Professional Gamers – How Much Do They Really Make?

Money made by professional gamers today varies wildly depending on the game a person plays, whether he belongs to a professional league and whether there are any sponsorship deals in play. Some reports suggest that there are many gamers earning over 100,000 dollars a year in prize money; however, this number is only an estimate. That exclusive group of gamers is just that: extremely limited.

Sometimes it even depends upon where a gamer resides and from what country he hails since some countries treat their gamers exceptionally well. Gamers from South Korea have reportedly earned almost a half million dollars where the average salary is less than 20,000 dollars a year. Most professional gamers around the world aren’t nearly so successful monetarily and play from obscurity instead of gaining worldwide acclaim.

gamer girlsAttaining the level of a professional gamer requires much faster-than-average reflexes and the ability to handle many actions simultaneously. Whether a gamer plays FPS (first person shooter) games or competes with RTS (real-time strategy) games like Starcraft, there are a ton of things happening at the same time every second of the game.

In addition to boasting special reflexes, a person who wants to earn a lot of money as a professional gamer must put in hundreds of hours of playtime, to remain at competition level. This usually means playing for much more than 8 hours a day (like a regular job). Professional gamers often live in special housing where they spend all day (and most of the night) practicing at the computer. They must continually fight against the natural progression of aging where reflexes slow down and gaming potential recedes.

The prize money from sponsored tournaments is often a primary source of income for professional gamers, with tournaments for games like Starcraft II offering a grand prize of 25,000 dollars (in North America). A spokesman for Major League Gaming (a group that hosts professional gaming tournaments) said that there are less than a hundred people in the United States who could earn a living through tournament play alone.

Interestingly, many gamers have seen it necessary to branch out beyond competitive gaming and solicit donations from the public by streaming their time spent in-game through various internet streaming sites. Successful streamers often boast thousands of fans and may enjoy monthly subscriptions along with one-time donations from viewers. However, this method of earning a living as a gamer isn’t as “professional” as the players who are sponsored by elite gaming companies.

A gamer will often need to travel to different locations to participate in tournaments, and this means hotel costs, expensive airfare, and eating on the road. Coming up with the cash in advance to book all that travel is usually impossible for gamers, and this need for money means looking at joining a professional team. Not all teams are hugely successful, and salaries are often low at anywhere from 12,000 dollars to 30,000 dollars a year.

Making a lot of money as a professional gamer requires a tremendous amount of dedication to daily gaming and success isn’t guaranteed. A person who gets a degree in engineering has a solid chance of finding a well-paying job. A gamer who dreams of playing professionally only has his talent, and the time invested in his game, to conquer tournaments and become a gaming superstar.