If you were to tell somebody that you play video games for a living in the 90s, people would laugh at you and tell you to go get a REAL job. Times have changed and video gamers have something to cheer about. You see these famous players from League of Legends, Dota 2, Hearthstone and more getting the limelight for being good at a video game. Heck, even there are groupies for these.
With the birth of Esports, many young kids aspire to become a professional gamer. They dream about playing their favorite video game, get cheered on by thousands of fans of their skills. That is not a bad goal to have. The best perk about all these is you get paid a professional salary for doing it!
If you ask yourself how much money do gaming proes make its basically like asking how much the highest player in the MLB or NFL makes, but I’ll answer it anyway. The highest paid professional gamer in the United States made/makes over $400,000 a year. Once you factor in the top 100 paid gamers the outlook on this becomes a bit different though. If you look at the top paid 100 gamers (keep in mind there are a TON more then 100 gamers out there, we’re talking about ALL professional games), thesalary towards the bottom of the list is anywhere from 12,500-1,000,000yearly.
Professional gamers can make a lot of money. To give you an idea, we compiled a list with the five most paid gamers but with the turnament money only, and the amount of money they get is stellar. E-sports are an emerging business that is moving masses to gravitate around tournaments and gaming idols, as well as convincing sponsors to support the movement with franchises and partnerships.
This list considers only the money made from tournaments, so keep in mind that the actual amount of money these gamers make is way higher. Here it goes:
5. Zhang “xioa8” Ning – $1,662,202.73 from 44 tournaments
Ning is the captains of the Newbee team, which won the “Dota 2” TI4 Grand Finals in Seattle.
4. Clinton “Fear” Loomis – $1,735,983.84 from 44 tournaments
He is one of the Evil Geniuses team and made more than $1.3 million from “The International,” the biggest “Dota 2” tournament of the year.
3. Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling – $1,881,147.04 from 47 tournaments
This Canadian player is only 22 years old and he is one of the youngest, highest paid gamers.
2. Peter “ppd” Dager – $1,961,183.29 from 33 tournaments
Another “Dota 2” player, this time from the United States
1. Saahil “UNIVeRsE” Arora – $1,964,038.64 from 39 tournaments.
At number one, with almost $2 million, another American gamer that took home more than $1.3 million from just one tournament.
We know you are probably thinking that you should have invested more time in video games at this point.
League of Legends, from developer Riot Games, pulls in that kind of cash thanks to its massive player base. In January 2014, the company said it had around 67 million monthly active players, and it’s likely that figure has ballooned since then. To put things in perspective, League has around 27 million people who play at least one game every day. That’s nearly three times the amount of people who play one Dota 2 match a month.
With the competitive League of Legends scene growing year on year, LoL Pros can now earn significant amounts of money – with the top players earning up to $1million per year. Whilst most LoL Pros won’t reach such a vast sum of money, they are still well rewarded for their time and skills thanks to a basic wage of $12,500 per split ,courtesy of Riot Games (the creators of League of Legends). Sponsorships and subscribers can add a significant amount to that, but only for the most popular LoL streamers and players.
There are more similarities between e-sports and professional sports (such as football or basketball) than you might think. Players in both fields dedicate innumerable hours to honing their craft by practicing with teammates, training on particular fields or maps, and devoting nearly every waking moment to making themselves better at their prospective aspirations.
The five young men of Team Liquid earn more than $60,000 each, plus tens of thousands through sponsorship and streaming deals, and live for free in an LA condo just for being good at League of Legends, the most popular competitive video game in the world.
Altogether the best of them are easily taking home six figures.
Despite a roster loaded with top players, it has been stuck around fourth place in North America. With the addition of a former world champion, however, hopes are high that the team will earn a shot at the World Championship’s $1-million prize.
Being a professional gamer is a sweet gig, but it’s not all fantasy. With high pressure and low job security, gamers play up to 14 hours a day to stay on top of their craft, all while devoting their formative years to skills that may have little marketable value later in life.
That’s why Alex “Xpecial” Chu told his younger brother, a talented gamer in his own right, to stay out of pro-gaming. “I know how hard it is,” he says.
Only the most popular LoL Pros will get sponsored for big money. Examples of this would be Ocelot (although no longer active, he is still incredibly popular in the community), Dyrus, Bjergsen and Rekkles. Sponsorship earnings for LoL Pros will vary wildly, but figures upwards of $10,000 per sponsor per split are not unheard of – and players may have more than one sponsorship deal.
The top earning LoL Pro of all time is believed to be Ocelotwho managed to increase his earnings to around$1,000,000 per year through a combination of merchandise, sponsorships and prize money. Pretty impressive!
So how much do Pros earn? From $12,500 to $1,000,000 a year, depending on how successful and popular they are.