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  • bY shaon December 27, 2021

If someone would have walked up to you in 1985, during the introduction of the Nintendo Entertainment System and said, “If you have some talent with these games, you could make a lot of money,” you’d most likely laugh it off. Fast forward to our present day, and it’s more of a reality than ever.

Pro gamers are filling stadiums with more spectators than the Super Bowl. Twitch superstars have made millions simply broadcasting their gameplay. NBA franchises have sponsored their very own pro gamer teams. The growth of what we now call eSports has been astounding in the last 30 years and with that growth, financial opportunities for gamers have come along with it.  

Professional Gaming

The world of eSports is constantly evolving, making it a universe of options that any one gamer can curate for themselves. This typically leads to players finding their own niche. Through interacting with other gamers across the globe, they’ll find like minded players that share their interests in specific games. You can compete as casually or as intensely as you choose, and for those who take the serious route- the payoff can be considerable.

  • Ninja – Richard Tyler Blevins – $40 million
  • PewDewPie – Felix Kjellberg – $40 million
  • Markiplier – Mark Fischbach – $35 million
  • Preston – Preston Arsement – $20 million
  • Shroud – Michael Grzeziek – $10 million

Left: Richard Tyler Blevins (born June 5, 1991), better known by his online alias Ninja, is an American Twitch streamer, YouTuber and professional gamer.

Yes, that certainly seems like fantasy money to any casual eSports enthusiast or average human for that matter, but keep in mind that these gamers are constantly working. Promoting themselves on YouTube and Twitch, they receive thousands of new subscribers every day and must provide access to a good amount of their live gameplay in turn.

That’s only one side of the coin when it comes to professional gaming. There is also the world of eSports tournaments. Madison Square Garden and the Staples Center sold out in minutes the last time they hosted full capacity eSports tournaments. The most recent Fortnite world champion took home $3 million dollars. Not too shabby for an activity that was once highly regarded as “a waste of time”.

These tournaments are typically played in team format, which adds to the excitement for each individual gamer and spectator to be engulfed in the spectacle, just the same as any highly physical sporting event. The eSports industry took in more money than any major sports league in the US last year, which is really a sign of the times and a boost to the popularity of gaming.

Tech Opportunities

Although being at the millionaire level would be nice for any gamer, there are certainly more practical ways to go about applying your skills. Utilizing a familiarity with specific technology can be a strong asset in several tech driven occupations. 

A job in game design and development, while highly sought after, is also constantly in need of fresh ideas. The turnover in technological advancement is astronomical, and gamers automatically have a great amount of intel. Even beyond the look and execution of actual games, it’s typically an enthusiast who would develop an amazingly comprehensive controller or even the most supreme comfort in gaming chairs.

There are currently departments within larger universities and Tech Ed schools designed specifically for occupations within game development. Scholarships are fairly common for those with an eSports background, which can begin at a fairly young age.

Average Salaries in Game Production

  • Game Designer – $73,864
  • Game Developer $83,060
  • Game Artist – $74,349
  • Game Programmer – $93,251
  • Game Tester – $85,240

This multi-billion dollar, worldwide industry has no way to go but up and the salaries for those involved will certainly follow suit. It seems that it all starts with a passion for eSports. If you dive head first into this world and have a good amount of drive, you can end up earning a lot of money….playing video games.  

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