OPINION: Financial opportunities open in video game streaming

By Andrew Ayala

Video games have become something deeper than a past-time or a hobby. Nowadays, they open new paths to multiple career and life-sustaining possibilities.

Some of these top-earning titles include being a streamer, which is someone who plays video games live for those who enjoy watching, being a YouTuber, which is someone who makes videos on new games, tutorials or even unboxing of special editions and being a member or owner of an eSports organization which can play in tournaments for huge cash prizes.

Video game competitions have been around since the ’90s, but weren’t popularized until the 2000s. Thanks to organizations like Major League Gaming, competitive gaming has skyrocketed within the past few years thanks to titles like League of Legends, Halo, Call of Duty, Rocket League, Counter-Strike and many more titles which have held tournaments that have cash prizes valued over $1 million.

Many people do not realize the possibilities and opportunities that playing video games can give a person. It is like anything else in life, if you love it and are passionate about it then you may have what it takes to be a competitor. The largest prize pool tournament that has occurred according to www.esportsearnings.com was titled “The International 2017,” which valued at $24,687,919 and was for a video game called DOTA 2, which was played between 18 teams and 90 players. The stakes can be very high which is why some of these gamers earn as much as athletes. These teams get sponsorship opportunities just like any other professional athlete in a regular sport which would allow them to earn more and host giveaways to increase their fanbase. Epic Games recently announced on their Twitter that they will be providing $100 million to fund prize pools for Fortnite competitions this year.

One example of a team who made it big would be the FaZe Clan who now own a team house in Newport Beach where the older members of the team now upload videos with designer clothing and the latest cars along with intense gameplay and outrageous pranks to keep their subscribers intrigued. Companies like G-Fuel, Scuf, Dx Racer and even turtle wax are just a few examples of sponsorship opportunities that these teams gain once they reach a certain level of skill and publicity. There are even professional sport teams like the Yankees who have acquired eSports teams because they see the amount of money and success that comes with investment.

Streaming has become very popular lately and and allows those who do it to build a fanbase or support system where people can subscribe to their channels for a $5 fee or even donate as much money as they want to keep their favorite streamers motivated. One streamer who has boomed as of lately due to the success of the extremely popular game Fortnite is known as Ninja and has said in past interviews that he makes up to $500,000 a month thanks to his success on the streaming and video platforms Twitch and YouTube. Ninja has even streamed with popular rappers and athletes like Drake, Travis Scott and JuJu Smith-Schuster, which have tremendously helped him reach different groups of people who are now subscribed and watch him.

There are instances when people donate as little as $2 to get a shoutout live on stream and then those who donate cash values in the hundreds and thousands because of how fascinated and connected they feel to the person they are watching. To be a popular streamer one must be very social and have a character that defines then and makes them stand out from the rest in order to catch the attention of those who are watching. You must also be very skilled and having one of these two characteristics won’t allow you to be as successful or compete with someone who has both. Streamers must connect and be active with their fans and the chat box that sits on the side of the screen.

YouTube has been churning out internet celebrities and stars since 2005. This is because people can post almost anything on the site within its guidelines. On the video game side of YouTube, people can post gameplay, walkthroughs, hidden items called easter eggs and unboxings of special editions that release for games or something special given to that person by the developers. This allows for YouTubers to stay relevant and in the loop of the hottest games or items out that people want to watch videos about. The highest paid YouTuber to date is a person who goes by the name of PewDiePie. According to www.forbes.com, PewDiePie managed to pocket $12 million between June 1, 2016 and June 1, 2017. The YouTuber currently has over  a whopping 60 million subscribers and over 17 billion video views. This seems to be the most reliable of the ways to start an eSports career due to the longevity and the videos always being there, it can also be the most challenging because you must continue to create content and come up with ways to make sure your videos make it out there for the world to see.

As time goes on and video games become more popular, we should make sure to keep up with the pace and direction the world is moving in. They have already began creating venues and mini coliseums to host big events in places like Las Vegas, Los Angeles or even in other countries like Brazil and different parts of Europe. Video games are here to stay and expand due to the amount of success and growth that has been seen within the past few years. Pretty soon our children will be asking us to get them season tickets to watch their favorite eSports team play a video game they love and enjoy.

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