Have Content or Lose the Viewers
Viewers are the heart of the gaming industry, without them, games wouldn’t be as popular as they are today. Companies are required to create games that appeal to the audience or their game will end up falling off the grid. To do this, they need money and to get money, they can either advertise their game through streaming or have someone famous play the game. Money has big authority over the gaming industry because if the prize pool is not big, not many people will watch it. There are no thrills if it’s just a small prize pool but if it is a couple of million prize pool then there will be tons of thrill and excitement. I believe money has the power to shift the debate whether or not competitive gaming can be considered a professional sport. With the large prize pools, the base salaries that players are getting, I believe if there is enough money to be distributed , gaming qualifies as a professional sport. If there are enough interest, the power that viewers carry can help boost up the game’s population.
All founding organizations start off somewhere and most of them receive funding from a specific company who sees potential in the org. For example, Riot Games would be a great example of a company who got big from one big investment. According to Riot Games, they have received 7 million dollars in fundings from Benchmark Capital and Firstmark Capital. The start of the power in competitive gaming comes from a big organization who sees potential in a company. Once Bench and Firstmark have given the fundings to Riot Games, the release of games begin. Riot Games released their very first game, League of Legends : Clash of Fates. Because of the investment that Riot received, they were able to release enough content to attract a lot of viewers which led to the championship game. In 2010, Riot had their very first championship which included a prize pool of $85,000. For their first tournament, that is a large prize pool. But as time passes by, millions of dollars become at stake and players start to get paid base salaries. According to lolesports, last year, the prize pool was $5,070,000 and more than 50% of the prize pool was contributed by fans. You can see that viewers and money play a big role together to bring games to their highest potential.
With pro teams being formed to play competitively, players are starting to receive base salaries. Like any sport, teams will have coaches and analysts who help out the team to become successful players. Money plays a big role in the competitive gaming industry because if players can’t receive a good salary, how are they suppose to support themselves in the present and the future? With a good paying salary, players are able to save up for their future as well have a bit of spending money on their own time. With successful companies like Riot Games, the money that they receive from players buying products, they are able to use those money to release more content. With more content being released, the viewers have something to look forward to as well as mastering another new skill. The strive to become better will continue because new content could mean big changes to certain things which can affect anyones gameplay. Having to adjust your gameplay requires time and practice. Through practicing, players will have to play for a long period of time which keeps the game alive. Therefore, when people say games die within one year is wrong because games like League of Legends who release updates every week is bound to be successful. There is one player named Faker and he is considered as the Michael Jordan of competitive gaming. He is currently a 2 time world championship for League of Legends. With new content released by Riot games, Faker is basically a beginner player like everyone else. You have to learn the game through consistently playing and learning the meta. Faker is considered one of the highest paid League of Legends player, earning a total of $912,406.26 from a total of 34 competitive games played. This is not including sponsorships or from base salaries, these are just his earning from winning tournaments. With everything combined, Faker is making well over a million per year playing League of Legends competitively. Seeing how Faker is only 20 years old shows that he has a long way to go before he officially retires from competitive gaming. Every year, there are drastic changes to the game and yet Faker still is able to come up as number one when it comes to League of Legends. This shows the strive and dedication Faker has towards competitive gaming. With players like Faker, there are many more players out there who are earning well over 6 figures playing competitively. There’s no doubt that competitive gaming is sustainable for those who choose to pursue that career.
Games are becoming more and more frequent in teengaers nowadays. Especially millennials, they are starting to get more involved in gaming as they are exposed to technology early in their lives. With these kind of attractions, games are being broadcasted everywhere. People are starting to live stream games and posting YouTube videos to show their montages. The most popular streaming website would be Twitch.Tv and this website is used for players who want to broadcast their games live all over the world. All of these methods are ways pro players can make money other than on stage. Gaming companies like Razer, Corsair or HyperX can sponsor players to have their brand be put on their livestream or videos. An example of a Twitch.Tv streamer would be IWillDominate and he is a retired pro player who streams on Twitch.Tv for entertainment purposes. Recently, he released his page of donations that he receives on a daily basis. Dom is seen to be showing that he earns $7,377.17 in roughly 12 days of streaming. That is not including sponsorships or viewer count. In a year, he could be making well over 6 figures including sponsorships and viewer counts. Many people tune in when Dom streams due to his funny personality and if they want to support him, people will donate any amount of cash to him via PayPal or Bitcoin. With these constant donations, Dom is able to release more content because people love what he produces. He’s funny, energetic and a bit goofy at times. Streamers like Dom can earn a lot of money overtime. Having different ways to earn income can inspire players to keep playing professionally because of the constant money that they are making. This is how games can stay successful because of money that are constantly being distributed to the players. If you give them an incentive, players will stay in the gaming scene.
As a result, we can see that as a result, money and viewership plays a big role in the gaming industry. They are the key to help make professional gaming a professional sport. With companies constantly sponsoring players to showcase games, it brings out more players to come out to try the game. This will expand the game’s population which will eventually bloom if enough players play the game. Whereas for money, if people like what they see, they will invest money into the game; helping them get better gear, cosmetics or even donating because they love the game so much. As years go on, the prize pool for large events will constantly increase and more and more players will go pro.
“Benchmark.” Riot Games. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
“IWillDominate’s Opinion On The Fine Given to Tainted Minds (Shows His Donations).” YouTube. YouTube, 13 Apr. 2017. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.
“Lee “Faker” Sang Hyeok — League of Legends Player.” Faker — Lee, Sang Hyeok — League of Legends Player Profile :: e-Sports Earnings. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.
Magus, and Bradmore. “Update: Fan Contributions to Worlds Prize Pool.” LoL Esports. N.p., 28 Oct. 2016. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.