The Average Esports Salary: How Much Do Pro Players Really Make?

Ever curious about whether pro gamers are cashing in hefty prize checks or merely eking out a living with meager online earnings? Trust me, that very question has piqued my interest, too—particularly upon learning that the esports industry is projected to soar to an astonishing $1.62 billion by 2024.

So, fueled by our shared curiosity, I embarked on a quest through the realm of relentless key presses and tactical mouse maneuvers to unravel the true financial fate of these digital warriors.

Are you ready to sneak a glimpse behind the scenes of all that gaming glitz and glamour? Buckle up; it’s time we dig into those tantalizing details!

Key Takeaways

Pro esports players can earn money from team salaries, with some making at least $12,500 for a season.

Big tournament wins bring in lots of cash. For example, winning at The International Dota 2 event could mean millions.

Top teams like Team Liquid and Team OG have earned over $33.5 million and tens of millions respectively from prize money alone.

Average monthly earnings for pro gamers range from $1,000 to $5,000 while yearly salaries go up to about $187,200 without including prizes or extra deals.

The highest-paying games are Dota 2, CS:GO, League of Legends, Fortnite, Overwatch, and Rainbow Six Siege because they offer large prize pools.

Understanding the Esports Ecosystem

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Hey, fam! Let’s dive headfirst into the wild world of esports, shall we? It’s not just about playing games for these pros; it’s a whole economy – think Wall Street but with way cooler keyboards and way less sleep.

Now, don’t trip over your controller wires just yet… there’s some pretty sweet cash flow coming from all sorts of places in this digital goldmine.

Team Salaries

So, I’m playing games and dreaming about making it big in esports. Guess what? Pro players do get paid for being on a team! The deal is they snag at least $12,500 for just a 28-match season.

That’s right – cash for playing games! But hold on, if the team crushes it and has awesome sponsors, the players pocket even more. Think about having that kind of job!

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Now, let’s talk skins – those flashy outfits you buy to make your character look cool in-game? Teams are raking in part of that dough too when they sell them in multiplayer game markets.

Alright, moving from salaries and skin sales to something just as exciting – prize winnings

Prize Winnings

You might think the real cash for esports pros comes from their salary, but hey, prize money plays a huge part too. Picture this: you’re in an esports tournament, your heart’s racing, and you’re just one win away from taking home a chunk of that massive prize pool.

It’s not just a dream for top players – winning big can seriously bump up their earnings.

Let me tell you, games like Dota 2 have insane prize poolsThe International handed out tens of millions! If I were to snag first place at the right event, it could mean more money than I’d make all year long with my regular gaming salary.

And it’s not just about being skilled; it’s about hitting those tournaments where the big bucks are at stake. This high-stakes environment also draws the attention of fans and bettors alike, with sites like ggbet zone keeping a close eye on these tournaments. These platforms not only offer a way for fans to engage further with the matches but also highlight the significant impact these prize pools can have on the esports industry as a whole.

Merchandise Sales

So, you’re racking up wins and think, “Hey, I could sell some cool hoodies with my gamer tag!” You’re onto something. Pro players aren’t just making bank from the game itself; they’ve got merch! Picture this: your own online store full of t-shirts and caps that fans would love to wear.

It’s like wearing a sports jersey but for esports heroes.

Now imagine a popular game where every time someone buys a special skin, part of that cash goes to esports teams. Yep, it’s happening. That means every time someone wants their character to look epic, they’re also supporting their favorite team.

Talk about a win-win!

Individual Brand Partnerships

Hey, let’s talk about making money with brand deals. Imagine you’re a pro gamer—big companies might want to work with you! They see you’re awesome at games and have fans who listen to what you say.

These businesses will pay good cash for you to say, “Hey, this mouse changed my game!” or wear a t-shirt with their logo while streaming. I’ve got friends who are in on these deals, and trust me; it can be serious coin if your fan base is big enough.

Now think bigger – maybe there’s a cool new game or gadget coming out. Brands could ask you to show it off for them. If they pick you, that means more people watching your streams and videos, which equals more chance for moolah through ads and merchandise sales too! You’ve got followers, skills in League of Legends or Rocket League? Show ’em off and grab those opportunities.

And don’t just stop there… (leads into Content Creation and Brand Deals).

Content Creation and Brand Deals

So, I stream my epic gaming sessions on Twitch and make videos for YouTube. It’s a blast, and guess what? That’s where the money rolls in. Ads pop up, brands want to chat with you when you’ve got fans, and people even send donations just because they like watching you play! Yes—playing games can fill up your wallet.

You see someone rocking a sweet gaming hoodie? There’s a chance it’s made by an esports star selling their own gear. Super cool, right? Now imagine getting paid to wear a brand while streaming—that’s another way cash comes in from brand deals.

Moving on from blasting enemies online to being a full-time content creator is also pretty common – just look at the top streamers out there!

Next up: let me tell you about the teams that are totally killing it in earnings…

Top Earning Esports Teams

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So, you’re curious about the big players in this game, huh? The teams raking in the serious dough (we’re talking Scrooge McDuck levels of coinage here). Well, let me tell ya—there are squads out there that have turned winning matches and stacking championships into an art form.

