Esports Players Earning Too Much?

Oct 30, 2017 · 2 min read

In professional esports players are assumed to have a high pay such as any major sports player would. It would make sense given that some tournaments they compete in have prize pools of over two million dollars. These large prize pools often have spectators asking how much certain players make and if they earn more than is deserved. Often times earnings are kept confidential so few people know who earns what and why they earn that amount. When talking about large teams like C9 and TSM it also important to mention that portions of the tournament money goes to more than just players such as coaches and owners.

When it comes to player income one camp believes that players earn too much from games like Dota 2 and League of Legends. It causes certain games to become cash cows for teams and causes unequal player pay within teams. The way most teams pay players is based on performance and wins. On average players can often earn more than olympians by playing in one tournament. In an article written by Alex McKinnon , Virtual “athletes” make way more money than the average Olympian, it says “The US women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay team, which also won gold this week, will take home $100,000 between them, whereas the team of five who clinched first prize at the Epicenter Dota 2 tournament in Moscow back in May won $250,000” (McKinnon, 2017). This is only one tournament out of many tournaments in a year which can lead to millions of dollars if the team does well in every competition. I found this extremely surprising because some athletes have to find funding from fans and others to even go compete. While esports athletes often times get taken to competitions by the team owner and they also earn way more on average. I find it is very similar to the NFL where star players and teams spend extreme amounts of money on one or two players and other players have a large gap when comparing income. Many teams pay extreme amounts on players like Shroud and NBK.

On the other side of the coin some people believe esports players aren’t paid well enough. In certain leagues of gaming the teams are not required to pay players a minimum amount so they can go as low as they want. Low pay can become a major issue on teams because some players are getting extremely underpaid so the team can overpay another player. The main issue with underpaying players is that it creates an environment that becomes less motivating. If players don’t feel motivated to play for the team it can cause issues with stuff like giving up on a game for a paycheck. This has been an issue in other sports that players have thrown games to earn more cash on the side. Many people want to see esports as a new revolutionary sport rather than repeat the history of other sports.

Works Cited

Commentary. “Virtual.” Quartz, Quartz, 14 Aug. 2016,

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