Blog Post Number 5: My Essay

Hi, What you are about to see is my Essay I am really excited to show you this and I worked really hard and here you go.


How Has Esports Evolved and What is Involved in Being a Professional Gamer?

by PJ


Don’t you wish you could play your favorite video games for hours and hours and make millions of dollars? Well, some people do!  My Capstone is on esports and my main inquiry question is: “How have esports evolved and what goes into being a professional gamer?” As technology has improved, the esports scene has grown and evolved affecting the ways of making money as a gamer, how gamers live and what a typical day is for them. Also, there is a huge business side to esports.


How the Esports Scene Has Grown

Esports have evolved so much over the years. It has evolved in terms of the fans and the money. Back when esports wasn’t an organized sport it existed as a bunch of teenagers going to places, called gaming bars, that had computers and teenagers would just play video games against each other.

Then, they started holding tournaments with prize pools. The prize pools were minor, maybe a few hundred dollars. The biggest prize pool at that time had a prize pool of a Ferrari and the person who won that was considered the first pro gamer. His name was Dennis Fong. Now, organizations like Major League Gaming (MLG) have different tournaments for different games many times a year with prize pools of up to 25 million dollars!

The fanbase for esports has grown a lot. People usually think that people who play video games are nerds. If you think that then I will have you know that there are a lot of nerds!! Esport tournaments date back to 20 years ago when there would be 500 people in the audience. Now, esport tournaments sell out basketball stadiums not to mention the millions plus number of people watching it on a live stream. Since esports is growing and growing, esports may even be included in the 2024 Olympics.


How Esport Gamers Make Money

More and more companies are investing in the esports industry, not only companies, but also individuals. Some famous people that you would probably know are investing in esports. These people are Drake, Stephen Curry, Odell Beckham Jr, and even Michael Jordan who invested in Liquid, one of the biggest gaming teams in the world.  According to a research company named Newzoo, 60% of esports revenue was made from sponsorships and advertising in 2018.

Also, full NBA teams are making teams and investing in them. They are still developing NBA2k teams (NBA2k is a basketball video game) for each team. If the NBA2k team for the Lakers plays the NBA2k team for the Knicks this means that a group of pro gamers are getting paid to win that game – this is a form of esports.

There is also the business side of it which is when tournaments happen, the company that organizes it or sponsors it makes a lot of money, like if Razor (a gaming equipment company) sponsors a tournament then the people competing in the tournament will use its products. Or, if a gaming team such as Cloud 9 is playing in one of the games then they will sell jerseys and other merchandise. According to the person I interviewed, Govinda who heads Encore Esports Lounge in New Rochelle,“League of Legends is the most successful game in terms of how well it has done and the revenue it has pulled in.”  

There are also many companies you may know that invest in esports. These companies are Red Bull, the energy drink, Rocket Mortgage, Scuf Gaming, and even the U.S. Airforce. In all the business in esports is growing and there is too much to explain. That was just a brief explanation of what I have learned.   


Life as an Esports Pro Gamer

You might be wondering what it is like to live as a pro gamer? Well, a professional gamer is part of a team and the team lives together. A team like Cloud 9 one of the best teams in the country. For all games they have a house where each team member has a room and a stream setup, where they can stream and practice. Other teams may live in a team apartment where they will sleep on the floor and on air mattresses. For practicing, they will have a line of computers.

The salaries of an esports athlete usually depends on the game. For example, an Overwatch video game player will make about 50,000 dollars as their salary, while a League of Legends player or Dota Two video game player’s salary will be between 500,000 dollars to 1,000,000 dollars!  People like Tyler “Ninja” Blevins makes 500,000 dollars a month, that is six million dollars a year! That is just from live streaming the game his is on a website Twitch.

Players also make money by sponsors, prize winnings and commercials. Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is sponsored by the energy drink Red Bull and the food delivery service UberEats. Red Bull even built him a stream room were he streams. Some of the most popular companies that sponsor players are Red Bull, Scuf Gaming, etc.

Esports is going places, I can tell. It  already has been doing very very well. In the future I hope that people will not only play esports video games for fun, but also play video games with in a more serious organized way like other sports such as baseball or basketball. And I hope that people start to take it more seriously, too.