What is an esports business?
Esports is playing electronic games for money. You would usually compete with other people in organized tournaments.
For the purposes of this site, we’re only interested in esports that are played online (ie. not in big arenas packed with spectators).
Esports is one of 19 types of online business and considered a Level X online business, according to our framework.
6 Levels and 19 Types of Online Business
Level 1 = Novice
Okay for side income or beer money, but hard to earn a living.
Level 2 = Intermediate
Best for earning a living online when you’re starting out, but hard to scale.
Level 3 = Advanced
Easier to scale and higher income potential, but you usually need significant investment of time and/or money upfront.
Level 4 = Superior
Even more scalable and even higher income potential, but also more complex / difficult / expensive.
Level 5 = Distinguished
Most complex / difficult / expensive, but the rewards here can be massive.
Level X = Wildcard
These are the misfits. Many aren’t even considered businesses in the traditional sense, but they are all ways to make money online. You typically need a lot of time, money, or luck to succeed with anything here.
How can you make money online with esports?
Here are the legit ways I’ve found to make money online with esports…
Online Video Game Tournaments
Will Wierzba has earned quite a bit of money online playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive…
Will "Rush" Wierzba
- Professional Gamer
- $15,300 average monthly winnings
Playing Poker Online
Poker pros like João Vieira seem well capable of winning big in online tournaments…
- Professional Poker Player
- $109,603 prize money from 3 weeks of online poker
Playing Chess Online
Chess grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura has done nicely playing his game online…
- Chess Grandmaster
- $35,000+ estimated monthly revenue
Pros and Cons of Esports Businesses
- Can be fun and social.
- The prize money for some tournaments can be significant.
- Top esports “athletes” attain a kind of celebrity status and get offered endorsement deals.
- Some tournaments have an entry fee.
- Usually takes a loooong time to get good enough to compete at the highest levels and earn the big bucks.
- Highly unlikely to earn you a consistent living unless you’re one of the best in the world.
Are esports a good way to earn a living online?
Only if you’re world-class at the game you’re playing.
Think of it like trying to earn a living as a professional athlete: it will likely take years of practice with little reward before you break through as a pro (if you ever break through at all).
Esports Business Resources
- Esports Earnings
Website that keeps track of how much money esports players earn.