In recent years, video games have become a more integrated part of our cable television line-up with E-Sports League (ESL) being shown on major cable networks like TBS and ESPN. Games like “Counter-Strike GO” and “League of Legends” have begun to take over primetime television and gained quite a following.
Not to mention, YouTube has spawned multiple personalities, “let’s players”, and even companies from just playing video games on the Internet. It’s become so big that major news corporations have begun to cover this phenomenon. CNBC has recently interviewed popular YouTuber Michael “Rage Quit” Jones on how he had become so famous that people literally line-up to see him at conventions.
Many wonder if these people’s careers are actually viable as professional jobs and say that gaming should be seen as a hobby rather than a career. In reality, these careers are just as important as movie stars or professional athletes are. All of these gamers have plenty of fans wanting to see them play games or watch their newest video on YouTube. For fans, most of their favorite entertainer’s content is free to watch, but the YouTubers and professional gamers make a hefty paycheck.
As a professional gamer/YouTuber, there are actually plenty of ways to make money in the field. Sponsorships, advertising, winning tournaments, selling merchandise at conventions and big shows are just a couple of the ways they try to break the bank. Through these methods, gamers can make plenty of prize money that can be up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Streamers on Twitch, a popular streaming site for many gamers, will even get donations from fans ranging from just one dollar to thousands of dollars. In return, many streamers will give them personal shout outs, special emblems and profile benefits on Twitch and acknowledge them while they are playing.
This donation aspect creates a special relationship between these streamers and fans that cannot be matched by today’s celebrities and professional aspects. Fans will flood to conventions, pro-tournaments and tune-in every week to see and meet their favorite gamers.
For fans, it’s like meeting a famous movie star and for streamers and YouTubers it’s the kind of moments that makes their job so special. Personally, I love going to New York Comic-Con every year to see my favorite YouTubers, Roosterteeth, and I feel a genuine sense of excitement from them as they see me walk up with a smile on my face. It’s almost like seeing family.
There really is nothing like the job that they do and they honestly earn every penny they make. Not everyone can just be a pro-gamer or YouTuber, like any other job, it really takes talent and dedication. Spending hours filming and editing content or playing games for hours on end to hone their skills for the next tournament is no real easy task.
So with ESL making a bigger presence on cable television by adding popular fighting game “Street Fighter V” to the TBS primetime lineup back in March, gaming seems to be a very lively career. YouTube and video gaming also are now becoming more popular and widely known so more and more people are going to be joining the gamer career path.