How Do Professional Gamers Make Money?

How Do Professional Gamers Make Money?

Going pro can be a fantastic way of allowing the most dedicated of gamers to follow their dreams by doing something they love. However, there will be an eventual point when most players have to start considering how they will manage their money. 

So, How Much Do Professional Gamers Make Exactly?

This figure can be difficult to determine exactly as no two games are the same, neither are tournaments nor the circumstances of the individual player. 

With some of the highest-earning professional gamers making millions, there can be a sense of expectation that all gaming athletes will make such substantial salaries. 

However, this may not be the case for all gamers, especially for those who are just beginning their careers. Many amateur-level gamers may only stand to earn a portion of takings from competing in tournaments or through small local sponsorships. This can result in many pro gamers taking home anything from below £10,000 a month up to hundreds of thousands, depending on performance and other factors. 

Pro Gaming Salaries

For amateur-level gamers, receiving a regular salary may seem out of the question. This may be because you are not contracted or enter in frequent tournaments, which can mean that your income is less regular or not guaranteed in some cases. 

However, most top-performing gamers generally receive a salary to play, along with other types of income. This payment can come from several sources, some of which we have listed below. 

The Team, Agency or Media House

Being part of an established esports team, part of an agency or a media house can undoubtedly be the most certain way of guaranteeing that you earn a salary from gaming. This is mainly because professional gamers sign contracts which mean that they will now be mandated to train, practice with teammates, produce online content and enter competitions in return for a fixed salary. 

Monetising Social Media Platforms

Monetising social media platforms can be a sure-fire way for a pro gamer growing in followership to start making money. Several years ago, gaming professionally was not the multi-million dollar generating industry as it is today. With the introduction of various new social media platforms, it has now become possible for viewers to follow their favourite gamers in a number of ways. This means that in order to keep people engaged in your content it is necessary to take steps to boost your social media profiles and consider monetising them to best make use of your reach.

 Take Ninja for example. When Apex Legends was released by EA, they employed some of the best gamers in the world, including Ninja to stream their gameplay for monumental sums of money. Ninja alone received $1 million for the week to stream his gameplay to his 13 million followers on Twitch. 

Gamers Receive Donations Through Twitch, Discord and Patreon

A common way for esports gamers to earn money without sponsorships can be through donations. These donations can be made through platforms such as Discord, Twitch and Patreon, where server members can send money as a form of appreciation for server owners. 

Esports Sponsorships

esports sponsors

There are various types of sponsorships that an esports team or professional gamer can benefit from. These include: 

  1. Being approached by sponsors – The chance of being approached for sponsorship in esports can be often rare, so it is not recommended to depend on purely this for an income. 
  2. Reaching out to local businesses for sponsorships
  3. Working with an esports agency to obtain sponsorships

The type of sponsorship you will receive will almost entirely depend on your performance as a solo player or as a team. This is why many esports teams tend to work with a technology platform such as Edge to showcase their first-hand data to potential sponsors.

Such technology platforms can be particularly helpful to smaller, up-and-coming esports teams who may not have the performance history and fandom as major teams like Team Liquid or MAD Lions. 

Most commonly when entering a conversation with potential sponsors, you and your team will be required to show evidence of your performance, amongst other details. This includes: 

  • Information about your team, including personal details, team performance, personal performance and notable achievements. 
  • Your social reach. This can refer to how you perform on social media and the type of audience you interact with. Potential sponsors can look at your audience interaction on a number of platforms, such as TikTok, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, Twitch, Mixer and Discord.
  • What you or your team require from the sponsorship. 


How Can Edge Help? 

Edge is the future of management on the backend of esports. We provide gamers with the ability to use our platform to integrate with social media, publishers and league APIs. This ensures that the data you present is entirely real-time and completely verifiable.

If you are looking to become a professional gamer, you may want to consider the different ways in which you can protect your income, while ensuring that you get paid on time, every time. 

With Edge, not only can we track your performance on multiple platforms over extended periods of time, but we can also help you create reports to feedback to your agency or your team. 

Additionally, we can help create personalised contracts between several people, whether that’s between you and your team members or between you and tournament organizers. In return, this will protect you and your team members’ income so you can carry on doing what you do best without worrying about managing your payments. 

It is also now possible to use Edge to track such donations made through platforms such as Twitch and Patreon by setting up donation campaigns through us. This can let you track your donations along with your other forms of income so that every aspect of your performance can be tracked through one, easy-to-manage source. 


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