How Much Do Professional Esports Players Make? – Beginners Guide

Isaac Fernandez

Esports may be a new term to some, but to others, it describes a fascinating world of competitive video gaming. 

Many adolescents and teens have spent a large portion of their younger years playing video games. As video games and game consoles have evolved light years ahead of their Pac Man and Donkey Kong roots, a whole world of professionals evolved – those who design more realistic and engaging video games. And now, the gaming industry has spawned a new career, the pro gamer. 

Esports, and pro gamers who play them, have become popular across the U.S., China, South Korea, and the Nordic countries, mainly due to the personalities of the players and the skilled broadcasting talent that describes the talent and gameplays to viewers worldwide. Viewers are typically avid gamers themselves, and they enjoy watching the skills of players’ team strategy, target tracking, and map awareness, as well as other fine points of the game.

Read on to learn more about how to become a professional gamer (a professional esports competitor) and some ideas of what a  pro gamer salary might look like.

What Is a Pro Gamer? 

What Is a Pro Gamer?

A pro gamer is a person whose profession is playing video games. Gaming is their full-time job. So how do they make their money? Well, they play competitively and are normally paid by sponsors or a team that backs them to compete in esports tournaments held around the world.

These tournaments typically offer big cash prizes for winners. When we’re talking big, we are talking in the millions. One of the most lucrative pots is the League of Legends World Championship, in which the last reported season’s total prize pool was $2,225,000. Prize money like this, which is split between members of the winning teams, is typically the bulk of a pro gamer’s earnings. 

How Much Do Pro Gamers Make?  

So, with such big total amounts being up for grabs by the winners, what are realistic esports earnings? Well, unlike some football players and other pro athletes, the top esports celebrities don’t make millions individually. Here are some of the high-end figures:

  • The richest gamer, Kuro Takhasomi, has a net worth of about $4.2 million, and top players may make several million dollars per year. 
  • One of the younger gamers at 20, Anathan Pham, earned well over $3.14 million in 2019.
  • The average base income of highly paid League of Legends pro is between $75,000 and $300,000 a year, which is nothing to sneeze at.
  • As a sample of earnings,  Peter “Doublelift” Peng, at 26, has increased his earnings every year by several thousand, and at last standing ranks 85th in the U.S. His 2018 earnings were $117,815.

How to Become a Pro Gamer

Though most parents would shudder at this as a career choice, it’s a dream job for some, as the thrill and intricacy of video games can be addictive. When searching for how much do pro gamers make, you usually get the highest outliers for the field.

Note that the field has been dominated by males, but there are female gamers. They are sometimes called a “gamer girl,” but as notes, this is sometimes a derogatory slang term to denote what is also called “gamer gurls,” or “fake gamer girls,” slamming the undesirable trait of women who are suspected of faking an interest in video games to attract male gamers. If this is your desired field, girls, don’t let this deter you.

Pick Your Game

In order to excel, just as in any sport, you need to concentrate your energies and skill in a particular game that is played professionally.

Join My Gaming Career 

This is the Facebook and LinkedIn of gamers. It’s the largest social networking site that’s for gamers. Here you can chat, watch, and your friends’ streams directly from a newsfeed or group.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Constantly playing your game of choice and learning from pros on additional sites like and will help you hone your winning skills. 

Start Streaming

Just like the pros who you’ll be learning from, you need to get on sites like the above live streaming sites, as well as consider creating your own YouTube channel. With streaming, you play live while subscribers pay to watch. With YouTube, you can build a following and upload your own best moves and tips. Some people never become pro gamers, and are pro streamers instead, where the money comes from donations, advertisements like banner ads, and affiliate income.

Go to Local Gaming Events

What Is eSports and Why Is It So Popular Now?

This will get you familiar with events and allow you to connect with others, as well as learn how to play in front of a crowd. You will also learn more about how tournaments work and rules. This is pretty much mandatory though you can also hone your game online. 

Hone Your Game and Get a Following/Sponsor

You will probably need to join a team at some point to be a professional gamer.

Keep Your Balance and Your Perspective

To keep your edge, you need to find balance in your life. Don’t shut out family and friends who aren’t a part of the gaming world. Learn to keep your cool and your temper and get some physical exercise as well as enough sleep and a balanced diet.


Now you know the answers to what is a gamer and a bit about how to be a gamer. Be aware it’s similar to trying to become an actor. There’s no way you will know for sure that you will become one of the most successful players in the field.  It takes a combination of talent, celebrity, and luck. It’s always a good idea to have a plan B, just in case.

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