How Gamers Profit Off Their Prowess

How Gamers Profit Off Their Prowess

It wasn’t long ago that we looked at gaming exclusively as a hobby. We played games just for fun, and that was that. While this may still be the case for the vast majority of gamers though, the nature of the hobby has shifted over time.

Now, people who are particularly skilled at or interested in gaming are beginning to treat it more like a job. This isn’t a trend that’s exclusive to some elite inner circle of famous professional gamers, either.

There is enough money floating around in gaming these days that droves of people are exploring the option of entering the arena as a profession. According to a report on CBS News, there are even colleges that are now offering degree programs in eSports, effectively allowing students to work gaming into their university education.

How Gamers Profit Off Their Prowess

The Rise of Professional Gaming

The advent of professional gaming, also known as e-sports, has been a game-changer. Skilled gamers compete in organized, multiplayer video game competitions, often with substantial cash prizes.

These events range from small local matches to international tournaments with millions of dollars at stake.

E-Sports Tournaments

Major e-sports tournaments like The International (Dota 2), the League of Legends World Championship, and the Fortnite World Cup have prize pools that rival traditional sports. Top players earn significant amounts, not only from winning these tournaments but also through sponsorships and endorsements.

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How Gamers Profit Off Their Prowess

But how do people actually end up making profits off of their gaming prowess? The truth is there are a lot of possibilities, and there will only be more moving forward. For the most part, though, four options stand out.

1. Professional eSports

Professional eSports competition is what most people think of first concerning the question of how gamers can earn a profit these days. And while this can be a tough environment to break into, there are a lot of opportunities.

Games like Dota 2, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Fortnite, and more have amassed massive communities of professional and semi-professional teams and players. As of now, most of the real money — the kind one can turn into legitimate income — is concentrated toward the top.

But for those gamers proficient in these or a few other games, the possibility of a professional career is there.

2. Sponsorships & Licensed Material

Sponsorships and licensed materials are really only just beginning to emerge among modern professional gamers. But this is another route to profits that have already proven to be fruitful among a previous generation of professional gamers.

There’s a conversation to be had about the poker pros of the 2000s really ushering in the notion of making a career in online gaming, and a number of them made fortunes in the millions.

That said, a list of the highest earners from online poker’s heyday reveals that in some cases, marketing and side businesses made these players as much money as the actual game of poker.

Sponsorships from major poker platforms and licensed side projects (like Daniel Negreanu’s PC poker game) helped them to rake in money, and modern online gamers can in some cases explore similar options.

3. Streaming

Streaming is another avenue that’s opened up particularly in the last few years for gamers seeking profits. For those who establish themselves as competitive players or even enjoyable personalities within the gaming world, there are numerous ways to make money through streaming.

These include generating ad revenue, spreading the word about merchandise or sponsored content, or in some cases even selling subscriptions to viewers.

Game Streaming to Get profits

Naturally, it takes time (and sustained success) for games to get to the point at which streaming is a serious option. But a ScreenRant piece on top game streamers reveals that the best of them can now make well over $10 million in a single year.

4. Account Sales

For lack of a better way to put it, this is a less official option. But some gamers have also found that they can make money by selling accounts for certain games.

Particularly in the mobile arena, there are a lot of RPG, fighting, and adventure-style games in which one can only truly be competitive by putting in long hours and heavy investment.

Streaming and Content Creation

The rise of streaming platforms like Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook Gaming has created a new revenue model for gamers. Gamers with charismatic personalities and high-level play skills attract large audiences, leading to substantial earnings.

Subscriptions and Donations

Streamers earn through platform subscriptions, viewer donations, and tips. Platforms like Twitch offer several monetization options, including ad revenue and subscriber-only content.

Sponsorships and Brand Deals

Popular streamers often attract sponsorships and brand deals from gaming and non-gaming companies. These can include sponsored streams, product placements, and branded content.

Video Game Testing and Development

Skilled gamers with a deep understanding of game mechanics and design are in demand as game testers and developers. Their expertise helps in refining gameplay, fixing bugs, and ensuring a quality gaming experience.

Quality Assurance Testing

Gamers can work as quality assurance (QA) testers, providing critical feedback on game functionality and user experience.

Game Development

Some gamers transition into game development, using their gaming experience to design and create new games.

Online Coaching and Guides

Experienced gamers offer coaching services to those looking to improve their skills. They create guides, tutorials, and personalized coaching sessions, catering to a wide range of skill levels.

Personalized Coaching

Gamers proficient in popular games offer one-on-one coaching sessions, often charging an hourly rate for their services.

Creating and Selling Guides

Skilled gamers create detailed guides and tutorials for specific games, which they sell on platforms like Patreon or their websites.

Affiliate Marketing and Merchandising

Gamers leverage their fan base to engage in affiliate marketing, promoting gaming products, and earning commissions on sales. Additionally, popular gamers often launch their merchandise, including apparel, accessories, and gaming gear.

Affiliate Links

Gamers use affiliate links to promote gaming products, earning a percentage of sales made through their links.

Personal Merchandise

Merchandising is another revenue stream, where gamers sell branded products to their followers.

Participating in Bet Matches and Challenges

Skilled gamers participate in bet matches and challenges, where they compete against others for money. Websites and platforms facilitate these matches, ensuring fair play and secure transactions.

Gaming Influencer Marketing

As gaming influencers, skilled players collaborate with brands to promote products, games, or services. Their influence and reach make them valuable marketing assets.

Social Media Collaborations

Gamers collaborate with brands on social media campaigns, leveraging their follower base for promotional activities.

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In some cases, gamers who have taken the time to build up strong accounts (for example, collecting top fighters in an RPG) will actually sell or auction off said accounts for cash.

It’s by no means a guaranteed or steady source of income, and those exploring this option should be mindful they’re not violating games’ terms of service. But it is one more way in which some gamers have been able to make money.

All of these have become legitimate options for modern gamers, and it’s likely that the era of professional gaming is only just beginning.


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