A player’s skill level and reputation in the community, the game being played, and a player’s number of social media followers are all factors that are considered when a team determines a player’s compensation package. 

The path to professional gaming is remarkably similar to the path followed by players in the NFL and the NBA. You’ve got to start with some natural talent, or at least be willing to put a lot of practice into a game. Professional gamers spend hours studying strategies and the tactics of their opponents, just like professional athletes do. Most competitive games currently on the market have a built-in ranking system that allows players to see where they stand in relation to other gamers. If you want to become a professional gamer, you’re going to have to be fairly high up in the rankings.

So, should you aspire to be a professional gamer? Every gamer has to start somewhere, but most aspiring gamers probably shouldn’t quit their day jobs to pursue the world of professional gaming. This isn’t to say that you can’t make money on the side playing video games; YouTube sponsorships and a large Twitch following can bring in a substantial amount of cash. For instance, a Twitch streamer with 1,500 subscribers can expect to bring in $3,750 each month.

Our advice is to keep playing the games that you love. Becoming a professional at anything takes a lot of time and dedication. If you’re good enough to build a small following on Twitch or YouTube, try to increase your number of subscribers just a bit each month. When you make it to the top, don’t forget the merchandise you wore when you were just starting out. Overpowered is revolutionizing the world of gaming pins and gaming merch. We’re a lifestyle brand created exclusively for gamers, by gamers. Browse our catalog today!