eSports are a type of sport that’s played via electronic systems, like multi-player video games. Professional eSport athletes play against one another in real-time. Game styles may be strategy, fighting, first-person shooter or arena battles. There are regular eSports tournaments held, like the League of Legends World Championship. These tournaments are broadcasted live and result in prize money for competitors. Some professional eSports players even consider their winnings to be their salaries.
Organized online competitions aren’t new to the world of videos games, but the participation numbers and audience size have grown significantly over the past few years. In the early 2000s, these types of competitions were between amateurs, while today they’re between professional eSports athletes. Modern video game developers take this into account when designing games and add in high-level features for true professionals.
For people who want to earn money playing eSports, tournaments are the best way to cash in, and prize money can be pretty high. In 2011, the team that won the Valve DOTA 2 Tournaments won a million dollars. That same year, the North American Star League Starcraft 2 Tournament awarded $100,000 to winners. In order to actually turn a tournament into a payday, though, you have to be highly skilled at the game. Professional gamers and eSports athletes spend a ton of time practicing and developing their skill. Many make a living out of gaming and consider eSports to be their primary profession.
In addition to winning competitions, players can also make money with eSports via corporate sponsorship. This is the same idea as when big corporations sponsor real-life athletes, like when Nike sponsors basketball players or Pepsi sponsors Nascar drivers. Companies that have been known to sponsors eSports teams include Western Digital and Intel. Usually, companies that have a hand in gaming development are the ones willing to sponsor eSports teams.
One great example of an eSports team that turned their talent into cash is the Counter Logic Gaming (CLG) team, that was just two weeks away from having to claim bankruptcy before their luck turned around. Despite the almost undeniable future that was fast approaching, the team pushed on and continued to play. It wasn’t long before the team received a sponsorship deal from DraftKings and was able to plan to participate in the League of Legends World Championships in Berlin.
It’s important to understand that it’s far from easy to make money playing eSports, either through competition or sponsorships. While some teams are able to earn a lot, sometimes even in the millions between prize money and endorsements, most players have to consider what they do a hobby, at least at first. While there’s the possibility of making money from it, it’s not always a reliable way to earn an income. Even CLG, which has been able to turn their team into a money-maker, was near the brink of bankruptcy just a few months ago.
For more information, find out where you can get all the latest news and happenings in eSports tournaments.