Is the career for you? Gaming used to be just a way to pass time in the 1980s but in 2018 it’s a career path. This article will discuss the viable options for someone to succeed in making it as being a professional gamer. But first, who is a professional gamer? A professional gamer is generally someone who plays video games for prize money or salaries. Such individuals usually deeply study the game to master it and usually to play in competitions. What device platform do they use to play? Well you have consoles (PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch), PC (Personal Computer) and mobile phones. We are also going to discuss on how could you earn money from gaming.
Going where the money is: streaming and being a YouTuber
So, you’d like to earn money from gaming but you don’t know where to start, here’s the low down where you can. The most common way to earn money from gaming is from streaming and YouTube content creation. How you may ask? YouTube and Twitch are the most popular platforms to stream from – you can get donations from $1 to a whopping $30,000 per stream. I know, crazy right? But donations those above $1,000 would be somewhat of a rare event, even for long time streamers. Lazar Beam an Australian YouTuber, earns between $98 – $1.1 million a month and up to $18.8 million per year. Now, speaking of YouTube, creating videos for YouTube is another way to get money from gaming. Although, ads and sponsorships would only be offered for those who have enough subscribers. The money from ads alone would be a considerable amount to make a living. Well, how do you get subscribers? You can gain subscribers by creating quality content and create engaging video that people would love and promote your channel on your every social media outlet. That would be the best way to start.
Gaming tournaments aren’t new but they have been popularised by modern culture and have started a trend by giving out prize pools of millions of dollars every year to gaming competitors. In 2017 international online game Dota 2 had a total prize pool of $24.6 million.
That’s just one game out of dozens. Here’s a list of the biggest prize pools E-Sports has given out to professional gamers.
LARGEST OVERALL PRIZE POOLS IN E-SPORTS
|1.||The International 2017||$24,687,919.00||Dota 2||18 Teams||90 Players|
|2.||The International 2016||$20,770,640.00||Dota 2||16 Teams||80 Players|
|3.||The International 2015||$18,429,613.05||Dota 2||16 Teams||80 Players|
|4.||The International 2014||$10,931,103.00||Dota 2||14 Teams||70 Players|
|5.||LoL 2016 World Championship||$5,070,000.00||League of Legends||16 Teams||86 Players|
|6.||LoL 2017 World Championship||$4,946,969.00||League of Legends||24 Teams||128 Players|
|7.||DAC 2015||$3,057,521.00||Dota 2||20 Teams||100 Players|
|8.||The Boston Major 2016||$3,000,000.00||Dota 2||16 Teams||80 Players|
|9.||The Frankfurt Major 2015||$3,000,000.00||Dota 2||16 Teams||80 Players|
|10.||The Kiev Major 2017||$3,000,000.00||Dota 2||16 Teams||80 Players|
|11.||The Manila Major 2016||$3,000,000.00||Dota 2||16 Teams||80 Players|
|12.||The Shanghai Major 2016||$3,000,000.00||Dota 2||16 Teams||80 Players|
|13.||The International 2013||$2,874,407.00||Dota 2||8 Teams||40 Players|
|14.||Smite World Championship 2015||$2,612,259.00||SMITE||8 Teams||40 Players|
|15.||Halo World Championship 2016||$2,500,000.00||Halo 5: Guardians||16 Teams||64 Players|
|16.||LoL 2014 World Championship||$2,130,000.00||League of Legends||16 Teams||82 Players|
|17.||LoL 2015 World Championship||$2,130,000.00||League of Legends||16 Teams||85 Players|
|18.||LoL Season 3 World Championship||$2,050,000.00||League of Legends||14 Teams||70 Players|
|19.||Call of Duty XP Championship 2016||$2,000,000.00||Call of Duty: Black Ops III||32 Teams||127 Players|
|20.||LoL Season 2 World Championship||$2,000,000.00||League of Legends||12 Teams||60 Players|
|21.||Overwatch League – Season 1 Playoffs||$1,700,000.00||Overwatch||6 Teams||60 Players|
|22.||Mid-Season Invitational 2017||$1,690,000.00||League of Legends||13 Teams||67 Players|
|23.||The International 2011||$1,600,000.00||Dota 2||8 Teams||42 Players|
|24.||The International 2012||$1,600,000.00||Dota 2||8 Teams||40 Players|
|25.||CWL Championship 2017||$1,525,000.00||Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare||33 Teams||128 Players|
|26.||China Dota2 Supermajor 2018||$1,500,000.00||Dota 2||16 Teams||80 Players|
|27.||WESG 2017 (CS:GO Male)||$1,500,000.00||Counter-Strike: Global Offensive||16 Teams||80 Players|
|28.||WESG 2017 (Dota 2)||$1,500,000.00||Dota 2||16 Teams||80 Players|
|29.||World Electronic Sports Games 2016 (CS:GO)||$1,500,000.00||Counter-Strike: Global Offensive||8 Teams||40 Players|
|30.||World Electronic Sports Games 2016 (Dota 2)||$1,500,000.00||Dota 2||8 Teams||40 Players|
There are also solo tournaments where 20 players would be pitted against each other until someone wins the tournament. These are mostly fighting games on consoles. The cash prizes aren’t as good as multi-player games on PC but it’s still worth mentioning because of how much a single person can win.
