How to Make Money From eSports
In today’s media, the term eSports is thrown around a lot. But what actually is eSports, and how can you make money from it?
Truth be told, it is kind of a big deal.
eSports, in other words, electronic sports, is competitive video gaming at a professional level. The industry is said to be valued at $1.1 billion dollars in 2020 which is expected to reach a net worth of $3 billion by 2022. There are also predictions of 300 million frequent eSports viewers worldwide by 2023, with 46 million viewers in the US alone. This means that 15.5% of the US population will watch eSports at least once per month in three years time.
If you want to make money from video gaming, eSports provides plenty of opportunity.
Want to know more? Keep reading!
What Are eSports?
eSports are professional video gaming contests and, as the name suggests, it basically turns competitive video gaming into a sport.
Gaming organizations are synonymous to a sports club. Each gaming organization will contract a number of professional players that compete in video game tournaments, usually as teams although individual eSports contests also happen.
These competitions are held in huge arenas. The teams play an eSports game and battle against each other until one team reigns victorious. Fans can watch live at the arenas or watch streams of the games from popular streaming platforms such as Twitch and Youtube.
Usually, eSports organizations will have competitive teams for multiple games. For example, take Team Liquid. Team Liquid is one of the largest and most popular professional gaming organizations. They have teams, also known as divisions, for all major video games. This includes League of Legends, Fortnite, Dota 2, and Hearthstone just to name a few.
Each game in eSports is equivalent to a game in sports. League of Legends, for example, could be seen as the equivalent to basketball and Fortnite comparable to football. This way, eSports is the collective term for all major gaming tournaments that invole winning prizes.
What eSport Games Are There?
Not every game makes it to eSport status. For a game to become an eSport, it must be both entertaining to watch and have a high skill ceiling so there is always something players can improve on and master.
The different eSports games are generally split into eight different genres: fighting games, first-person shooters (FPS), real-time strategy (RTS), sports games, racing, multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBA), third-person shooters (TPS), and other games.
The most famous eSports game is League of Legends (LOL) which has paid out over $76 million over 2500 events. If you think that is impressive, that is nothing on Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Fortnite which combined have paid out over $415 million USD.
When it comes to eSports though, there is a huge variety beyond these top four. Click on each gaming subgenre to see a complete list of all current eSports games:
- Killer Instinct
- Marvel vs. Capcom
- Street Fighter
- Super Smash Bros
First Person Shooter
- Alliance of Valiant Arms
- Call of Duty
- Rainbow Six Siege
- Special Force II
- Team Fortress 2
- Unreal Tournament
- StarCraft II
- StarCraft: Brood War
- Warcraft III
- NBA 2K
- Pro Evolution Soccer
- Real Subspace Hockey League
- Rocket League
- Formular One
- Gran Turismo Sport
- Project CARS
Multiplayer Battle Arena
- League of Legends
- Dota 2
- Heroes of the Storm
- Arena of Valor
- Mobile Legends: Bang Bang
- Gears of War
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
- Puyo Puyo
- War Thunder
- World of Tanks
- World of Warcraft
- Clash Royale
The History of eSports
eSports is still a relatively new industry, with the first video game competition ever recorded taking place in 1972 at Stanford University for the game Spacewar!. Fast-forward 50 years and the industry is now worth billions of USD, capturing the interest of millions worldwide.
But how did it get there?
Here is a brief timeline of how eSports has grown into the mega-industry it has today.
1972 – First Video Game Competition
The Spacewar! contest help in 1972 at Stanford University was the first-ever video gaming contest. There were around two dozen players battling it out on a PDP-10 computer.
1980 – Atari’s Space Invaders Tournament
This contest had around 10,000 players competing for the highest score. It was the earliest large-scale video game tournament.
1981 – Formation of Twin Galaxies
The Twin Galaxies organization was formed which kept track of all high scorers for popular video games such as Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, and Pac-Man.
1991 – Release of Street Fighter II
The release of Street Fighter II increased the popularity of competitive gaming by creating one vs. one gaming offering direct competition between two players, rather than rankings being dictated by a high score.
