I think the best way for me to explain the amount a pro gamer makes is by giving you a decent analogy. If you were going to apply for a sales job, any sales job, and you wanted to know your salary, chances are they might tell you it could be an infinite amount. The same goes for a professional video game player; your salary is created by you.
How much does the top Pro Player make?
I wanted to add this question in because I had no doubt in my mind that it was going to be asked. Its basically like asking how much the highest player in the MLB or NFL makes, but I’ll answer it anyway. The highest paid professional gamer in the United States made/makes over $400,000 a year. He is also the highest paid in the world right now, but some gamers from other countries are coming close. Once you factor in the top 100 paid gamers the outlook on this becomes a bit different though. If you look at the top paid 100 gamers (keep in mind there are a TON more then 100 gamers out there, we’re talking about ALL professional games), the salary towards the bottom of the list is anywhere from 85,000-100,000.
Where does the money come from?
The highest paid professional gamers are usually masters at a specific game, or possibly multiple games and bring in income dominating in high level tournaments. BUT, and this is a big BUT, many gamers you don’t realize bring in SECRET money. I’m going to use Reginald of Team Solo Mid as an example because everyone reading this probably knows of him. Before I go ahead and open my big mouth, I want to first ask that you do not quote me on this, and do not think I have his pay stubs or know an exact salary. That being said, I DO know that he is the mid player for Solo Mid, (who happen to be an extremely good team, and just showed up for Worlds as I’m writing this), the OWNER of Solomid, and runs a successful website/business. Given what I just told you, I am also going to tell you that Reginald probably brings in a quarter of a million each year, on a good year. If you don’t know how much that is, it’s $250,000 to do what he loves. **Regi if your reading this and I got that number to high or low, I apologize.
Is it always this good?
NO! But you knew I was going to say that already didn’t you? Lets go back to my analogy for a second. Yes, as a salesman you have the potential to make an infinite amount of money, just like the gamers I mentioned make a ton of money doing what they do, but of course there’s a flip side. If your a professional gamer, and your not winning tournaments, or even placing high enough to bring in some sort of income, then what? Not only do you lose that income, but your also not going to get sponsorships for a losing team. Okay, yeah lets fall back on “He can stream and make his money, they all do it!”. Now, we’re talking about all pro gamers, remember that, we’re not strictly talking about PhantomLord, Froggen, TheOddOne and other gamers that automatically get 30,000 viewers when they log on. Streaming, as much as people say it is, isn’t an amazing source of income for most pros.
If I really want to go Pro how else can I make money?
So, now I scared you a little bit and I made it feel a bit more risky to get into the pro gaming world; but now I want to bring your hopes a little higher so I’m going to name a couple more sources to use when getting into the gaming scene. I have already named a couple thing that other gamers do, but we can do a quick recap as well. One thing to look into is Website Development for or with your team, and the other easy thing to get involved with would be streaming. These are two things that, like going pro, do not happen over night, so please if you decide to go that route, be patient! Another thing that you can be involved with is video editing/creating for YouTube videos. The last thing I want to talk about is sponsorships and sales. If you look at Ocelete he has made good money with almost ALL of these techniques (props to you Oce). More specifically though I want to point out Oceletes store, and website that he hosts for himself, while streaming, and being on a team that has their own website completely separate. This is different then the route Regi takes with his team, that share a store and sales on their one site. Just two different point of views that both bring in money. As far as sponsorships, these come to you once you make a name for yourself or your team, like TSM being SnapDragon; for example.