How Much Does Esports Make?

How much does esports make? This is a question that is often asked by those new to the industry. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, we can provide some general guidelines.


With the recent surge in popularity of esports, many people are interested in learning more about the industry and its potential earnings. While there is no simple answer to the question of how much does esports make, this guide will give you a better understanding of the different ways that professional gamers can generate income.

There are a few different types of esports tournaments, each with its own prize pool. The largest and most prestigious events offering the largest prizes are typically sponsored by companies interested in promoting their brand to the gaming community. These events usually have several tiers of competition, with the lower tiers offering smaller prizes and the upper tiers offering large cash prizes. In addition to these company-sponsored tournaments, there are also many independent tournaments that gamers can enter. These tournaments usually have smaller prize pools, but they can still be quite lucrative for top-level players.

In addition to tournament winnings, professional gamers can also generate income through sponsorships and streaming contracts. Many gaming companies offer sponsored content creator programs that provide gamers with a steady income in exchange for promoting their products on their channels. These programs typically involve signing a contract that outlines the terms of the agreement, such as how often the gamer must stream and what types of content they are expected to produce. Streaming platforms like Twitch also offer partnership programs that give streamers a share of the revenue generated from advertisements played on their channels.

How Much Do Esports Players Make?

Prize money is not the only way that esports players can make money. Some players are signed to esports organizations, similar to how traditional sports teams sign players. These organizations provide a salary for the player to compete on their behalf, as well as a share of any tournament winnings. Players can also stream their gameplay on platforms like Twitch and Youtube, and generate income through donations and advertisements.

The Highest-Paid Players

ESports is a rapidly growing industry with immense potential. The global esports market is expected to generate $1.1 billion in revenue in 2019, according to Newzoo, and that number is expected to more than double by 2022.

With such impressive growth, it’s no surprise that many of the world’s top athletes are turning to esports. The average salary for an esports player is $60,000 per year, according to a report from Forbes. However, the top players can make significantly more than that.

The highest-paid player in 2018 was Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, who earned more than $10 million from tournament winnings, sponsorships, and Twitch subscriptions. He was followed by Johan “N0tail” Sundstein, who made $6 million, and Sebastian “Ceb” Debs, who earned $5.5 million.

While these salaries are impressive, they pale in comparison to the salaries of traditional athletes. For example, LeBron James earned $35.65 million in salary and endorsements in 2018, while Cristiano Ronaldo made $61 million from salary and endorsements. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the esports industry is still in its infancy; as it continues to grow, we can expect to see players’ salaries increase significantly.

The Average Salary

According to reports from CNN and Newzoo, the average esports player salary in 2018 was $60,000 per year. The median salary was even higher, at $80,000. These figures are for salaried players only and do not include prize money or sponsorship deals.

The gap between the top earners and everyone else is huge. The top 20% of esports players earn more than $118,000 per year. The top 10% earn more than double that – an eye-watering $213,000 on average.

These figures are just averages, of course. In reality, salaries vary widely depending on the game, the team, the country, and the player’s individual achievements. Some players will make much more than the average, while others will make less.

Prize Money

While many athletes in traditional sports face a wide variety of salaries, the vast majority of esports pro gamers make their money through prize pools. These are large sums of money that are collected by the game developers and given to the top-performing teams at various gaming competitions. The largest prize pool to date was over 34 million dollars for the game Dota 2. While this may seem like a large amount of money, it is important to keep in mind that these prize pools are usually split among five players on a team. The largest individual prize ever awarded was $3 million dollars to PlayerUnknown himself for his victory at the 2017 PUBG Global Invitational.

How Much Do Esports Organizations Make?

Esports organizations make a lot of money through different means. Some of their revenue comes from sponsorships, while other revenue comes from tournament winnings. Some of the biggest organizations in the world, such as Cloud9 and Team Liquid, are worth millions of dollars. In this article, we’ll delve into how much money esports organizations make.


Revenue for esports organizations comes from a variety of sources, the most common being sponsorships, advertising, and merchandise sales. In 2018, the total revenue of the esports industry was $906 million dollars and it is expected to grow to $1.65 billion by 2021.

