eSports are gaining popularity and the growing attention they have been getting is transforming them into something financially rewarding. It is estimated that there were around 300 million people as of 2017 in different parts of the world who tune in to esports. This number is expected to grow to around half a billion in the next 2 years. These numbers present esports as something business-minded individuals can pecuniarily exploit.
There are opportunities to make money with esports. The following are the basic ways with which you can profit or generate revenues from the rising popularity of esports.
Building Your Own Team
One of the things that come to mind when talking about profiting from esports is the building of a team. Yes, you can build your own esports team and generate revenues from it. It’s not going to be a walk in the park, though. There are many things you have to take into account.
First of all, you need to bear in mind that forming an esports team is like doing a business venture. You will be putting on the line not only your time and effort but also money. You need to make a serious investment as you build and operate an esports team.
You will have to form a team, which means you need to recruit people. Before you do this, however, you need to have a proper plan of what you are trying to achieve. You have to identify the sports or game you want to build a team around. You will have to decide if you are setting up a football team or creating a team of professional DOTA or League of Legends gamers. Obviously, you need a comprehensive outline of what you want to do so you can recruit the right people.
Aside from the players, you also need people to serve as the `executive officer, chief financial officer, chief gaming officer, and chief market officer. You need a team made up of the right people to have better chances of success.
Once you have your team set up, you can then proceed to join games or signing up for tournaments. You can manage and market your team as a legitimate esports team.
The revenues you will generate as the founder or owner of the team will come from various points. You need to be creative in pursuing the revenues because, unlike traditional sports teams, you can’t always count on advertising and sponsorships. If you are the team founder or owner, you have to actively seek out or create revenue opportunities.
Investing in a Team
If you think you can’t handle the requirements of establishing your own team, there’s the option of simply becoming an investor. You can put money into established teams and just get a share of whatever revenues they generate. Make sure you come up with a solid and sensible revenue sharing plan, though. Have everything in writing and under an enforceable contract. Carefully choose an esports team that can truly deliver the profits you want.
Investing in eSports Stocks
On the other hand, if you think investing in a team is too risky, you can direct your investments to the shares or stocks of companies involved in esports. Some of the most attractive options are Activision Blizzard, Inc., Electronic Arts Inc., and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. Investing in these companies is very much like traditional stock investing. Your profits will depend on the movement of the stock prices.
Playing It, Getting Directly Involved
This option is unlikely an option you would want to take but it’s worth presenting it here. It is possible to directly get involved in esports games and earn revenues. This is by becoming one of the players or by playing a significant role in a team (as chief financial officer, chief gaming officer, chief marketing officer, etc.).
The growing popularity of esports can create opportunities for talented players/gamers and experienced business managers to be recruited in an esports team and receive additional income. However, be forewarned that it’s not going to be an easy challenge especially if you are not that well-acquainted with the field of esports. Not many succeed in esports. Only a few players, casters, and teams enjoy decent winning streaks. You may have to go through excruciatingly painful growing pains.
Nevertheless, as someone directly involved in the operation of an esports team, your earnings will be in the form of salaries (for players and managers), sponsorships (for the player and team in general), winnings, and shares in winnings and the sale of merchandise or services. Many tend to believe that esports players make money by winning the prize pools in tournaments. This is not the case, though. Prizes are only a minimal component of the potential earnings. For those directly involved in esports, the earnings mainly come from salaries and sponsorships. Some may be able to forge agreements for them to receive shares in the sales of merchandise or game streaming.
Salaries are provided by the people responsible for forming the team. It varies depending on the team and can also be influenced by the prevailing salaries provided by other esports teams.
Sponsorships, on the other hand, can be a large part of the earnings of esports players. However, these sponsorships are nowhere near the amounts received by traditional sports teams. eSports, after all, is not as big as traditional sports so the audience reach of esports teams does not merit millions in sponsorships.
eSports teams and players can also generate additional income from the sale of merchandise bearing the team name, logo, or branding. Likewise, they can monetize the streaming of their games. There are teams, for example, that stream their game through Twitch in a 50-50 revenue share agreement.
There are different ways to earn something out of the growing popularity of esports. You can build a team of your own, become an investor, or you can be part of the team itself and receive salaries or sponsorships. In all of these, though, you have to carefully think about your decisions. eSports may sound like something that requires some IT or tech know-how and gaming skills but it is actually mainly about business.