Playing Video Games for a Living Equals Money for Some Players


The dream of playing video games for a living is probably a vision that haunts not only gamers but non-gamers alike. The perception is is that video games are all fun and no work at all so being paid to play would be heaven, right?

For some players, this dream has become a reality and, with the growth of esports, a viable career path. But don’t kid yourself into thinking this is the easy road. It is actually quite the opposite.

Not only do these e-athletes spend hours upon hours training for their events, but also they often have to specialize in one game to the exclusion of all others. If you’re not the world’s biggest Overwatch fan to begin with then you may want to reconsider making it your foray into esports.

Picking a passion is only the beginning in this industry.

And it’s not like these guys can go over to and get some helpful tips or hints. No, they have to literally master every nook and cranny of the game and know it better than they know themselves in some ways.

The Today Show recently focused on one such gamer who is living the dream, an 18-year-old gamer who goes by the name Sinatra that recently signed to New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s esports team for a salary of $150k annually.

That’s a huge chunk of change just to play a video game but Sinatra is what is described as a “first round draft pick” in this league. His mother, for her part, says she can’t believe her son has made it this far playing video games and that he “makes more money than me.”

Indeed, the dream of playing video games for a living may sound like a far-fetched quest to those who are not aware of the burgeoning popularity of esports, but for those in the know this is really not that surprising.

Esports tournaments tend to focus on the most popular games and those tend to offer the highest prizes. Overwatch and Street Fighter V, among others, tends to dominate the circuit and players who have reached this level of competition have done so only after hours upon hours of practice and training.

But what does the future hold for esports and is it ephemeral, tied only to a game’s popularity? Does one’s career wither and die if the game to which the player is tied goes the way of the dodo bird? As a still nascent industry, esports has a lot of growing up to do. In this way it is a lot more different from the other leagues out there.

There is little fear that American football could change so fundamentally in the next five years that today’s stars would not only be obsolete but unable to play, but such is the case with title-based esports tournaments. The games-as-a-service model will go great lengths to stabilize this situation, but again you’re looking at a niche of a niche and trying to build an entire business model on this motley – not an easy task. We can’t wait to see what develops in the future.


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