Now hold on to your joysticks, ’cause we’re about to dive deep into whom these high-rollers are…

Team Liquid

Let me tell you about Team Liquid, they’re no small fish in the esports pond. These guys have scooped up over $33.5 million in prize money—talk about a heavy wallet! But it wasn’t always just big wins and high-fives; back in 2015, they joined forces with Team Curse.

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Smart move, huh? Since then, they’ve been part of this cool company called aXiomatic – think of them as the big brains handling all the entertainment and sports stuff.

Now, picture this: Team Liquid steps into the arena at any esports tournament and boom—they mean business. They’ve fought hard in 2,339 tournaments to stack up a total prize pool that would make your head spin – over $42 million! It’s like every time I see these pros play games like Dota2 or CS:GO on live-streams, their skills remind me why so many gamers dream of playing for a team like theirs—it’s not just fun and games; it’s making history (and some sweet cash along the way)!

Team OG

So, I’m all about Dota 2 and let me tell you, Team OG is a big deal in this world. These guys have taken home the trophy at some huge tournaments, and talking about cash? Yeah, they’ve made bank.

Millions of dollars are in their pockets because they play like champs. Their teamwork is something else – it’s like watching a well-oiled machine just plow through the competition.

Now, if you’re dreaming of reaching their level, take note! This isn’t just luck; it’s skill and hard work paying off big time. With each game they win, Team OG shows us how esports can be more than fun—it can be your ticket to big earnings and fame.

They’re not just players; they’re legends shaping the game one epic match at a time.

Evil Geniuses

I’ve gotta tell you about Evil Geniuses. They’re like rock stars in the gaming world, sitting pretty as one of the top 15 eSports teams when it comes to making bank. Imagine this: they’ve scooped up over $26 million from nearly a thousand tournaments.

That’s some serious cash! Founded by Alexander Garfield and now part of Amazon’s Twitch family, these guys are crushing it in San Francisco.

They make money playing games, streaming online, landing sponsorships, and selling cool stuff. Think about that for a second – getting paid big bucks to play your favorite game! For gamers dreaming of going pro, Evil Geniuses is proof that competitive gaming can be more than just fun—it can fill your wallet too!

Ready to hear about how much esports players really earn? Let’s dig into those numbers next.

Team Spirit

Team Spirit is another big name in gaming that’s been making waves. These guys play hard, and it shows in their game. You see them at esports tournaments, always ready to take on the best of the best.

It’s not just about playing well; they’ve got a vibe that says they’re here to win together.

Sure, we all dig those solo moments when one player makes an epic move. But let me tell you – watching Team Spirit is like seeing a well-oiled machine at work. Every move is backed by solid teamwork because these pros know two heads—or five—are better than one! So what’s next? Let’s talk about “Team Secret” and what they bring to the table.

Team Secret

So, let’s talk about Team Secret. These guys are like the ninjas of the esports world—stealthy and successful! They’ve got a history of snagging big wins, and their players rake in some serious cash.

Take Johan “N0tail” Sundstein, for example; he used to play with them before becoming the esports millionaire we all know him as today.

Think about it – joining a team like Secret is kind of like hitting the jackpot in this game. With their knack for winning major tournaments, you bet they’re not just playing for fun; they’re crushing it in earnings too.

It goes to show, if you’ve got mad skills and land on a team that knows how to play its cards right, your bank account might just start stacking up high scores as well!

Income Statistics for Professional Esports Players

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Alright, buckle up, ’cause we’re diving into the wallet-whopping world of pro esports earners! Ever wondered if gaming can truly pay the bills? Well, let’s just say some of these players are smashing piggy banks and banking more than a few power-ups with their earnings…

Stay tuned.

Average Monthly Earnings

So, let’s talk about what pro gamers make every month. It might not be as much as you think! Back in 2019, if you were awesome at Super Smash Bros., you’d bring home about $1,000 to $5,000 each month.

Sure, that’s way less than a big-time basketball player – but hey, getting paid to game is still pretty cool!

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Imagine raking in cash while mashing buttons and slaying virtual opponents. That’s the life for some of us who’ve hit it big. But here’s the kicker: these earnings can jump way up when we’re talking top-tier players like N0tail from Denmark – this guy has pocketed over seven million bucks just from playing games.

Mind blown? Mine too!

Annual Salary Range

Alright, you’re probably wondering what kind of cash pro gamers are actually pulling in. Well, here’s the deal: their salaries can swing wildly—from about $12,000 to a hefty $187,200 each year.

That’s not even counting the big bucks they win from tournaments or when they’re streaming and keeping fans entertained.

I’ve got to say, though, making it big isn’t just about playing games all day—it takes serious skills and a lot of hard work. And remember Johan “N0tail” Sundstein? His payday was an epic $6.8 million after leading his team to victory at The International 2019.

Not everyone hits that jackpot, but hey, we can dream!

Now let’s move on to which games are dropping the heaviest paychecks into players’ bank accounts!

Highest-Paying Esports Games

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Hey gamers, let’s chat about the games where pro players are making big bucks. Esports is booming and some games are leading the pack when it comes to payout.

