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How to Make Money as an ESports Gamer

Jennifer Birtles 30th Sep 2020 2 Comments

Reading Time: 4 minutes

In the past decade the gaming industry has seen a massive surge in popularity. It’s gone from a hobby and way to unwind to a full-blown sports league. If you love playing video games, have the exception skills needed, and are willing to put the hours of practice in, then you may be able to earn money as an esports gamer.

What is eSports?

How can you make money as a video gamer?

eSports describes the rapidly growing world of competitive, organised video gaming. Competitions and tournaments are hosted where teams of gamers play against each other at a professional level, regularly winning large sums of money as prizes. The players in these competitions are among the best in the world at their respective game.

Organised competitions have been a part of video gaming culture for decades now, but it has only been in the last several years where gamers have become professional players with spectatorship in these events soaring. Now, gaming events are watched and followed by millions of fans worldwide. Some gaming tournaments are held in stadiums where people are able to attend live, however, the majority of viewers tune in to watch online. The increasing availability of online streaming platforms like YouTube and Twitch, are central to the growth, promotion, and popularity of eSports competitions.

How Much is the eSports Industry Worth?

The eSports industry has grown massively in the past decade, and shows no signs of slowing down. According to Statista, earlier this year the global eSports industry was valued at just under $1 billion, estimating that it will reach $1.6 billion by 2023. In just another 3 years Statista predicts there to be a massive 300 million frequent viewers of eSports worldwide. Showing just how much the eSports industry is expected to grow in the coming years. Opening up a new market for more job opportunities.

eSports is not only profitable as an entire industry, but opens up plenty of opportunities for individuals to make vast sums of money. Plenty of the top players have earned upwards of $5 million, with these numbers only expected to continue growing in coming years. With a total global audience of 495 million already as of this year, a year-on-year growth of 11.7%.

The majority of the eSport revenue comes from sponsorship and advertising. In fact, this year, $822.4 million, nearly three quarters of the total market, in revenues will come from media rights and sponsorship.

How to Make Money in eSports

Anyone with a love of video games can make it as an esports gamer if they're dedicated

The eSports industry is booming and if you have the skills, becoming an eSports gamer is a great way for you to start earning! The prize pools for some global competitions like Data 2 International, have reached over $25 million. eSport tournaments will have a prize pool The better a pro gaming team does in the tournament, the more money they’ll take home. Not something to be sniffed at, and definitely worth trying to get a piece of.

For both streamers and pro teams though, most of their income comes from sponsorship, which involves promoting and selling gaming items. These can be anything from eSports drinks, to jerseys and t-shirts, or even much pricier gaming keyboards and chairs.

However, the big leagues isn’t the only way to make money in eSports. If you think your skills are better suited to entertaining people online while gaming than playing at a competitive level, you may find you’ll have a better chance at making money streaming.

Types of eSports Revenue

  • Sponsorship – Most eSports teams make the majority of their revenue from sponsorships, advertising, and promotions.
  • Prize Money – The winning amounts are increasing at an incredible rate. The prize pools for most large competitions now reach several million dollars.
  • Merchandise Sales – Similarly to traditional sports, eSports sell related merchandise. This can be the usual clothing items, or be more targeted towards their unique audience.
  • Content Creation – eSport gamers can also make significant amounts of money by creating content for streaming platforms YouTube and Twitch. YouTube allows potential advertising revenue on each view, while Twitch offers affiliate programmes for streamers. This sector also has great additional benefits of reaching new audiences and expanding their fanbase, which is key to attracting sponsors.

Make Money on Twitch

In recent years we’ve seen a considerable upsurge in live streaming. Twitch is the biggest and most popular streaming platform out there for gamers. Realistically, not everyone is able to become a full time eSports gamer competing in global competitions. In fact, most gaming influencers will earn their income from a mix of Twitch streaming and YouTube videos. It’s only in some cases that people will be involved in professional game playing as well.

To start making money on Twitch you need to become a Twitch affiliate. To do this you need to:

  • Have streamed for at least 8 hours in the past 30 days.
  • Streamed on at least 7 days out of the past 30.
  • Receive an average of at least 3 viewers per stream.
  • Grow your audience to 50 followers.

As part of the Twitch affiliate programme, you can start earning by encouraging your followers to subscribe to your channel for either $4.99, $9.99, or $24.99 a month. The money collected is split between Twitch and the streamer 50/50, providing a reliable, regular source of income.

Twitch affiliates can also earn through game sales. When a streamer is playing a game on Twitch that is available for sale, or where you can make in-game purchases, a purchase offer appears below the streaming window. When viewers make a purchase, affiliates will earn a 5% revenue share of all purchases that are made through their channel page.

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3 years ago

This is a fascinating new industry.

3 years ago

Great idea for the gamers.

Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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