Playing games on a computer has long been not just for kids. Top players earn millions million crowns a year. They are financed by companies such as Red Bull and Vodafone. Teams of some computer pros are waiting for luxury care and book signing with fans.
Don't sit still at that stupid computer and go do something useful, one of the most common sentences parents give to their children. However, playing computer games is a sport. And it is possible to earn considerable amounts in it regularly.
Electronic sport, e-sport or programming is a general term for computer game competitions. In addition to small tournaments involving teams or individuals connected from home, this is primarily referred to as major competitions. And big means really big - in terms of the number of participants, spectators, and the amount of rewards.
One of the biggest tournaments in the world is The International in Dota 2 (Defense of the Ancients), hosted by Valve, a computer game developer. His finale in Vancouver, Canada, was watched by approximately 14 million viewers this year.
However, true professionalism comes only when one of the big teams notices the player. Thanks to contacts and international cooperation they help their players to get big orders.
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In a relatively short career, the most successful players earn the end of their lives. The best players only earn between half and two million dollars a year. This amount does not include players' salaries, which can climb up to several million crowns per season.
Billions go to winnings every year
Epic Games, publisher of the popular Fortnite game, caused a big fuss in the spring. She announced that the first competition season of the game will be supported by a financial subsidy of $ 100 million (converted over 2.2 billion crowns). She used this money to raise the rewards of each tournament.
Financing tournaments is relatively common among large gaming companies, but companies do not normally give money to win prizes directly. Instead, they pay the agencies that organize the tournaments and calculate the rewards from their own resources.
Statistics bureau reports that in 2017, more than $ 113 million (over Kc2.5bn) was handed out in 4.111 prize money tournaments. Epic Games thus basically doubled its total winnings this year.
Newzoo's analysis of computer and mobile gaming data estimates total e-sports earnings last year at $ 655 million (Kc14.8bn). According to them, approximately $ 470 million will get into the industry through sponsorship. In recent years, companies such as Red Bull, Vodafone and Mercedes Benz have invested heavily in e-sport.
According to Newzoo, earnings in e-sport grow by about a third a year. In 2021, total revenues in progaming should be over $ 1.65 billion (more than $ 37 billion). Of this, 1.39 billion should make donations.
But big money in progaming is not just waiting for active players. Tournaments are often commented on by game journalists, the team's game tactics are invented by a specially hired coach, and large teams have their own PR specialists or recruiters. Some of them even offer the services of mental coaches and team psychologists to their protégés. The biggest one pays players health insurance.