The odds are low, but the rewards are worth it. The odds of becoming a professional gamer is roughly calculated at 0.1%.
So, if you are playing DOTA 2 and you rank in the top 1500 out of 1 million pool, you can consider taking a shot at professional gaming.
Better termed eSports, you can turn your hours of gaming into a rewarding profession and, if you have it in you, become a star. Like Anathan Pham, one of the highest-paid eSports professionals today.
With Team OG, Anathan won a total of $60 million with successive titles at The International. What are the chances you can be the next big name in eSports? Slim to say the least, but before even considering it, you need to weigh out your chances of going pro and making enough money out of it!
How Much Can You Earn in Professional Gaming?
To put things into perspective, let’s talk about The International or TI – the largest eSports tourney in the world. With more than 650 million active players, DOTA 2 is central to today’s eSports market.
The total prize pool for TI9 postponed to 2021 was nearly $30 million, $10+ million for the winning team. Between 5 players, that’s a cool $2 million+.
Only a handful of eSports pros get as far as tourney wins. Matter of fact, the lion’s share of earnings for a professional gamer comes from either sponsor paid salaries or streaming.
Consider pro players on League of Legends from Riot Games. LoL has become one of the most lucrative games around for professional gamers.
And if you are good enough to somehow get into the North America League of Legends Championship Series, you can earn an average of more than $300,000, 3 times more than the top coders make in the US. Not to mention bonuses!
Live streaming on Twitch, YouTube Gaming, etc. also forms a major chunk of the income you can generate as a pro.
Twitch your LoL gameplay and you can earn anywhere between $3000 to $5000 per month. Include ad revenues averaging at around $250 per 100 subscribers and you don’t necessarily need to win tourneys at all.
How to Become a Professional Gamer?
Talent, hardware, and practice – you need all of these to generate a substantial monthly income from eSports. Put in 10+ hours a day on the game for perfection. Learn the best strategies. Make sure you have suitable hardware to play the game at high FPS.
For example, Ninja is a beast on Fortnite today. Yet pre-2017, he had a strong background building up on Halo, playing it professionally with many top eSports teams.
What you need to do is start perfecting your skills and streaming. Everyone starts from 0 subscribers and you will too. Get a load of the pitfalls first.
Why is Professional Gaming Difficult?
Although this is not to say that eSports is better off for those around the ’20s, there’s a reason to it. Statistics come first, showing that only a few professional gamers are above the 40 years bracket and the highest earners are always around their 25’s.
It all comes down to APM, actions per minute.
Age makes you slower and you will find it well nigh impossible to hit the 300+ APM mark, the average inputs of pro Starcraft players. So, before buying your classes and education for pro gaming, think about what you are going to make a living off after you hit 30.
Burnout and Health Risks
Professional gaming is extremely competitive and the mathematical odds of becoming a pro gamer get slimmer by the day.
Compete as hard as you can. Clock 12 hours a day on your gaming chair. Give it a week and you will surely feel the effects as gaming competitively will follow up with fatigue.
Think of a 40+ hours a week job in front of a high-end desktop playing your favorite game on repeat and you can get a brief idea of gaming on a professional for years.
So, what you are looking to avoid is burnout. If you do go into a streak of not-so-good results, avoid tilting.
Think of it this way, CS:GO is currently awarding close to $100 million in total as eSports tourney payouts with DOTA 2 doles out around $224.7 million.
You might see the likes of Valorant and COD: Warzone entering the highest eSports payout games over the next few years or so. So, if you think you’re going to stick to Fortnite till you’re 30, it might not work out that way.
The game you play competitively today may not be around as a top-earning game even 3 years from now.
Stick to a genre and stay updated with the latest gaming trends. Better still, try to anticipate where your crowd is heading towards and increase your chances of becoming a professional gamer multifold.
eSports is the next big entertainment market, expected to reach $700 million by 2022. Most of this revenue is shared between gaming developers and gamers including multiple revenue streams, e.g. – sponsorships, salaries, streaming, and ad revenues.
Your odds of becoming a professional gamer squarely rest on your talent hard work, and a bit of lady luck. You can earn handsomely if you crack the top 30% of professional gamers and streamers.
Make sure you consider the risks and the aftermath. You can be the next big professional gamer, but the odds are rough. So how good are you?