Professional gamers have gone from rags to riches over the last decade or so… It’s a true Cinderella story when you come to think of it. First, they were frowned upon and considered lowlifes and good-for-nothings… but nowadays they are as popular as professional football players, often being idolized by people from all over the world. But there’s more to professional gamers than mere eSports athletes. In this article, we’ll help you understand how to earn a living as a pro gamer!
There are other career options in the gaming industry than meets the eye at the very first glance. Streamers are a popular choice too… So, if you’re looking to find out how to earn a living as a pro gamer, you’ve surely come to the right place. But, without getting into too many details right off the bat, let’s take things slowly and check out how much money do pro gamers actually earn!
How much do pro gamers earn?
Between sponsor money, advertisement and tournament prize pools, it’s safe to conclude right from the start that being a (good) professional eSports athlete is a well-paid career. It’s a hard earned money though, so don’t think it’s an easy way to a snug life. Not by any means!
How to earn a living as a pro gamer? Sounds easy enough? Well, if you’re in it just for the money, then Dota 2 is the most obvious way to go. How come? Well, let’s just say that out of the 50 most paid professional eSports athletes, Dota 2 players hold 49 spots. The only exception is Faker who’s enjoying his LoL salary like a true champ he is. The highest earning eSports athlete at the moment is Kuro “KuroKy” Takhasomi who has earned close to $3.75 million. Yup, you read that right! So, if your parents are giving you a tough time for practicing too much, just show them the figures and I guarantee they’ll be quiet… at least for a while, that is.
Make the decision…
The first obstacle on your road to becoming a professional gamer is a rather difficult dilemma. You don’t need to make it right away, but it would be best to concentrate on one thing than try pulling the strings on both. What am I talking about here? Well…
- Professional eSports athlete
Want to be like pashaBiceps, olofmeister, skadoodle… or perhaps the good old xPeke or Ocelot? Maybe you have other choices of favorite eSports athletes you’ve looked up to through all these years? Want to train your skills until you become among the 1% of the finest players out there? Ready to make your mark onto the eSports industry and battle it out against the greatest players of your time? If you want to know how to earn a living as a pro gamer and if you answered yes to the questions above, then the choice is quite simple – professional eSports athlete. The road might be demanding and (really) stressful, but with the right mindset, you might just make it onto the big stage!
- Full-time streamer
On the other hand, professional eSports athlete can be a stressful job. It involves lots of sacrifices, hard work, and dedication. The latter two are needed here too, but draconic sacrifices (at least in the terms of leaving your family and constantly being on the road) not so much. So, if you want to entertain gamers from all around the world. If you want to play for fun and not stress out about bad results. If you want to make friends who also enjoy the games you play and themselves try to make it in the streaming business… well then, my dear, your best choice is to become a full-time streamer!
Related: How To earn a living on Twitch
How to earn a living as a pro gamer | 5 steps
1. Watch and learn
If you’re interested in starting off your career as a professional gamer, the first thing you’ll have to do is watch and learn. It’s as simple as that! Watch and learn! Pick out several high tier professionals who play the game you’re interested in. Explore their content, if they’re streaming, or their skillset, if they’re playing for a professional eSports team. Try to soak in as much information (and potentially experience) as you can. This will be a huge jumping board for your career, mark my words!
2. Spread the word
If you’ve already started off your career, then it is of crucial importance to spread the word of its existence. Yes, I know… you might feel ashamed at first to let your friends know you’ve started streaming. However, if you want to succeed with your goals, you’ll need every last bit of exposure you can get. And starting off by telling your friends is a good step in the right direction for sure!
3. Improve your gameplay
Undoubtedly, this one goes without question! If you don’t have a thrilling character or you aren’t the world’s best entertainer… then you will have to rely on your in-game skills for the most part. The former two will eventually come on its own, but skillset probably won’t. That’s why you will have to dedicate a lot of time in order to improve your skills and hopefully get noticed by an up and coming team. On the other hand, sponsors can come in handy as well, but more on that right down below!
4. Create a personal brand
Without sponsors, exposure and branding, no matter the skillset, your pro gaming career is as good as dead. That’s why, among the first thing you should do when you notice the first income of fans is creating your personal brand. Personal brand creation is a rather complicated (and comprehensive) topic which would require an entire book to be properly explained. Luckily, there’s plenty of information online so make sure you explore all the options before making your course of action.
Related: Best Esports Betting Sites
5. Invest in pro gaming gear
Investing in professional gaming gear can be quite expensive considering the fact you’ll have to pay premium prices for premium items… but they can indeed bring you a competitive advantage. Look for a great monitor with high refresh rate (120hz at the very least) and pair it up with decent peripherals. Needless to say, you should also have a proper gaming machine that can handle high refresh rates in the most popular eSports franchises.
How to earn a living as a pro gamer couldn’t be easier thanks to these 5 simple to understand steps, don’t you agree?
Oh, one last thing! You can try your hand at blogging (alongside gaming)! Here’s our Earn a living with an Esports blog guide!
Futureproof your success
Last but not least, we must take a look at the grand scheme of things and agree that you will not be able to play games for the rest of your life. Time will come when your reflexes (and will to play) will no longer be good enough to maintain a fanbase… or, to be quite honest, to be any good at what you’re doing.
Believe it or not, there are already many retired pro gamers that have made their way into the industry in a completely new way. Take football for example – Deschamps, Bilić, Zidane… they were all great professional football players back in the days. But now they’re taking up managerial roles and helping their clubs and countries in a different way.
Take a look at this here video:
You can easily do the same thing in eSports – many retired professional gamers are now coaches, mentors or managers across the industry. Commentators, pundits, and analysists are great careers too. Most importantly though, you can rest assured the transition from being a professional gamer to another career in the same industry won’t be as problematic as you’d think.
Related: How to Succeed as an Esports Caster
So, what are you waiting for? Roll up your sleeves, get to the drawing board and start planning your way to success! As far as our “How to earn a living as a pro gamer” topic is concerned, this is about it! Thank you all for reading and we hope we managed to shed some light onto the subject. Until next time…