Sponsorships make up the majority of revenue for most organizations, with some of the largest companies in the world sponsoring teams. For example, T-Mobile is a sponsor of SKT Telecom T1, one of the most successful League of Legends teams in the world. In addition to traditional sponsorship deals, some esports organizations have partnerships with game developers and publishers. For example, 100 Thieves has a partnership with Riot Games, the developer of League of Legends, which gives the organization a share of revenue from in-game purchases made by 100 Thieves fans.

Advertising is another significant source of revenue for esports organizations. Many brands see esports as an effective way to reach millennials and Gen Z audiences who are difficult to reach through traditional channels. Esports organizations sell advertising space on their websites and social media platforms, as well as during live events and broadcasts. For example, overlays and billboards are commonly seen during professional League of Legends matches.

Finally, merchandise sales are a key source of revenue for many smaller esports organizations. Fans can purchase team jerseys, hats, hoodies, and other apparel from their favorite teams’ online stores. Some organizations also sell gaming peripherals such as mice and keyboards branded with their team logo.


Much like any sport or entertainment, there are those who are purely in it for the love of the game and those who want to make a Profit. There are a few ways that Esports Organizations Make Money. The most common method is through Investments from Venture Capital firms, Brands, and even Celebrities. These investments can be in the form of cash, goods, or even equity.

Another way that these organizations Make Money is through Sponsorships. These can be from the same type of firms and brands that invest but also from Tournament Organizers, Streaming Services, and even other Esports Organizations. These sponsorships usually come in the form of cash but can also be in goods or services.

The third way these organizations make money is through Player Salaries and Winnings from Tournaments and Leagues. The most common way this revenue is generated is through Prize Pools which are put up by Tournament Organizers, Game Publishers, or a mix of both. Players will then compete for a portion of this prize pool which is usually distributed to the top finishers of the event. For example, The International 2019 had a prize pool of over 34 million dollars with the first-place team taking home over 15 million dollars.

The final way that esports organizations generate revenue is through Merchandise sales. This can be anything from T-shirts to Hoodies to even mouse pads and keyboards with an organization’s logo on it. Players will also often sell their own branded merchandise as well.

How Much Do Esports Tournaments Make?

Esports tournaments can make a lot of money. The International, for example, is an annual Dota 2 tournament that has a prize pool of over $24 million. That’s a lot of money! But, how much do other esports tournaments make? Let’s take a look.

The Largest Tournaments

What is the prize pool for The International?
The International is an annual Dota 2 tournament hosted by Valve Corporation. The first edition took place in Cologne, Germany in August 2011, and has since been held annually. As of 2019, the largest prize pool in esports history is $34.3 million dollars, which was awarded at The International 2019.

The Average Tournament

The average Dota 2 tournament has a prize pool of $1.6 million. The largest Dota 2 tournament to date was The International 2017, which had a prize pool of $24.8 million. The average League of Legends tournament has a prize pool of $2.5 million. The largest League of Legends tournament to date was the 2015 World Championship, which had a prize pool of $6.7 million.

How Much Do Esports Sponsors Make?

The world of esports is growing rapidly, with more and more brands and organizations looking to get involved in the competitive gaming space. But just how much money is involved in esports?

According to a report from Newzoo, the global esports economy will be worth $696 million in 2017, with that number expected to grow to $1.5 billion by 2020. Of that $696 million, $358 million will come from sponsorship deals between brands and esports organizations.

So how much do esports sponsors make? That depends on a number of factors, including the size of the organization, the game being played, and the region where the tournament is taking place. For example, ESL One Cologne – one of the most popular Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournaments – had a prize pool of $1 million in 2016. The winning team took home $500,000 of that prize pool, while first and second place each received $150,000.

In general, though, most sponsors will give anywhere from a few thousand dollars to a few hundred thousand dollars to an esports organization. The amount of money an organization can make from sponsorships will depend on its reach, its popularity, and its success in competition.


After taking a look at all of the factors involved in Esports, it is safe to say that the industry is making a lot of money. However, exactly how much money is difficult to say. This is because the revenue streams for Esports are constantly changing and evolving. Additionally, there are a lot of different interpretations of what “counts” as Esports revenue. Nonetheless, it is clear that the industry is booming and that there is a lot of money to be made in Esports.

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