Gaming as a Career?

8 months ago Triangle 0

Written by: Jonathan Ecarma, staff writer

Ten years ago, gaming couldn’t be a career. It was just a hobby. But gaming has grown. With yearly prize pools for a single game, being as much as $100,000,000. It’s more than just a career to some people. It’s their life.

Even though professional gaming (eSports) has been around for more than 20 years, but in the last five years, professional gaming overall has seen exponential growth. The viewership numbers have doubled, and more and more organizations are investing in the industry. The biggest eSports event had 45,000 attendees and 27 million watching online.

Multi-million dollar companies such as FaZe Clan, Team Liquid and Cloud9 have all invested in eSports. They have professional teams in games such as Fortnite, League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. KuroKy, an eSports player from Germany, earned over $4,000,000 from the 90 tournaments he’s participated in. This doesn’t include monthly salary or money from sponsors.

Celebrities such as Shaquille O’Neal, Jennifer Lopez and Michael Strahan are investors in NRG Esports, a North-American organization based in California. They have teams in games such as Fortnite, Counter Strike: Global-Offensive and Overwatch.

Even the largest online retailer, is investing in gaming. Twitch, a streaming platform for gamers, was purchased by Amazon for $970 million in 2014. People stream their live gameplay through Twitch. Streamers make money through donations and subscribers. Subscribers are people that pay a fee to support that streamer monthly.

Some of the bigger streamers, such as Ninja, shroud and summit1g can make $50,000, to $500,000 a month through subscribers alone. Donations can vary, with some being as small as $1 and others as large as $50,000.

Many gamers have been noticed on Twitch, by eSports organizations. One streamer in particular, shroud, made his name through his skill in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. He began streaming in 2012, and he joined Cloud9, in 2014. Cloud9 is an North American eSports organization based in California. He played Counter-Strike: Global Offensive at a top tier for four years. Shroud competed in the biggest tournaments at the time, then shroud retired from professional Counter-Strike in 2018. Today, shroud makes a living off of streaming on Twitch. He averages 35,000 viewers per stream. In August, shroud made over $130,000 from subscribers alone.

Gaming is a controversial topic. People can see it as a major waste of time or something that’s simply stupid. But for some people, it’s something they love. And a few of those people are making a career out of it.


Jonathan Ecarma is a dual-enrollment student who cheers for Cloud9.