How Do eSports Players and Online Gamers Make Money?

For many kids, being a professional eSports player or online gamer seems like the perfect career. But you might be wondering, “Do people really make money playing video games?”

The answer is yes, but it’s important to know that the vast majority of gamers do not make enough money to make a living. However, it is a viable career for some people.

But how do gamers actually make money playing video games? Here are some of the top ways that gamers are earning a living or offsetting their costs through gaming.

What is an eSport Tournament?

What is an eSport Tournament?

Think about a soccer tournament or a boxing match. eSport tournaments are pretty similar. Players compete against each other for prize money, sometimes lots of prize money.

In 2021, more than 4,000 eSports tournaments took place, with a median prize value of $1,500. Overall prize money amounted to more than $200 million with the median earned per player coming in at more than $800.

If you want more detailed information on eSport earnings, you can click the link.

While the median earnings per player don’t amount to much, high-profile tournaments can have prize pots in the millions, so if you reach the higher ranks of eSports players, you have the potential to make a nice living.

High-profile tournaments are invite only, but gamers can start earning lesser prizes at local and regional tournaments with the hopes of working their way up.

Can You Earn Money Through Streaming?


Streaming is another possible revenue source for gamers, with the two main platforms being Twitch and YouTube.

Twitch is a popular website for video-game livestreaming. The platform allows gamers to livestream their gameplay and earn revenue from the stream.

While it can be difficult to earn a revenue from live streaming, it’s impossible, especially if you have a larger following.

Streamers with a high number of subscriptions are often invited to become a Twitch affiliate, which opens up the opportunity to earn money from subscriptions and bits.

Viewers can pay a Twitch streamer for a subscription. Part of the revenue from the subscription goes to the streamer.

Additionally, affiliate streamers have the option to earn from bits, which a viewer can purchase or achieve by viewing ads, which gives the streamer more income.

Bits do not cost as much as a subscription, but if you have enough viewers, this can contribute a significant amount of income.

But what if you just started Twitch and don’t have a large following? What if you aren’t a Twitch affiliate?

The great part is there are a few other ways to earn money from streaming.

  • Use a third-party site like Patreon to accept donations. Through sites like this, streamers are able to connect closely with dedicated viewers and earn a living. For instance, streamer Jasmin Foxe has turned to OnlyFans to engage with fans in a more unique way, which can create a closer relationship between streamer and viewer.

With sites like this, a viewer can gain access to exclusive content that must be purchased through a subscription. For third-party websites to be a viable revenue stream, your gamer will need a significant number of viewers or very dedicated fans.

  • Make money from a brand deal or merchandise sales.

If your gamer has a devoted following, they may be able to make money selling merchandise or partnering with a brand.

Among the many popular streamers, some of the top streamers who sell merchandise include DanTDM, Valkyrie, and LazarBeam. But, keep in mind, these streamers have accumulated a following of millions of subscribers and viewers.

How Can You Utilize YouTube?


YouTube is another possible revenue stream for gamers. Combining a YouTube channel with a Twitch channel allows gamers to make money from the same content in different places.

Once you reach a certain level of subscribers on YouTube, you can monetize your videos with ads, and YouTube also has a revenue-sharing program where top content creators receive money for their views.

Many gamers will do a playthrough of a game on Twitch then take the best clips and create compilations to post to a YouTube channel. Walkthroughs and speed runs are also popular with YouTube viewers.

Popular streamers, such as Ninja, xQc, HasanAbi, Pokimane, or Ludwig, stream online and also publish videos to a YouTube channel to diversify their income and reach more potential viewers.

Keep in mind that the more viewers you have, the more likely you are to earn money from livestreaming.

Can You Perform in eSports in College?


While it’s not a paycheck, gaming can result in getting part or all of your child’s college education paid for with a scholarship.

As they do with athletics, many colleges and universities have begun to offer eSport scholarships.

Like other sports, college eSports teams recruit the best players to come compete for their school.

If your child is interested in pursuing a scholarship, they should investigate eSport programs and contact coaches like any more traditional athlete.

Is it Profitable?

Is it Profitable?

While it may be difficult to earn a full-time income from gaming, it’s not impossible.

And even if your gamer doesn’t make enough money to live on, it is possible that they could pick up some extra spending money or a college scholarship.

We hope this article helped you understand the options for making money through gaming and eSports.

Is your gamer making money from their gaming? Let us know about your experience in the comments.

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