How Do Professional Gamers Make Money?

It seems like a lifetime ago when you would get home after school and settle down to play video games all night.

How Do Professional Gamers Make Money

As you get older, your time is prioritized in different ways, dedicated to making rent, paying bills, and seeing friends, and it seems like there is very little time for playing video games. 

Unless you’re a professional gamer, of course. A professional gamer’s role is to play games. They get paid to play video games, make their rent playing video games, and have a healthy social life bonding with others over video games. 

So you might be thinking, well, how do you even make professional gaming a full-time job? How do professional gamers make their money? Read this article to find out!

Here, we will discuss everything you need to know about professional gamers, including the many different ways they make ends meet. 

How Do Professional Gamers Make Money?

While playing video games for a living can seem like a pipe dream, it is in fact a reality for many people! 

Previously, there were very limited monetization opportunities throughout the entire gaming industry, and the esports industry was very much a new, almost unknown thing. 

However, during the last decade, esports has grown significantly in popularity, which has allowed the number of casual players in this field to grow into professional video gamers.

The opportunities to develop a successful, long-term gaming career have expanded to the point where seeing playing video games as a “waste of time” is almost a thing of the past. 

Let’s check out the key ways that professional games make money! 

Prize Money 

First on our list is prize money. This is the original way that professional gamers would make money. Pro gamers would enter tournaments with several other competitive players and, if they won, then their prize would be money.

Also, if a pro gamer places in a high position in the tournament, then they will win a portion of the prize pool. 

However, while prize pools were prevalent and important to gaming in the early 1980s, their significance has decreased significantly within the gaming community. Many esports players now see this mechanism of making money as very unreliable.

This is because many tournaments require you to be in the same place as other players, so you would need to pay for your lodgings, travel, food expenses, and any entry fee required to play.

So, if a player does badly in the tournament then they can end up losing money by entering, and given the many other ways that they can make money in this modern age, trying to win prize money is simply not worth it. 

Salaried Pay 

If a gamer plays for a professional team, then they are usually given a salary. These salaries can range from anything between $1k-5k a month. The more skilled a player you are, the more money you will earn.

With salaried pay, players can now enter tournaments with confidence, because there is a guarantee that they will not lose money by entering. 

Sponsorship Deals 

Many professional players and streamers can get sponsorship deals, which is an excellent source of income.

As pro esports players enter the public eye, they start obtaining supporters and a fanbase, which increases their chances of getting sponsorship deals. 

Companies and brands like Red Bull, Mountain Dew, Monster Energy, AMD, Intel, and more, all have sponsorship deals worked out with high-profile professional players and professional teams.

These players and teams endorse the products on their social media profiles, their live streams, etc, and in turn, will receive money. 

Twitch Streaming 

Streaming is one of the most popular ways for gamers who aren’t competitive to make money. And, when it comes to streaming, twitch is one of the most popular platforms out there! 

Pro gamers will stream themselves playing various games online. If a pro gamer has a large following and consistent gameplay of high quality, then they are more likely to make a larger sum of money. 

To make money on Twitch, players can become partners of the platform, which allows them to charge their subscribers a fee in exchange for their content. 


Last but not least, professional gamers can make a lot of money on YouTube. After they have finished streaming their gameplay on Twitch, pro gamers will edit their videos and shorten them down to be uploaded onto YouTube. 

This allows fans who did not manage to catch the live Twitch stream to see the highlights of it on YouTube. This means they are still consuming content from creators they like and will remain a part of the fanbase. 

Like Twitch, YoutTube has a pay subscription scheme known as their “channel membership” which helps professional gamers make money. Pro gamers can also sell merchandise on the platform and use ads on their videos to monetize them. 

However, many pro gamers consider YouTube’s monetization strategy to be quite stringent, so they work around this by promoting their Patreon page as an alternative. Patreon allows users to pledge monthly donations to support their favorite YouTubers. 

Patreon is a great way to make money through YouTube since it allows you to set your own price per video or per donation. It also gives you complete control over what content you want to create and how much you want to charge for it.

Pro gamers are also able to make exclusive content for those who support their Patreon page, so it gives supporters an incentive to go that extra step further and allows pro gamers another way to make a living. 

Final Thoughts 

With the widespread development of the internet, social media, and an increase in the popularity of esports, there are a plethora of ways for pro gamers to make a steady income through professional gaming. 

This includes entering competitive tournaments, playing on a professional team with salaried pay, obtaining sponsorships from high-profile brands in exchange for promotion, streaming on Twitch, and utilizing monetization opportunities on Youtube. 

We hope this article answers all of your questions on how professional gamers make money. 

Ashley Newby