What if I tell you that you can actually get paid to play video games? Yes, that’s the reality. This is for all the gamers out there.
eSports and live streaming have revolutionized the world of gaming and entertainment. eSports, also known as “competitive gaming,” has a surge in popularity, attracting millions of players and viewers worldwide.
Moreover, eSports has become a professional industry by introducing international LAN events, league events, and high-stake tournaments. It comprises various game titles across genres like MOBAs, FPS, RTS, and fighting games.
eSports players earn a substantial income through sponsorship, prize money, and salaries. Tournaments like Worlds (League of Legends), Valorant Champions, and CS Majors have drawn a massive audience with a significant prize pool.
Alternatively, with the emergence of platforms like Youtube and Twitch, live streaming has transformed the way of gaming content consumption. These platforms allow streamers to stream their gameplay live to the audience and interact with viewers in real-time.
This has created ample opportunities for creators to showcase their skills, entertain audiences and build a dedicated community. Streamers can earn significantly from streaming on various platforms, selling merchandise and gear, subscriptions, donations, and collaborations.
Average earning potential by playing video games
A gaming streamer’s or eSports’ earnings can vary widely depending upon various factors, but here are some rough estimates based on available industry data.
➡️ Beginner Streamers: A streamer who just started recently and doesn’t have a large audience or significant sponsorships may earn between $50 to $1,500 or more monthly. These streamers earn this income from donations, subscriptions, and ad revenue during streaming.
➡️ Intermediate Streamer: As a streamer gains popularity and builds a more prominent and engaging community, their earnings increase significantly. These streamers may earn $2,500 or more per month. These earnings include donations, subscriptions, ad revenue, sponsorships, and merchandise sales.
➡️ Established Streamers: Streamers who have partnered with platforms through exclusive contracts and have established significant following can earn higher incomes. These streamers may earn from $3,000 to $5,000 monthly. Streamers with celebrity stature may earn even millions per stream or more. Their earning sources include collaborations, donations, sponsorships, ad revenues, merchandise sales, and more.
For eSports Players
➡️ Beginner eSports Player: Entry-level eSports players with little experience who compete in smaller-scale tournaments may earn a few hundred dollars a month. They earn from occasional prize money or small sponsorships, but it might not be a consistent source of earning.
➡️ Semi-Professional Player: As players progress and reach a semi-professional level, they earn more. Players in this tier play events that are regional or low-tier tournaments. These players earn anywhere around $3000 monthly through prize money, team salary, and sponsorships.
➡️ Professional eSports Player: Professional eSports players who compete at the top level of competitive gaming, and play in major tournaments and leagues, earn a significant amount. These players earn from $7,000 to $10,000 or more per month. Professional eSports players earn this amount from team salaries, tournament winnings, sponsorship deals, and streaming revenue.
➡️ Top-Tier eSports Player: These highest-earning eSports players play in international and most prestigious tournaments in their respective games. These players are often top performers in their team or league. They earn anywhere from tens to hundreds of thousands or millions per year. On average, they earn approximately $26,000 per month or more. The primary income source of these players is large prize pools and lucrative sponsorship deals and endorsements.
Now that you’re aware of how much eSports players and streamers can earn from gaming, it’s time to know how you can join them as well. Below, you’ll find various methods of earning money while playing your favorite games!
Live stream on Twitch
Twitch is one of the premier platforms for streaming games, live music, and much more. It was launched in June 2011 and is an Amazon subsidiary. Moreover, Twitch is home to a wide variety of professional players and content creators that stream on this platform for their fans.
Thousands of fans tune in to watch their favorite entertainer cracking heads and jokes simultaneously or for those super flashy one-taps from professional players. Furthermore, according to a report, it is one of the highest-paying streaming platforms in the world, along with a 67% market share in content hours.
Streaming on Twitch is one of the main ways to earn money. To stream games on Twitch, you need a suitable device (laptop, gaming station, mobile, etc.) and good internet.
Steps on how to start streaming on Twitch
- Create a Twitch Account
- Set up Broadcasting Software (e.g., OBS Studio, Streamlabs obs)
- Configure the software (Stream Key, Video and Audio Settings, Scene Setup)
- Test your stream
- Go live on Twitch
- Engage with your audience
Video Game Journalist
Video game journalism is the way to go if you enjoy learning and sharing about different games and their eSports. This is booming currently due to the growth of video games and eSports. Moreover, there needs to be more quality journalism in gaming.
Building a career in this category requires perseverance, passion, and a commitment to continuous learning. Moreover, to reach the peak, you must have a strong reputation, deliver quality content, and be a reliable and respected voice in the gaming community.
