With the continuous rise of the eSports industry, let us take a look at how these eSports athletes compare to other athletes in different major sports. According to Richard Lewis, an average Counter Strike: Global Offensive player earns around $4,000-$5,000 a month. Meanwhile, the top teams usually earn up north of $17,000 a month.
Virtus.pro – eSports Athletes
Virtus.pro’s players earns around $25,000 per month and has a long term contract on their deal. This already puts them up to $300,000 a year and does not include revenue stream from endorsement deals, prize pools, stickers (from Valve) and their streaming. Their players are some of the top earners in the world of eSports from prize pools. While these players are already set with a livable salary, their bonuses mostly come from prize pools making the scene more competitive rather than just playing for pride and legacy. Most eSports organizations take a cut from their team’s prize pools usually as the 6th player. They could still earn up to $400,000-$1,000,000 a year with their peak highly depending on their performance.
Earning solely on prize pool is rough for aspiring eSports athletes. This is evident for some of the lower tier teams especially on low to medium profile games. It is terrifying to start and work your way up, but being on top of the scene could earn you millions. Just look up the guys from Evil Geniuses (DotA 2) to know that there is no ceiling for a career in eSports.
NBA – National Basketball Association
In other major sports, the average athlete earns $1.5 million to $4 million a year. For example, the NBA holds the highest average income per athlete at $4.5 million per year. With the new NBA TV deals, the salary cap will be rising to absurd amounts. Players have been signing insanely lucrative contracts. Mike Conley, the leading point guard for the Memphis Grizzles, signed the biggest contract at $153 million in 5 years. The contract should earn him $30.6 million a year which is nowhere near an eSports athlete would earn in a salary.
Comparing an eSports athlete to the NBA’s minimum contract that is valued at around $540,000 a year. The most highly paid team in eSports is still nowhere near that value. It could only compete with that salary if you combine all the external stream of revenue they accrue. Pro athletes in sports are arguably the ones that work more given their hectic schedule combined with playing a physical sport. Pro eSports athletes have a more lenient schedule as it involves less physical activity. They travel around the globe aside from just traveling around the country. In the end, it all depends on what you love doing the most.