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PROs, gaming and cash - are they making a living?

Creator: thecakemonsterst March 7, 2013 1:08pm
thecakemonsterst's Forum Avatar
May 18th, 2012
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Hi guys,

I am going to hit straigh to the point - how much does the professional gamers make? (monthly/ per event) taking LoL as the best example. I am talking about European and US teams - Fnatic, AAA, SK.Gaming, Curse Gaming, Gambit, Evil, Solo, CLG, GG Uni etc.
This question has been a while now on my mind now. I am asking this not only out of pure curiosity but also because some years ago my ambition was 'wannabepro' as probably some of you. I'd love to hear your feedback, things you heard and maybe talked with the pros about. I'd like to know if you could actually make a living out of it in EU/ US. Any bounding craziness in the contracts? Thank guys, let's chat a little and hit the game. Have a good one.
Xaioli's Forum Avatar
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Sep 11th, 2010
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Well see how much they win from tournaments. Divide by 5, apply taxes if applicable. Does the sponsor take any cut? Do they make money from streaming/lessons/donations? Also if they're in LCS, they'red salaried by Riot.

That's pretty much it >_<

edit: forgot to say lcs salaried teams are obviously salaried.

Luther3000's Forum Avatar
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Jun 24th, 2011
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^ I believe LCS teams are getting a regular salary directly from Riot now. As far as I know they exclusively play LoL for a living and they live in giant mansions so I guess they're doing pretty well. In order to make that much though I imagine you have to be the best of the best.

There's also someone like Guardsman Bob who is not a pro player but earns enough money from streaming that he quit his day job.
H4xDefender's Forum Avatar
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Nov 20th, 2011
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LCS teams have a steady salary, normally you can't really live off tournament salary unless you are REALLY good and can consistently place high in LANs.
DuffTime's Forum Avatar
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Oct 31st, 2010
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The real money for most of these guys is in the streaming. Ad revenue is generally between 2-5 dollars per ad, per 1,000 viewers (It varies depending on where your viewerbase is and what ads they see etc.)

The important part is that the viewer cannot use adblock or they will not see the ad and the streamer will not be payed.

So let's just do the math, we can assume that about half of the listed viewers have adblock, it could be more, it could be less. That means if we take somebody like Phantoml0rd who gets between 3-8k viewers (We'll go with 6k for this example) will get 3k viewers worth of ads.

We'll use 3$ per 3k as our example number. That means that for every ad he plays, he makes 9$.

Let's assume he plays 3 adds every half an hour (A very regular amount, 3 ads after each game. It could be 2 ads as well, but let's say it's 3.)

That means Phantoml0rd on an average day of streaming makes 54$ an hour.

Pretty amazing huh? That means that PL probably makes just over 100k annually!

Check this out though... (Voyboy is exceptional, as his viewerbase is absurdly large)

Following the same formula, Voyboy when streaming for 42k viewers (Like he did the other night) makes 378 dollars an hour.

These numbers sound absurd but they are entirely real. A stream is not a very reliable source of income, due to adblockers, due to rises and falls in popularity and the potential for your game to go stale and your viewer pool to evaporate, etc... However if you can cash in on it for a while it can be very lucrative.

Streaming is really where the pros make their money. If somebody worked a job making half of that number I listed for what Voyboy makes, (He rarely drops below 21k viewers anymore so it's not out of the realistic possibility that he does make half of that number) then he would make 1512 dollars a day working an 8 hour shift, 7,560 dollar work weeks, 30,240 a month, 362,880 dollars annually.

Mind blown yet? Mine is.

Voyboy never has to win a tournament in his life if he keeps those kinds of numbers up.

Even if the numbers are all wrong and he makes half of what he really probably does make according to the formulas, then he still makes 181,440 dollars a year playing video games. (But he makes closer to 400k a year, maybe more, maybe less.)

(I'll be happy to change my numbers if somebody can provide factual evidence that these numbers are not correct. But I have a looot of streamer friends :> There's a reason even streamers like Vman7 and PL don't need outside sources of income and can just stream with 3-5k viewers.)
throatslasher's Forum Avatar
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Aug 21st, 2012
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I wouldn't know. I use Adblock.

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