Skills Required to Become a Video Game Journalist
- Develop strong writing and communication skills
- Gain knowledge and explore video games
- Study journalism and mass media
- Build a portfolio
- Network and connect with industry professionals and content creators
- Start writing and pitching
- Seek internships or entry-level positions
- Adapt to multimedia journalism
- Stay informed and evolve
Start your own Gaming YouTube Channel
Twitch has been at the forefront of gaming but at the same time, YouTube caters to a bigger and broader audience. YouTube was launched in February 2005 and is now one of the world’s most notable streaming and video-on-demand platforms. Many YouTubers have made a fortune out of streaming games on the platform. Furthermore, it lets you post images, shorts, and videos on your channel.
Steps on how to stream on YouTube
- Set up your YouTube Account (Google Account)
- Create a YouTube Channel
- Customize your channel with customized branding, artwork, and a description.
- Enable live streaming:
- To stream on YouTube, you first need to verify your account by clicking on your profile picture, going to “YouTube Studio,” selecting “Settings,” then navigating to the “Channel” tab and clicking on “Verify.”
- Follow the instructions to complete the verification.
- Prepare your equipment:
- Ensure you have a gaming PC or console, a microphone for commentary, a webcam (optional), and streaming software (OBS Studio or Streamlabs OBS)
- Configure streaming software:
- Open OBS Studio and click on “Settings.”
- Under the “Stream” section, select “YouTube” as the streaming service.
- Under “Settings” > “Stream” > “Stream Key,” enter the YouTube stream key that can be found on YouTube Studio. Once all settings are done, click start streaming.
And you’re ready to rock and roll!
Critical Points for Growth on YouTube
- Choose your gaming genre wisely
- Create a content schedule
- Engage with your audience
- Optimize thumbnails and titles
- Collaborate and network
- Stay consistent and persistent
Host a Gaming Podcast
Gaming Podcast is one of the newest gaming market trends, similar to traditional sports. They are attracting new eyeballs to the game and eSports scenario. eSports and gaming enthusiasts like to watch experts talk about the new changes in the game, current meta, team performances, and much more. Gaming podcasts are comparable to the traditional pre and post-shows on match days. However, podcasts allow us to discuss these topics in depth.
Basic Requirements for Gaming Podcasts
- Define your genre of gaming
- Choose the format for the show
- Plan and research the topics
- Get equipment and software needed for the show
- Define scripts and show structure
- Create an engaging presentation
- Edit and post-process the podcast video
- Host and distribute the show
Skills Required for a Gaming Podcast
- Gaming knowledge
- Communication skills
- Research skills
- Interviewing skills
- Editing and audio production
- Marketing and promotion
Create a Gaming Website
With the rise in esports and the gaming industry, viewers need information regarding their favorite team, player, or event. Thus, there has been a significant surge in websites regarding all this information.
These websites typically include eSports coverage and updates, Community forums and discussions, Game release calendars and reviews, Gaming industry news, and more. You can earn by your website’s number of impressions or visitors and by selling advertisement spots.
Critical Skills for Creating a Gaming Website
- Web design and Graphic design
- Content creation
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Video production and editing
- Social media management
- Analytical skills
- Community management
- Monetization strategies
- Gaming industry knowledge
Gaming Writer or Gaming Guide Writer
If you love playing and exploring video games or the adrenaline rush of watching eSports, you should try a career as a writer or guide. Millions of people play video games daily, and thousands get stuck on some in-game level or the other. Thus, a video game guide career is a great option, creating a guide on how to get past a level and unlock additional skills, tips, tricks, etc. It allows you to earn real money from your gaming knowledge.
Alternatively, if you like trying new games, you should try game introduction articles, writing reviews, and feedback articles. However, to grow in this area, you need a publication house to publish your articles. At the very beginning, you can always start by publishing it on your blogs and socials; following that, you can apply for an internship or part-time job at a publication house.
Skills for a Gaming writer/guide
- Gaming knowledge
- Communication skills
- Research skills
- Writing skills
- Strong vocabulary
- Game proficiency
How to publish your writings?
- Choose a platform that suits you
- Set up your website/blog
- Select article topics
- Research the topic
- Plan and outline the entire blog/article
- Write and edit to perfection
- Add visuals to attract readers
- Format and publish
Video Game Coach
If you possess an in-depth knowledge of video games, you should try a career as a coach. Coaches are the second most important pillar of any team. A coach is a professional responsible for training and guiding the players individually and the team. They provide personalized instruction to players by analyzing previous game plays.
