By Daniel Yae
Being really good at playing video games can create opportunities that weren’t possible 10 years ago. Playing video games has evolved incredibly and has created many opportunities and careers this last decade. Gaming has been around for decades but esports is currently one of the fastest-growing and biggest industries in the world.
The gaming industry today provides so much more than just personal entertainment. Even in the early 2000s, gaming wasn’t more than just a hobby and couldn’t really be seen as something someone could build a career out of. The only real opportunity to make money at the time was streaming on YouTube.
Gaming has often been looked at negatively, with some even regarding it as simply a waste of time. Today things are much different because people can become pro players in specific games, a coach, analyst, content creator, organization owner, and so many other career paths provided by understanding the gaming industry.
Being one of the best players in competitive games such as League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valorant and so much more could land you a career in the esports industry. These games offer opportunities that can give salaries to those who can compete at the highest level. There are tournaments with big prize pools and organizations that offer salaries to qualify and compete at these events. Even after retiring as a player, there are opportunities for gamers, through coaching, analysis, general management, scouting, streaming, and other activities.
Even those who aren’t the best players in the world have different opportunities such as content creation and streaming. Entertainment has evolved so much and continues to evolve. Streaming is something that is extremely popular right now. People can build a streaming career by playing games at a high level through streaming platforms such as Twitch, Youtube, Facebook Gaming and so much more. Content creators bring in something unique that people will be entertained by or the high-level gameplay of a game people commonly play such as League of Legends or Valorant for example and work toward building a community that will support the content they create.
An example of how people can pursue a professional career in esports, the average salary for pro-League of Legends players playing in the North American League of Legends Championship Series was $410,000 on average in 2020 according to Dot Esports & Hal Biagas. Also with prize pool money on top of these high salaries, for example, the Valorant Champions has a $1,000,000 prize pool divided up to the participants that qualify for the tournament. The biggest prize pool in esports is the Dota 2 International with a massive prize pool of $40,018,195 for the teams involved in the tournament. There are even small tournaments for up-and-coming teams to compete in as well with prize pools that range from $1,000 to $100,000 for example.
Even if someone can’t go pro right away or at all, there are opportunities for those who want to continue their studies at universities as well. People nowadays can get scholarships to play at the collegiate level for specific schools such as sports athletes. They can continue to compete at games they play at a high level while obtaining the education they want.
Gaming isn’t something done just for fun or a complete waste of time. There are a lot of opportunities people can create through gaming by becoming pro players, content creators, and getting more involved in the esports gaming community. It’s something that will continue to grow and become one of the biggest, if not the biggest industry in the world.