How Much Do Professional Gamers Make? The Shocking Answer

on 10/24/2013 - 09:04 pm

How Much Do Professional Gamers Make?


With the rise of competitive gaming, a new way to make money has emerged. That’s right; people are actually getting paid to be play video games. There has been an increase of gamers trying to make the cut to be the best of the best. Out of the millions of gamers, only a few ever actually make a profit out of it. The question is: how much are they making, and can you actually make a living out of it?

Professional Gamers Salaries

It’s hard to believe gaming has got to be so popular that you can actually earn money off of it. Although most don’t, let’s see what the top players in the world are making.

  • Most pro gamers don’t get paid like the normal working man, it’s not a job where you receive x amount of dollars for y amount of hours worked. Those who do get paid a normal salary earn about 30-40k a year, some even reaching upwards of 50k.
  • To earn a six figure income off of gaming, you’re going to have to win some serious tournaments. Those who do win tournaments make anywhere from 50,000 to 1 million dollars. Not bad! Remember, these earnings are as a team, not per player.
  • The games with the highest cash prizes at the moment are Starcraft 2, League of Legends, and Dota 2.
  • The highest paid gamer is Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel who has earned a whopping $454,544.98 from 35 tournaments. 

Does that mean I can quit my day job?

Well, sure. You can do whatever you want. However, I highly recommend against it. Throwing away your job to become a professional gamer is… risky at best.

You have to consider the fact that the top players in the world are making six figures. These top players are about .01% of the whole gaming community.

If you think being semi-pro or playing in small tournaments is the way to go, I’m sorry to disappoint you. Unfortunately, gamers under the professional level make significantly less from tournaments and do not earn a salary. You’ll be lucky to win a $5,000 dollar prize to split with your team, and you better be damn good to win again.

A good thing to think about: Games are ever changing. The money will follow the popularity of the game. If League of Legends falls off, pro LoL players won’t be making much money anymore. They can go to a new game, sure, but just because you are good at one game doesn’t mean that you are good at another.

Quitting your job just isn’t the smartest move. If you want to make money gaming, I suggest you keep your day job and play on the side. See if you are any good, then enter some tournaments.

Otherwise, blindly following a dream out of belief that you are a great gamer is a sure way to end up in the cardboard box down the block asking for change.


Writer: Tjark Hartmann

Artwork by Denis Avdeev/Visit Artist

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