We are approaching the end of the second decade of the new millennium and, if we were to look back to look at what has happened in recent years, even if we have not witnessed real revolutions as it could happen in a film – perhaps science fiction – it goes said that, in some ways, even just ten years ago it would have been unthinkable to imagine that with video games you could become a millionaire.
Thanks especially to platforms such as YouTube on which the gamer format has become one of the most followed, the world of gaming has further evolved, managing to take another step towards global consecration and acquiring unprecedented media visibility. Although video game tournaments, more or less known, have always existed, the decade that is about to end can be defined as the one in which the concept of eSport was born, i.e. electronic sport, understood as a discipline in the strict sense with a competitive, organized character.
To give an idea of this mini-cultural revolution, in 2017 we began to consider the possibility of including eSports as an event for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and the International Olympic Committee will be required to express itself after the next Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Meanwhile, on the professional front, the market could not be more prosperous given the proliferation of competitions on a global scale that are broadcast live on various platforms with the consequent turnover that derives from it, and that justifies the earnings of those who take part in this new form of work.
Among the salaries paid by the relative teams to which they belong, a bit as if we were talking about companies for any worker, and the prize pools offered for individual events, reaching six zero figures is nothing more than normal for the real top-players.
For the skeptics, since we are unbalanced only with the numbers, last year we examined the data published by the esportsearning.com portal to see what the situation was in terms of earnings of “virtual athletes”. Please note, we didn’t examine revenue data related to Esports betting, a form of gambling-related to esports.
We found a hundred players who have earned the most in their careers with a comparison in the year 2018, also adding an indication of which was the reference video game for their income. The first on the list overall is KuroKy – aka Kuro Takhasomi – who in his career (with the data updated to last year) has taken home over four million dollars, mainly playing Dota 2 (a real-time strategy) , while the number one for the year examined was JerAx (Jesse Vainikka) who, again thanks to Dota 2, collected just under 2.3 million out of the 3.3 in his career that placed him in sixth place overall.
It is therefore not surprising that, considering the five most played titles (Dota 2, Counter-Strike, League of Legends, StarCraft II and Fortnite), last year we had already reached a total of prizes that exceeded the three hundred million dollars, distributed on more than ten thousand tournaments in which about twenty thousand players had participated.