How to make money in eSports: variants of earnings

The question that interests people far from cybersports is: “Where does the money come from, anyway? The answer is quite simple – it comes from the same place as in real sports: all thanks to sponsors and advertising. Only to this all is added the developer, who is interested in promoting his project and trying to attract a new audience with the help of the professional scene.

In this article we will examine how to make money in cybersports, what it takes, how much professional players, commentators and people who cover cybersports events earn.

Who can make money from eSports

But before we move on to the earning options, let’s talk about who and how can make money from cybersports. Let’s walk through the categories:

  • Professional players. They make up 1 to 4% of the total number of gamers. These people play head above the rest, can put on a show and show a great game on stage.
  • Commentators and talent from various studios. These are the people who cover all cyber sports events.
  • Internet portals that cover in-game events. Sites publish gameplay updates, tournaments schedule, all the latest information. Consequently, their administration receives for advertising, and English-language portals also receive support from the development company.
  • Bookmaker’s offices. Betting on cybersports is now very common and is the same way of earning as playing in betting shops in soccer, tennis, basketball, etc;
  • Other people in one way or another involved in cybersports or its coverage.

Earnings options in eSports

Let’s move on to a full review of each of the options for making money in eSports. Let’s start, of course, with the professional players.

Professional Game

Professional players are those who are in the top 3 – 5%. They become real stars: they travel around the countries, participate in tournaments on huge arenas in front of tens of thousands of spectators. They have big salaries, they are known all over the world, and many players want to be like them.

Game developers need huge prize funds and professional players for one thing: to attract as many users to their game as possible. The larger the audience, the higher the profits.

The maximum prize fund in the history of eSports – $23,438,000 belongs to the discipline Dota 2. The winners took away 10,000,000 per team of 5 people.

If professional players receive tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money, salaries from organizations and various sponsorships, semi-professionals rely solely on their organizations and some prize money from tournaments.

From personal experience I can say roughly the following:

At the initial stage there is no way to make money from cybersport. First of all, you will be required to devote 6 to 10 hours every day to the game, and secondly, you will have to change teams and organizations from time to time.

In spite of the fact that large tournaments have huge prize pool figures, amateur cybersport is undeveloped. To get into a professional team, you either have to play very hard and well with the pros (high division/ranking), or get selected on your own through a series of qualifications.

If you want to get into a professional team you have to play at a high ranking and show your best level of play. Maybe you will be invited to the second echelon team, and there you can already start your way as a cyber athlete.

To help you understand how qualification for the major tournaments in cyber sports disciplines takes place, I will tell you the following. There are open qualifications that anyone can register for. There are usually a lot of teams: in one region there are more than 100 of them. You have to go through a grid of matches to win 1, and if you find yourself in the playoffs, you’ll play either the same matches to win 1, or already to 3.

After you win the open qualifiers, you get a ticket to the indoor qualifiers. All teams of the 2nd – 3rd echelon that want to participate in major tournaments are already gathered there. In these qualifications organizers invite them directly. And if only you pass the closed qualification, then you will have the opportunity to get to a major tournament.

Amateur tournaments are held relatively often, you can meet here quite strong teams that participate for the sake of experience and money. Tournaments with a prize fund of 2,000 to 10,000 rubles are held periodically, you only need to have time to register and sign up as a participant. This is a good opportunity to gain experience and earn your first money in cybersport.


Now Valve has made a smart move. It allowed any commenters to comment on its games, i.e. promoted competition. This means that even if you are not a member of a top studio, but you want to comment on a major tournament and try your hand at it in the hope that you will be noticed – this is the best opportunity for you.

To start commenting you need to:

  • understand the game;
  • Have a clear and competent speech;
  • Have a powerful PC.

These are the minimum requirements for a commentator of any level, if they want their viewers to watch them. You will be able to earn exclusively from Twitch affiliate programs and donations from users. No advertising banners in the broadcast, and soon there will be restrictions on advertising under the stream.

But if you want to really start commenting, do it professionally and make money, you’ll need to learn how to do it first. Don’t aim for big tournaments right away. You won’t have an audience, and you’re unlikely to get noticed on the streamer list. Start by covering amateur tournaments.


Where can you go without betting? As in any other sport, clever bookmakers quickly realized that it is possible to take bets on the outcome of matches. And, just like in big sports, the range of bets is not limited to the usual “Team 1 or Team 2 will win”. It’s much more complicated: first kill, 10 rounds, even/even, etc.

If you have a good understanding of cybersports and experience in betting – you can try to start earning on this. But keep in mind that making money on eSports betting is quite a risky business.

Most services, in addition to real money, accept in-game items as payment. This is convenient especially for those who have managed to accumulate unnecessary inventory.


This is a more difficult task. Here you are not betting yourself, but only advising people how to bet. The most convenient format for predictions are Vkontakte groups. They are in demand among teenagers, so there will be no problems with people. It is enough to publish relatively correct forecasts and periodically arrange drawings.

There are two different ways to monetize forecasts: either you advertise something in your group with forecasts or you use paid groups with private forecasts. The first option is easier – you get a big audience, you make your forecasts, you are not responsible for anything, you monetize with ads. The second option is for those who really know about betting. Here people already pay to join the group. This is a purely symbolic fee of 100 to 500 rubles per month.

It is not hard to guess that even with 200 subscribers in a paid group you can earn big money just by publishing correct forecasts once a day. But most importantly: here you are already responsible for the money of your subscribers. They have paid to join a private group, which means they hope to win. A series of losses will quickly cause everyone to leave, and no one will want to do business with you anymore.

Is it worth trying to make money in eSports?

Here I’ll tell you my opinion as a person who at 16 – 17 years old got excited about the idea. It’s quite realistic to earn the first small amount of money if you devote 6 – 10 hours a day to the game. At that time I was still in school, I would come to school at 3 – 4 o’clock in the afternoon and play till midnight and then get up again, go to school, come and play. At times it came to the point where I was playing until my hands felt uncomfortable. I didn’t achieve much in two years, so I left to earn more stable money.

But you can find something to your liking: earn money betting on eSports, writing analytics, being an editor, forecaster or commentator. The more so now there are plenty of opportunities to make money from cybersport and its coverage. You don’t always have to play to get paid for your work.

If you love games and spend a lot of time playing them, and you want to turn your hobby into a living – you have a great opportunity to do so: cybersport has not yet gained its momentum, it is still developing, new sponsors are attracted, and for people “from the street” the roads to any sphere are open.