The Quiet Storm
It’s a digital world, and eSports is at its head. Thanks to social media, avid players can earn some serious dollars playing their favorite games, earning prize money, in-game items, and coveted sponsorships to make participating in online gaming a full-time endeavor. Just how much can professional players earn exactly? The salaries vary, but top teams can earn as many as millions of dollars in combined winnings, with minimum winnings starting at tens of thousands of dollars.
The quiet storm of online gaming that was once a niche market has now become a multi-billion dollar industry currently operating at full-force around the globe. Like any well-run organization, eSports features a community of owners, partnerships, and the best players that form gaming teams eager to go head to head in the latest dazzling competitive games.
While professional sports teams like the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys or the Premier League’s Manchester United are franchises that boast top talent, the world of eSports is not too different. Each year, fans gather to witness the world’s greatest eSports players participate in the gamut of different eSports tournaments, with each individual event producing massive revenue streams thanks to the help of sponsorships. With the aid of sponsors, gaming teams bid to acquire the top eSports players to join their ranks, and contracts are formed much like in the world of professional athletics.
Origins and Aftershocks
Considering the popularity eSports, one might ask, where did it all start? It can be tied down to the popular first-person shooter Doom 2 released in 1995, the first game of its kind to enable an online gaming network. Not long after, its successor, Quake, a similar tournament-style shooter, took online gaming to a new level, catapulting the world of eSports to the mainstream. Both games offered stunning in-game graphics and dramatic gameplay, but most importantly, brought together a community of worldwide gamers thanks to the internet. With Quake came online prize pools, and once the top talent realized that they could earn cash winning tournaments, or support their gaming with sponsorships, the rest was history.
Just How Much Do eSports Talent Earn?
In addition to their skills on a laptop, the cyber athletes of today have their PC and software providers to thank for their tournament winnings. Some of the world’s top eSports tournaments like the International Dota 2 Championship or the League of Legends Championship Series hold prize winnings in millions of dollars.
Today’s tech giants like ASUS, Intel, and Alienware procure these prize pools to allow these tournaments to grow and grow they have. Blizzard Games, one of the world’s leading game developers and producer of the popular World of Warcraft series, recently reported that their Overwatch eSports players have annual wages starting at $50,000. Some prize pools can reach over $20 million like at the International. With the glory going to the winners, all is made possible through online advertising, sponsorships and amount of views from fans through site streaming and the help of social media. Audience coverage is currently at a peak in terms of worldwide viewership. Even non-industry later sponsorships have begun emerging, with the Coca-Cola brand being the most famous example.
Granted becoming a professional eSports is no easy task, in fact, it is incredibly difficult. These players are at the top of the food chain in a sport that is heavy with fierce competition. There are in fact easier ways to earn real money playing online that do not involve tournament play; among these are playing online slots by using the latest slot tips and tricks.
Top eSports Earners
As for the top three earners in eSports? In third place is UNiVeRsE based out of the U.S. who hold a net worth of $2.9 million; second place goes to Miracle of Jordan who sits comfortably on $3 million, and in the first place is the German KuroKy who plays for Team Liquid, boasting an impressive $3.6 million in eSports earnings.