The future of jobs is changing every day. Whether you work in an office or you work on a job-site, technology is making our lives easier, but it is also opening up new career opportunities that did not exist just ten years ago.

One of these new careers is professional gaming and gaming-related jobs. Parents used to tell kids not to waste their time with video games and focus on school, but in an ironic twist, some pro gamers are making more than they would if they went to school. It is a little more complicated than that, and here is what you need to know about gaming jobs as a money-making career.

When Did Professional Gaming Start?

Professional gaming actually dates back to the 70s with arcade tournaments, but in more modern definitions of esports and pro gaming, it grew exponentially in the late 90s and early 2000s. Counter-Strike and StarCraft were two of the most popular original esports games and allowed for players to compete in money tournaments through LAN (local area network) connections. Since then, many games in the FPS (first-person shooter) and RTS (real-time strategy) genres have been instrumental in popularizing professional gaming in tournaments and dedicated leagues for specific franchises/games.

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What Games Are Popular Today?

The popularity of FPS and RTS games in the world of esports and professional gaming has only grown as time has progressed. The reason is that they were among the most popular, to begin with, they (mainly FPS) represent the most popular among non-professional gaming franchises, and they are generally good games to have for team-based competitions. Sports games, fighting games, and racing games have also shown an increase in professional gaming competitions because of similar reasons to their FPS and RTS counterparts. Games like Overwatch, League of Legends, Rocket League, NBA 2K, Madden NFL, Super Smash Bros, and so on are among the most popular franchises/games that are played in competitive circles.

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How Do People Make Money Gaming?

The real question here is, how do people make money from gaming. It seemed like a wild idea that video games can substitute for traditional jobs, but people have found ways to carve out a lucrative career for themselves. Tournaments used to be the most common way to make money as they would pay out a prize-winning anywhere from a few thousand all the way into the millions of dollars. These were and are still viable options, but they require a lot of talent and skill to compete against the very best. 

Another way people are using gaming to make money is through streaming, which a career in esports tends more towards the ability to brand yourself as much as it does the skill required. Streamers who accumulate a big enough following can find themselves making money from donations during their sessions and even endorsements from big brands or companies.

How Much Money Do Gamers Make?

The difference in earnings that gamers make depends on things mentioned previously – skill level, competition level, the popularity of the games, and the format in which they make their earnings. Tournaments can be as low as $1000 at regional levels, all the way up to $2 million for big-name tournaments in the biggest of esports competitions. 

Streamers make their money on a more steady basis rather than large amounts at a time because they rely on donors, endorsements, or contracts from team agencies. These streamers can earn anywhere between $1000 and $15 000 a month, depending on how good and how popular they are. These numbers are certainly gaudy to think of when you consider that they are playing video games, but it takes a long time to learn the skills to compete with the best and build up a strong follower base.

How Do You Get Into Gaming As a Job?

Becoming a professional gamer or video game streamer means you need to focus on your skill-building. This includes dexterity for typing or controller use, improving your hand-eye coordination, developing mental toughness, and streamers, having a charismatic or unique identity that attracts viewers. Video games are fun, and a job in the esports industry is enticing, but that does not mean it does not come with its own trials. Reach out to other gamers, form a team, start practicing, and enter tournaments to start working your way to professional status.

Not many people would have thought that video game players would one day end up making six or seven-figure salaries, but that is the nature of the digital world we live in. Gaming might be fun but becoming a successful money earning gamer takes a lot of skill, but the potential exists.

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