How Much Do Pro Gamers & Esports Players Make?

It’s not a secret anymore that top esports earnings can reach millions of US dollars per year, but did you know that the average esports salary is about $60,000? That might not be surprising, depending upon what you know about esports growth over the past few years.

It could also come as a surprise, if you underestimate the popularity and competition surrounding esports. For more information about Esports as an industry and how to improve your game, check out our in depth article: 


Everything you need to know about Esports. For parents, beginning gamers, and aspiring professional Esport players; get info, tips and guides for mastering Esports. 

In this article, we are going to discuss the following:

  • How much pro gamers make
  • What factors a professional gamer salary depends on
  • How much other careers within the industry can earn
  • How to get into esports

First of all, let’s take a look at some statistics related to pro gamer salaries

How much do esports players make? reports the following:

  • Top player of 2017 has earned a prize of $2,436,772.40.
  • The highest overall esports salary is currently $ 3,626,277.75, earned by Kuro Takhasomi, a Dota 2 player.
  • The highest earnings by country amount to $72,016,179.71 made by 2,783 players in China.
  • The highest earnings by age are $31,212,142.96 made by 1,372 22-year-old players.
  • The highest earnings by players under 18 years old are $2,712,139.14 earned by Dota 2 player Sumail Hassan in 2015.
  • The highest paid League of Legends player is currently Lee ‘Faker’ Sang Hyeok with the overall gamer salary of $ 897,818.98.
  • The highest paid esports players according to earned prizes are Dota 2 players.

Impressive stats, aren’t they?

However, please be aware that these numbers are the record numbers and are not related to average salaries – this is the money that they get from tournaments as prizes. Next, we’ll take a more detailed look at the pro gamer salaries and see what they actually include.

So how do esports teams make money?

  • Prizes – In the US, some top prizes can reach $ 100,000 to $ 200,000 for a single victory. Some tournaments offer prize pools that can reach millions of dollars, but this amount is typically divided among the 5 or 6 members of a winning team. For example, in 2017 Dota 2 International hosted a $ 24,787,916 million prize pool, with $10,862,683 for the first place won by team Liquid. With that in mind, a pro gamer has to take a first place in at least one major tournament.
  • Regular salaries – Regular esports salaries vary from team to team and from player to player. The regular monthly salaries of average pro gamers can range from $1,000 to $5,000, whereas the highest paid League of Legends players can earn up to $15,000 per month apart from the money that they get from prizes. In December 2015 Ember, the North American League of Legends team, was the first organization that publicly disclosed the player salaries. These salaries are based on factors such as skills, reputation and social following. The professional gamer salary for Ember players ranges from $65,000 to $75,000, with extra bonuses that can reach up to $27,000. Ember has its players on payroll as employees rather than contractors and even offers health insurance.
  • Sponsors – A big part of a professional gamer income comes from sponsors. Pro gaming tournament sponsors are mainly manufacturers of game peripherals such as mice and headphones (Intel, BenQ) as well as energy drinks (Red Bull, Monster Energy). However, organizations that are not related to gaming can also become sponsors. For example, in January 2017 Audi became a sponsor of the Astralis team of Counter Strike players, with the sponsorship value of $ 750,000.
  • Streaming – Many esports pros use online streaming as a way to supplement their pro gamer salary. A Twitch streamer with 2,000 subscribers can earn an extra $5,000 a month. Subscribing to a Twitch stream costs $4.99 per month, and the streamer gets half of that money. Streamers can also monetize their streams with ads and take donations from viewers.

Other careers in Esports that do not involve playing include the following positions:

  • Host/broadcaster, with an average salary of $700 – $1,000 per broadcast
  • Coach, with an average salary of $69,000 – $83,750 a year
  • Journalist, with an average salary of $32,000 a year
  • Sales and marketing specialist, with an average salary of $90,000 a year
  • Coordinator, with an average rate of $21 per hour
  • Social media/community manager, with an average salary of $25,000 a year
  • Event manager, with an average salary varying from $20,000 to $40,000 a year, depending on the event

If your children are interested in Esports, we will give you a couple of tips and tricks:

  1. Encourage their hobby – If you see that your child is showing interest in gaming, do not throw sand in their wheels. Remember that one day your son or daughter can become a professional esports player, and your support is crucial for their success.
  2. Support their willingness to participate in youth tournaments – Local tournaments are a starting point for a beginner esports player, so, if possible, invest some funds into gaming related events that your child can attend.
  3. Consider participating in a summer training camp – Summer camps aren’t just for physical athletes. Esports communities are popping up all over, and one of the avenues is through summer camps.

At JKCP, we are happy to invite all young gamers to our NSG Academy summer camp in Philadelphia with residential life at Villanova University. N3rd Street Gamers (NSG) is an esports network that serves semi-professional and beginner gamers.

NSG provides the gamer communities with venue space, hardware, tournament administration, and broadcast services.

The camp will help the kids to develop the following important skills:

  • Motivation
  • Decision making
  • Teamwork
  • Focus
  • Mental toughness
  • Productive thinking
  • Self-confidence
  • Perceptual-cognitive skills
  • Personal development

The activities will be as follows:

  • Mornings will include recreational play with professional instruction.
  • Afternoons will include both interactive lecture series focusing on career exploration activities and how much do professional gamers make within the ecosystem of esports and tournament training/competition.

The students will have a chance to gain experience in a range of games like DOTA 2, Overwatch, Starcraft, Rocket League, and many more. During each session, the students and instructors will choose their favorite games and train for a final tournament.

Besides, the students will get an insight into industry giants such as:

  • Riot Games
  • Tencent
  • Activision Blizzard
  • Valve
  • Electronic Arts

So now you know the answer to the questions “how much do gamers make” and “how to get into the industry”. Now your task is to support your child on the way to becoming a pro gamer. Contact us today to learn more about our esports training camp.

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