CAN YOU MAKE MONEY BY JOINING AN ESPORTS TEAM?
- HINT: It’s not actually winning tourneys that keeps heads above water
- Many sources of income available to help out
- Long-term career in Esports: can do
Sure, if there are esports teams, there must be money somewhere, duh. Aside from playing all day AND randomly getting paid for it, there must be more money to it than meets the eye.
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SO, IS THERE ENOUGH MONEY TO MAKE IT WORTH WHILE?
Yeah, we watch the Esports teams make or break all the time, and yeah, perhaps we think our playing skills are not too shabby, and, yeah, we might have even thought of joining the frenzied life of esports teamplay.
But is it worth it to pursue a career in team playing?
Covid bummer aside, Esports teams have been known to struggle to turn a profit, and it’s only the major esports teams that have been able to go on without many financial worries. But here’s some good news: this field has been growing into a worldwide phenomenon that may very well turn the tables around. Let’s look at some comforting info on how esports teams actually make money.
SOURCES OF MONEY FOR ESPORTS-DEDICATED GEEKS
I’m not gonna sweet-coat it: aside from the major brands in Esports teams, most of the other teams tend to lose money at the beginning. (Ok, so it’s not that different from any other careers.) If you join the business of esports, you have to be patient and build your brand (you’re talking “freelancer” here. No biggie.)
But, don’t despair: Esports teams have a lot of money sources that make it possible to think about an esports career. Basically, Esports teams generate money from tournament prizes, streaming/content, merchandise, and sponsorships. Let’s check them out.
TOURNAMENT PRIZE MONEY
Not a consistent way, but the simplest way. Since you will not always be the team winning the big bucks (because reality is a biatch), it’s not wise to rely on this money unless you’re crazy good. In other words, unless your team hits a freakish long-term winning streak and grabs The International every year, tournament prize money alone will not pay for the team’s upkeep.
SPONSORSHIPS AND PARTNERSHIPS
Now we’re talking: since brands are always looking on how to place their stuff or kick their brands up a notch, they have turned their heads towards Esports and are becoming sponsors for kick-ass teams (yeah, well, you gotta be good at anything you do to be paid.) Some of the biggest partners in Esports are electronics companies and hardware; even sports supplements companies have chipped in. An analytics study showed sponsorships make up more than half of the esports revenue, and estimate that for 2021, this number will probably rise up to $641.0 million, so it’s probably not a wise move to go around losing one’s sponsors, the ‘Activision way.’
STREAMING AND CONTENT
Adding popular streamers to your team is not a directly profitable action, but the potential audience they can bring in is. If you have a big audience, the sponsorships will pour in. It’s Economics 101, man.
Merchandise selling is always the go-to for hitting up the big money, but there’s a catch: this only works if you’re popular or very good. Since audiences love a winner, and they love to feel they’re part of the team, you must at least be popular. This way, the merchandise will fly off the shelves and make you a profit.
Either way, you have take into account all your resources; the worst you can do is limit your team. Bottom line: the opportunity for a career in esports is doable. Money will come in from different vectors so it’s important you keep your head on and work on some mad skills. Steady does it, patience wins it.
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