1996 – Street Fighter Tournament
The first Street Fighter II tournament named “Battle by the Bay” which consisted of 40 players. This contest, now known as the Evolution Champion Series, still goes on today.
1997 – Cyberathlete Professional League
In the late 90s, eSports players started to become well-known after the founding of the Cyberathlete Professional League in Texas. This league is thought of as the pioneer of professional video gaming tournaments.
1999 – Release of Unreal Tournament & Counter-Strike
As internet connectivity and gaming technology improved, new PC shooter games such as Unreal Tournament & Counter-Strike were released. Counter-Strike is still one of the most popular eSports games today.
2000s – Founding of Major eSports Teams
In the 2000s, some of the top eSports teams of today were founded including Team Dignitas, TSM, and Optic Gaming. Televised eSports also increased and better technology saw the industry boom. Tournament numbers rose from 10 in 2000 to 260 in 2010.
2011 – Launch of Twitch
The online streaming platform Twitch launched which regularly streamed live eSports tournaments. This made the industry accessible to millions worldwide.
2010s – Release of MOBAs
Several MOBA games were released in the 2010s such as StarCraft II, CS:GO, and Dota 2. These games became hugely popular allowing teams to battle against each other and combining strategy and role-playing games.
2020 – eSports Today
Today, there are many eSports teams, contests, and organizations globally. Prize pools for games are up to millions of dollars and strong online eSports communities are thriving.
Ways eSports Can Make You Money
For an industry with such rapid growth, it is obvious there is much potential for making money. Tournament prize pools are growing fast, competitions are attracting more sponsors, and the viewer population is on the up.
Don’t believe us? Take a look at the market revenue for eSports worldwide in the past two years, and predictions for 2023:
Convinced yet? Here are all the ways that you can make money from eSports.
The most obvious way to win money through eSports is by becoming a professional player who is signed and sponsored by an eSports team. Be prepared for long hours and intense training, but you will be rewarded with winning titles and lots of money. The top eSports pro player has a net worth of $6.9 million!
The majority of pro eSports players earnings come from sponsorships, although they also win cash from competitions. If you already spend every waking minute gaming and want to get paid for it, take a look at our page on competitive gaming tournaments.
Not sure you have what it takes to become a pro player? No worries! Competitive gaming is growing exponentially in popularity and you can now bet on the winners of video game contests. This is comparable to placing bets on which team will win a football match or baseball game.
The eSports industry is huge and is on track to bring in over $1.5 billion by 2023. With more and more US states starting to leaglize online sports betting, placing wagers and making money online could not be any easier. What is more, with the global pandemic halting sporting events, eSports betting is on a rise.
As the popularity of eSports increases, more and more people are starting to invest in the eSports market. The best place to start investing in eSports is with publically traded stocks.
There are several options for investments. You can invest in game developers and publishers such as Take-Two Interactive or Activation Blizzard who are behind NBA 2K and Overwatch, respectively. Or you can invest in hardware providers such as NVIDIA who specialize in GPUs used by most pro eSports players.
Not sure eSports is for you? Fear not!If you are looking to play games but don’t want to compete, you could become a gaming streamer. On the other hand, if you prefer coding to playing video games, game development may be more up your street. There are also less popular options such as video game testing and coaching.
For guides on all the possible ways you can make money from video games, take a look at GameTutorials homepage. Make your hobby your source of income today!
The e in eSports stands for electronic.
Yes, eSports is a sport. This is based on the parallels between competitive gaming and regular sports, such as competition, physical ability, specific skillset, the need for practice, a fanbase, and taking part in stadiums.
Yes, eSports will be in the Olympics. It was due to be in the Summer 2020 Olympic games which were canceled due to the global pandemic. However, according to Gamer World News Entertainment CEO Gayle Dickie, they will be in the 2024 Olympic games.
Yes, it is predicted that eSports will overtake traditional sports all bar NFL based on the number of viewers. By 2021 it is predicted 84 million people will watch eSports, whereas only 79 million will watch MLB and 63 million will watch NBA. The NFL still trumps all sports will a forecast of 141 million viewers.
The eSports industry has a market revenue of $1.1 billion in 2020, set to increase to $1.6 billion by 2023. The industry is predicted to have a net worth of $3 billion USD by 2023.