  • Dota 2 sits at the top, for sure. It’s not just a game—it’s a gold mine! In 2021 alone, Dota 2 tournaments handed out almost $50 million in prize money.
  • Next up, we’ve got Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO). This classic shooter keeps players on their toes with big prizes, too. The StarLadder Berlin Major was one huge event that paid out.
  • League of Legends can’t be ignored. It’s like a sport all its own, with massive tournaments. Faker, one amazing player, bagged $1.2 million from playing this game!
  • Fortnite shook things up in the gaming world. Its World Cup had teenagers walking away with millions in their pockets.
  • Overwatch also deserves a shoutout. The Overwatch League has teams fight for some serious cash and fame.
  • Rainbow Six Siege is climbing up there as well. Ubisoft’s tactical shooter offers hefty rewards during its global competitions.

Profiles of Top-Earning Players

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Alright, let’s talk big players and fat stacks. When it comes to raking in the dough (and we’re talking serious cheddar), some esports athletes have turned this gig into a gold mine…

I mean, these folks aren’t just playing games; they’re making bank like you wouldn’t believe.


So here’s a fun fact for ya, Johan “N0tail” Sundstein completely crushed it in the earnings department. This guy is not just playing games; he’s making bank! Imagine this: scooping up a cool $6.8 million from playing Dota 2.

Yeah, you heard that right—million with an ‘M.’ His team swept through The International Championships like a storm and grabbed the biggest slice of that jaw-dropping $34.33 million prize pool.

Now N0tail—he’s kind of a big deal in our world, gaming heroes we look up to, am I right? He didn’t just luck into all that cash; nope, he played his heart out and led Team OG to victory time and time again.

See him in action once, and you’ll get why he’s at the top. The dude’s not just good; he’s a legend who makes those killer moves look easy as pie.


Oh man, talking about big bucks in esports, JerAx really hit the jackpot. With around $6.4 million to his name, this guy was a serious force in gaming. He played for years and years—12 to be exact—and then decided he’d had enough of the pro scene in 2020.

JerAx wasn’t just any player though; he teamed up with N0tail, and together they were unstoppable. Imagine that feeling—the crowd cheering, your fingers flying over the controls, and bam! You win another tournament.

That’s what life was like for JerAx before he waved goodbye to all the action-packed events and late-night practice sessions. Just thinking about those victories brings back that electric buzz—I totally get why so many are dreaming of going pro too!

Tips for Aspiring Esports Professionals

I want to share some advice for gamers looking to go pro in esports. It’s tough out there, but with the right moves, you might just make it big. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Practice every day because being a top player needs hard work and commitment.
  • Learn from the pros by watching streams and videos; see how Team Liquid or G2 Esports players handle tough spots.
  • Get really good at one game first, rather than jumping around different games.
  • Join a community where you can talk about strategies; places like Twitch or cool Steam profiles can be great for tips.
  • Take care of your body by eating well and staying fit; a sharp mind needs a healthy body to win those eSports competitions.
  • Build a network by going to gaming events and joining forums; knowing people in the scene can lead to opportunities.
  • Consider live-streaming your gaming sessions; this helps build an audience and could lead to brand deals or partnerships.
  • Stay humble and always look for ways to improve; even pros like NOtail keep learning new tricks.
  • Set clear goals for where you want to be in esports; breaking it down into steps will help you stay on track.
  • Remember that having fun is key too; enjoying the game will keep you motivated through tough times.

FAQs About Esports Salary

What’s the deal with esports salaries—how much cash do pro players actually get?

Well, let me tell ya, it’s like a rollercoaster! Some top gamers rake in big bucks (think Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok from SKT T1 fame) while others are just starting and make less. It all depends on their skills, the team they play for—like Fnatic or Natus Vincere—and if they win big tournaments.

Is becoming a pro gamer my ticket to living large?

Hold your horses there! Becoming a professional gamer can definitely mean earning some sweet dough, especially if you’re playing for heavy-hitters like Invictus Gaming or FaZe Clan. But remember, not everyone makes it to the top, where players like Peter Dager or Sumail Hassan hang out.

Can I hit the jackpot by streaming my mad gaming skills online?

Absolutely—if you’ve got what it takes! Twitch streamers and YouTube video pros such as Michael ‘shroud’ Grzesiek show us that live-streaming epic gameplay can really pay off. Just look at how Tyler Blevins, aka Ninja, turned heads with his bank!

So esports isn’t dying out? There’s still time for me to jump in?

You betcha—esports is only getting bigger and better! Whether you dream of joining Paris Saint-Germain Esports or starting your own crew, now’s a great time to dive into this growing sport.

What about behind-the-scenes action? Could coaching be my calling?

If you’ve got an eye for strategy and love leading teams to victory lane… why not? Esports coaches are super important; think of them as the ones who whip these squads into shape so they can take home titles from events like League of Legends World Championships.

Wait up—are there other ways I could work with esports besides playing?

For sure! You could start an esports team yourself or become that person who knows everything about targeted marketing on web pages—you know—to get fans hyped up for every match! Or maybe even dive into making those ads that pop up when someone’s browsing around Team Astralis’ website.




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