The esports industry is on pace to reach over $1 billion in revenue by the end of 2021. At this point, there should be no doubt that esports will be a big part of the future. Every day, more and more people are streaming their gameplay online for the world to see. Whether it’s through Twitch, YouTube Gaming, or Facebook Gaming, there’s no shortage of new platforms popping up for professional and amateur gamers to monetize their gameplay.
But if your goal is to make money and compete at a professional level, the road isn’t exactly easy. And if you’re unable to monetize your stream, then the journey can get even more difficult.
Luckily, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, earning an income as a gamer isn’t too far out of your reach! In this article, we will explore the different ways that you can generate an income through esports without stream monetization.
- Compete in Tournaments and Events
This is a great way to make money as a gamer. Public and private tournaments are a great place to start regardless of your experience. Some tournaments are free to join, while others require entry fees.
Just by taking part in local tournaments and events, you could win anything from a couple of hundred USD for small prize pots, while the pot for majors like The International can be up to $25,000,000 USD!
The more popular the game is, and the higher you rank, the more money you can win. Some of the most popular titles for tournaments are DOTA 2, Fortnite, League of Legends (LoL), and Counter Strike:Global Offensive (CS:GO). While these games will offer the most events to choose from, plenty of other games offer events with prize pools available.
With luck and talent, you might be picked up by professional Esports teams where you can make a decent living not only by winning but through sponsorship and merchandising opportunities as well. On average, professional players make around $25 per hour, and if you are good enough, you can expect to earn anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000 USD per year!
- Become a Bodyguard for Other Players (And Carrying)
With the skyrocketing popularity of online open-world games like Rust, Fallout, and Ark, there has been an increasing demand for protective services. Players can rent themselves out as bodyguards to protect players and prevent griefing from other players.
Tasks as a game bodyguard include shielding your client from enemy fire, locating objectives/items for your client, or guiding them around the map. All in the name of making sure that your client survives!
Additionally, many online games provide an opportunity for providing “Carries” to lower-skilled players. This can take a number of different forms, but essentially a carry is someone that can help boost a player’s ranking and/or gear by playing for or with them.
If you are considering working as a personal bodyguard, or providing carries, you can advertise your skills on websites like Fiverr, game forums, and in-game. In some cases, you might even want to build out your own website and begin offering it as a professional service.
- Get Paid to Test Games
Playtesting is one of the most common jobs in the Esports industry. Games go through numerous phases of development before they’re released. Because of this, video game firms frequently rely on outside input from individuals who aren’t directly involved with the development to tell them what works and doesn’t.
With no formal training required, it is a great entry-level position for beginners in the business where you can make anywhere between $10 to $58 USD an hour. However, your pay will depend on how many platforms you’re testing on (the more platforms, the more opportunities there will be) as well as the nature of the job and whether it’s contract work or salary-based.
Your responsibility as a playtester is to examine everything the developer wants you to look at. You play through a variety of designs, character builds, levels, and modes, most commonly to report any bugs or errors that arise to keep the game fresh. But this can extend even further to reporting on the feel of the game and how enjoyable it is to play.
Often, you’ll be required to attempt to “break” the game in order to see where things might go wrong for a user, playing the game until you can’t find any issues.
Who knows? You might even find a gap in the market and develop your own game, too! (Jokes aside, you can make money from that, too!)
- Esports Game Coaching
When streaming isn’t an option, another similar and fun way to earn money as an Esports player is becoming a gaming coach! You still get to add value for newbies in exchange for money, on your terms, playing your favorite game.
If you can coach the more popular games like DOTA 2, Fortnite, LoL, and CS:GO, etc you’ll be able to charge higher rates. But the average rates are between $30 and $60 USD hourly, depending on your level of skill.
Because this is a billion-dollar business, there’s quite a big list of platforms to choose from to offer your Esports coaching services. Places like Fiverr, Gamer Coach, Gamer Sensei, and ProGuides are all a great way to get started. But you can also find game coaching jobs on Indeed and Simply Hired.
- Esports Related Jobs
The income that can be generated in this industry isn’t limited to just the games themselves either. There are numerous other opportunities to explore including:
- Esports Writer/Content Creator: As an Esports content creator, there are many different forms of content that you can create. From writing articles and blog posts to books and gaming guides! If you consider yourself a good writer and fancy giving your own take on the industry and would like to add value for other players, this is a great option!
- Esports betting: While this is a relatively niche form of betting, this can be a lucrative way to make money if you have a good understanding of the game in mind.
- Work directly for Esports companies: You can take on anything from marketing and sales to events and commentating. The big Esports companies are always looking for new staff with a great understanding of the games themselves and this could be your way of getting noticed in the industry.
With the world of esports and gaming booming, there have never been more opportunities to make money playing games. If you’re seriously considering making an income in this industry, remember not to keep all your eggs in one basket. Try out different platforms and jobs and see what fits you best. Many of these options can be combined to generate additional income. (Think coaching and video recording/tutorials).
The gaming world is constantly growing and developing, so don’t be afraid to try new things and be innovative. Who knows, you might just start the next big trend.