But what about the people who play on their mobile phone? Well mobile stream gaming has been recently introduced. It’s as good as streaming and making videos in YouTube and you could gain ad revenue on YouTube by streaming while you’re gaming.
Console gaming content
Console gaming should be able to start you off, you would just have to configure your console for live streaming. If you want to make YouTube content from console gaming, then you’ll need a capture card for it. It will help you record your games and you’ll be able to edit it out on your PC.
For PlayStation: $439.95 PlayStation 4 500GB Console
For Xbox: $649.00 Xbox One X
For Nintendo: AU$398.00 Nintendo Switch
PC gaming content
A PC gamer has a lot of options to choose from and customisation parts and peripheral add ons, so I’m not going to go into the technical terms. However, I will tell you that with a $500 to $1000 budget, you can build yourself a gaming set up which will allow you to stream and edit videos at home. All you need to have is a decent internet connection and you’ll be good to go.
Mobile gaming content
It’s a lot like console gaming but the options would be high-end mobile phones that can play games and at the same time, record or stream live videos.
Here are some of their prices. Note that you can play and record with these phones all at the same time, their specifications allows them to do so:
iPhone X: $1,000, Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: $840, Razer Phone: $700, Oneplus 6: $530, Nokia 6.1: $270
Now you might be wondering, there’s so much to choose from, but you feel like you’d want to make a name for yourself by creating games instead of playing.
Mobile game developing is one of the most common career paths to do so.
Christian Jualito a gamer from the Philippines who is in partnership with Ekkorr Games told Dscribe:
I’ve mainly used Java/Jscript along with PHP to help my colleagues with our game Endless Frontier. I usually do the programming and they help with the design of the characters because I can’t draw or even design at all. That’s why I focused myself on programming instead.”
In regards to the challenge of creating games he said, “It’s pretty frustrating and tedious at first because I don’t even know if it’s going to be a hit, so I had lack motivation. But I’ll never know if I don’t try.”
Christian said he needed major funding to help him develop his first game. “I don’t want to disclose my whole financial investment, but I will tell you what the expenses were. Here are the expenses: electricity bill, internet bill, artists to make the art and design of the game; programmers who I asked for advice and helped me with 4 to 7 lines of coding error; my sleepless nights for fixing one little bug that which led to an entire system error. Haha! I don’t have the right expression or answer for that question, sorry. It’s just…a lot.”
He says that he has gained a lot from his experience. “Fame, fortune and most of all, an audience that I can interact with so that I can improve how I develop my games. There are a lot of micro transactions in games these days. So I’m thinking that I might be able to do that as well with my game. I’m also learning Unreal engine so that I may be able to make high quality games for PC as well but that’s just me hoping.”
Food for thought
Why do these people dedicate their time and money to turn their hobby into a career? What do they benefit from all of this? Maybe they see it as the next generation of entertainment and they just all got a head start on it; or maybe they just made a way to gain money by doing what they love to do the most, which is to play their game. Either way, if you’re looking to start making a career in gaming, you should just do it. You wouldn’t know if you’ll be a success if you don’t try, right?