We all know star athletes are getting paid ridiculous amounts of money nowadays, but what if I told you pro-gamers are also making six to seven figures? It sounds absurd, but yes, people are getting paid this much money to professionally click their mouse and press buttons on their keyboard. With technology advancing more rapidly than ever before, we can't ignore its impact on gaming and the business behind it.
Upon first thought, the most popular game to come in your head is most likely "Fortnite." The game has finally started to lose the hype, but at its peak, it was an amazing opportunity for elite players to make good money. Popular streamer, Ninja, was said to make over $500,000 a month playing Fortnite. How? Platforms like Youtube and Twitch. Twitch is an app where gamers can stream while they're playing, and they make money from donations and subscriptions. Viewers can pay about $5 a month to subscribe, and they receive exclusive emotes and comment priority while also being able to view the stream ad-free. On top of that, fans can donate however much money they want. The highest donation Ninja ever received from a fan was $40,000. With millions of viewers on both Youtube and Twitch, Ninja's bank account skyrocketed due to his unique ability to play a popular videogame.
While Ninja is making serious money from streaming, in countries like Asia, e-sports have already become some of the top entertainment. "League of Legends" was the number one game streamed on Twitch before "Fortnite" came around, and it actually has a legitimate professional play. The regions consisting of their own league include Vietnam, Europe, North America, China, and many more. At the end of their respective seasons, the top three teams from every region represent themselves at the World Championship. In 2017, the Worlds semifinals grossed over 50 million viewers. What's even crazier? The Finals took place at the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing, the same stadium as the Olympics. Both events brought viewers from around the world and proved to be a huge success in entertaining the fans.
You might be wondering how the evolution of e-sports could affect you personally. Just this year, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association has regulated sports teams for League of Legends and Rocket League. This provides a great alternative to those who aren't particularly interested in sports or maybe don't have any special athletic ability. Schools are now being funded money for high-speed computers and all the accessories for gamers. Just like any other sport, now once you're good enough, you can get recruited by schools at the next level. There are over 30 colleges/universities in the country now offering scholarships for League of Legends. Essentially, e-sports are starting to receive the same treatment as any other sport.
The rapid growth of technology is something we can't ignore. With the growth of technology comes to the evolution of videogames. You can now make a living from sitting in front of a screen for 12 hours a day. It may seem like a cop out to pursue professional gaming to try to make millions. But just like any ordinary athlete, it takes years of practice and a lot of hard work in order to make it to the pros.