How Pro Gamers Generate Income Beyond Prize Pools

Esports, or competitive video gaming, has grown in popularity over the years. With millions of fans worldwide, esports tournaments have become massive events that rival traditional sports in terms of viewership and revenue. Like any other sport, professional gamers dedicate their time and skills to compete against each other for glory and monetary rewards.

While winning prize pools is the most common way to earn money as a pro gamer, it is not the only source of income for these players. In fact, many top esports athletes generate a significant portion of their income outside of tournament winnings. So, let’s explore the various ways pro gamers generate income beyond prize pools.

Sponsorships and Endorsements

One of the main sources of income for pro gamers is through sponsorships and endorsements. These can come from partnerships with gaming brands, equipment manufacturers, or energy drink companies.

Companies see the value in partnering with successful gamers to promote their products to a highly engaged audience. For instance, just like a live casino, streamers may attract sponsorships and brand partnerships from online casinos, gaming companies, or related brands.

Sponsorships and endorsements can provide pro gamers with a steady stream of income and additional perks such as free equipment and travel opportunities. Some top players have even secured multi-million dollar deals with popular brands.

Streaming and Content Creation

With the rise of platforms like Twitch and YouTube, pro gamers can earn significant income by streaming their gameplay or creating content. Viewers can support their favourite players through subscriptions, donations, and virtual gifts, creating a direct revenue stream for gamers. For example, they may also receive donations from fans during streams, with some donations reaching thousands of dollars in a single session.

Beyond streaming, pro gamers have expanded into content creation, offering various videos, from tutorials on advanced gaming techniques to vlogs documenting their daily lives. This diversification enhances their income potential and strengthens their personal brand’s resonance with their audience.

Esports Organizations and Salaries

Similar to traditional sports, pro gamers can also be signed to esports organisations that provide a salary and other benefits. These organisations often partner with major brands and offer players more stability and support.


One of the primary advantages of signing with an esports organisation is the assurance of a regular salary. Similar to traditional sports contracts, pro gamers receive fixed pay from their organisations, ensuring financial stability and support to pursue their passion full-time.

In addition to base salaries, esports organisations may offer performance bonuses tied to tournament achievements. Pro gamers who secure victories in high-stakes competitions can expect additional rewards, incentivising excellence and fostering a competitive spirit within the team.

Salaries for pro gamers vary greatly, but top players can earn upwards of six figures a year through their team contracts. In addition, some organisations also offer performance bonuses based on tournament results.

Coaching and Consultation Services

As esports continues to grow, there is a demand for experienced coaches and consultants to help aspiring players improve their skills. Pro gamers can leverage their expertise and knowledge by offering coaching services or consulting for teams or players.

One of the key advantages of coaching and consultation services in esports is the ability to deliver these services remotely. Pro gamers can connect with clients from around the globe through online platforms, conducting training sessions, strategy reviews, and skill assessments without the need for physical presence.

Merchandise Sales and Licensing

Like traditional sports athletes, pro gamers can earn income through merchandise sales and licensing. Pro gamers often collaborate with apparel companies to launch exclusive clothing lines and accessories that resonate with their fan base. These branded merchandise collections not only serve as a fashion statement but also act as a tangible connection between players and their supporters.


Furthermore, esteemed pro gamers may secure licensing agreements with game developers, granting permission to utilise their likeness, voice, or branding within the game universe. These collaborations extend to promotional events, special in-game events, and exclusive content releases associated with the player.

Tournaments and Exhibition Matches

Of course, we can’t forget about the primary source of income for pro gamers – tournaments and exhibition matches. While prize pools may not be as consistent or reliable as other sources of income, winning a major tournament can bring in substantial earnings.

Exhibition matches, where top players face off against each other for entertainment purposes, have also become a popular way to generate income. These events often attract large crowds and offer significant payouts to the participating players.


While winning prize pools may be the ultimate goal for pro gamers, it’s clear that there are numerous ways for them to thrive financially in this rapidly expanding industry. With all these alternative income sources, pro gamers have diverse options to support themselves as professional athletes. So, it is an exciting time for both pro gamers and fans as the industry continues to evolve and flourish. And who knows what new avenues for income will emerge in the future. The possibilities are endless!