Moreover, they help the players level up their skills and specialize in a role that perfectly suits the player and the team, contributing to the team’s overall development in competitive gaming.
Skills Required to be a Coach
- Game knowledge
- Good communication skills
- Analytical thinking
- Leadership and team management
- Emotional intelligence
- Strategy development
- Organization and time management
- Continuous learning
Video Game Tester
If you love exploring new video games, why not earn money while doing so? Pursuing a career as a video games tester could be what you’re looking for. A video game tester is an individual who is responsible for testing the game extensively under a controlled environment and reporting bugs and glitches in the game to the developer.
Moreover, specific guidelines and documentation need to be followed during the testing. If we talk about the financial expectation, testers are typically paid on an hourly or contract basis. Moreover, the payment structure varies from company to company and region.
Skills Required to be a Tester
- Attention to detail
- Patience and perseverance
- Problem-solving abilities
- Good communication skills
- Knowledge of gaming
- Technical aptitude
- Teamwork and collaboration
Equipment Required as a Tester
- Gaming consoles, personal computers, or mobile devices
- Controllers and input devices (Razer Wolverine, SteelSeries Stratus, etc.)
- Audio and visual equipment (Headphones, Display)
- Bug tracking and reporting tools (Jira, TestRail, etc.)
- Stable internet connection
- Controlled testing environment
Start Competing in Gaming Tournaments
If you are good at a game, with the required mental strength or mechanical skills, then you should try out a career as an eSports player/athlete. An eSports player is an individual who participates in an organized competitive gaming environment as a solo player or as a team. These players possess exceptional skills, expertise, and knowledge in specific video games and compete against each other in a competitive environment.
eSports players often specialize in specific games, such as Valorant, League of Legends, Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Fortnite, Overwatch, and more. They earn the most out of all the career options listed in this article; hence, new players emerge each day.
Skills of a Good eSports Player
- Mechanical skills (Hand-eye coordination, reflex, muscle memory, etc.)
- In-depth game knowledge
- Communication and teamwork
- Critical decision-making
- Strategic thinking
- Mental resilience
- Communication and media skills
Selling merchandise is a great way to earn a hefty amount of cash. The merchandise selling consists of 3 options – as an eSports/content organization, content creator, or a third-party seller. If you are part of an eSports organization or owner of an organization, you can sell your personalized kit consisting of jerseys, gear, etc.
On the other hand, if you are an individual or group of content creators, you can sell unique clothing and gear that represents you. If you want to sell as a third party, you must receive trademark rights from the owner to sell merchandise with their logo. The merchandise market is currently growing into a massive business on its own.
Significant Requirements of a Merchandising Business
- Licensing and Intellectual Property (Obtain necessary permissions and licenses to use branding or logos)
- Special attention to quality and design
- Compliance with rules and regulations
- Production and inventory
- Sell on online stores or e-commerce websites
- Put efforts into branding and promotion
- Licensing and partnerships
- 24×7 customer support
Sell in-game items
Selling in-game items is a practice of trading or selling virtual items in a virtual world for either goods, virtual currency, or actual currency in return. Players buy or sell virtual items using in-game resources or real-world currencies, depending on the game’s mechanics and rules.
However, account selling is prohibited by most gaming publishers, and trading of in-game items depends on the rules and regulations set by the publisher and the government of your country/region. At the same time, earning money by selling in-game items can be a viable option for gamers.
Critical points to Sell in-game items
- Understand the game’s economy
- Acquire valuable items in the game
- Research marketplaces to sell
- Determine competitive prices
- Create attractive listings for the items
- Promote your listings on socials
- Secure transaction methods
- Maintain a positive reputation
- Stay informed
Earning money by playing video games has become a viable career option for many individuals, and it can be a remunerative source of income. With the rise of eSports and live streaming, players with a high skill ceiling can earn money through sponsorships, tournament winnings, subscriptions, donations, and ad revenue.
Earning of these streamers and eSports players depends on various aspects. However, a successful gaming streamer or eSports player with a dedicated fan base can earn from modest to significant amounts. Moreover, there is primary room for earning by choosing one of the above-listed career options, be it a tester, journalist, or anything else. Playing video games has become a feasible career path for those with the talent and dedication to succeed.
To get started, why not check out the best battle royale games for a taste of online gaming?
Dhruv is an enthusiastic content writer and passionate gamer developing content around latest games, tricks, and techniques to rule the gaming world. Other than gaming, he likes to talk about Freelancing, Personal Branding, and LinkedIn… read more