How much do eSports Players, Streamers und YouTubers earn?
In the world of eSports there are many top earners. Known names are for example Faker, NEO or Jaedong. With KuroKy (last updated: November 2017) even a German is currently at the top of the top earning eSports players. Weekly the best teams in the world compete for cash prizes and trophies in eSports tournaments. CS:GO, Dota 2, League of Legends and other games – We checked the community for you and in this article we will show you how to find out how much the best known faces in the eSports, Streaming and Let’s Play community earn. To show you what’s going on at the biggest tournament, here is a video from « The International 2017 » Dota2 tournament. Prize money: over 24 million dollars.
How much do eSports pros earn?
Nowadays eSports is a million-dollar business. The days when gamers were only laughed at und were called nerds are long over. With prize money, sponsorships and team contracts eSports players earn similar amounts as football professionals and have an equally large fan base. RedBull has recently published an exciting info graphic on the subject. We also made a list with the 10 most successful eSports players and their earnings from prize money:
[table id=47 /]
But eSports players don’t only earn millions with prize money but also with advertising partners, sponsors and large and successful sports teams. However, as these revenues are rarely made public they are not easy to estimate but amounts of 50,000-100,000€ per year are not uncommon with top teams.
But you don’t have to be a gamer (or streamer, see below) to earn money with eSports. In the meantime, eSports has also reached the various betting providers. On Betway for example you can bet on eSports events, as it has been the case with football for decades. Betway is also known as a provider of online casinos and is among the top 10 of the best online casinos for German players. On besteonlinecasinos.com, the betting portal is currently ranked third with 4.9 out of 5 possible stars. The rating includes the assortment of games, security, legality and payment methods offered.
How much do the top streamers earn?
The income of top streamers is not easy to estimate, as they often don’t make it public and use too many different ways to earn money. On the one hand there are cheers and subscriptions and on the other hand donations as well as advertising and sponsoring.
Some platform providers explicitly forbid streamers to talk about their income in public. But you probably shouldn’t talk about your revenues anyway if you want people to donate money. Especially if a streamer already has a high income, this could prevent viewers from donating as they could think that the streamer already earns enough money.
Of course there is still the possibility to estimate the streamer’s reach using his followers and regular viewers. We now want to try it with the well known and popular streamer « P4wnyhof ». Using the tool twitchmetrics.net, we found the following information to make an approximate estimate:
Twitch partners receive advertising revenue and can decide when to advertise. How much revenue you make from it depends on your « effective cost per 1000 impressions (eCPM) » value. Among other things the value depends on the streamer’s popularity and is usually $1.00-2.50 (€0.84-2.10) for very well known streamers . For our example, we will choose a value of 1.00€. We now assume that every hour there is a commercial break with a clip and add the weekly viewer hours from above.
With 1,00€ per 1,000 ads and 183.481 viewer hours you get a total of 183,481 €. In one month that would be about 733€. However, 1.00€ for a popular stream is rather low estimated, so the actual advertising revenue of the channel could be a also more than twice as high.
Another interesting key figure from Twitchmetrics in the screenshot are the so-called « Av. viewers » (average viewers). They are very important because they include the time course. Let’s imagine that at the same time 100,000 people join your stream for ten minutes and never come back again. In theory, you would have made lots of viewer hours, but if you didn’t advertise within these ten minutes, it wouldn’t make any financial value. Below you can see a table showing the monthly income from advertising based on an eCPM of €1.00 per hour for one commercial for different monthly streaming times.
[table id=48 /]
It quickly becomes clear that P4wnyhof, with about 2000 average viewers, scores worse than in our first calculation (the presumably higher eCPM value is not taken into account). The reason for this is: In our first calculation we assumed an optimal advertisement display. However, since there won’t be one moment every hour where the maximum number of viewers is online, this value is quite unrealistic.
You will therefore work much more accurately with the average number of viewers. Of course, this figure still remains an estimate, because every streamer has a different eCPM only he knows.
In the screenshot we can see the current number of followers. Assuming 1% subscriptions, that would be about 307,520 subscribers for 307,520 followers. For each subscriber a streamer regularly receives 50% of the paid subscription fees, i.e. 2,50€. Twitch can increase this value to 100% to encourage popular streamers to remain active on Twitch. If we assume that P4wnyhof will continue to receive the basic value, he earns about 7688 euros per month only via subscriptions. Of course, only the owner of the channel knows how many subscriptions he actually has and which percentage of the fees he gets. The sum could therefore be significantly higher or lower.
Donations & Cheers
Most difficult to estimate are the donations, as they depend on the mood of the viewers and can therefore always be different. Although they are usually shown in the stream, it is rarely possible to make a reliable statement even after long observation. Some large streamers, such as Gronkh, receive a donation every few seconds in some cases, while others receive much fewer. Since the amount of the individual donations also varies, no generally valid statement can be made here. However, sums of several thousand or even ten thousand euros may certainly occur.
Factors on which the viewers’ willingness to donate depends include the popularity of the streamer and the presence of other donors. The willingness of the individual viewer to make a donation increases exponentially with the number of other viewers and followers, i.e. almost directly with the first factor mentioned. The factors for the willingness to donate are therefore depending on each other.
Of course, there are other reasons for donations, such as the feeling of being part of a large community or the personal connection to the streamer, but these two main factors are particularly important because they affect each other.
We could now continue to analyse the subject and make further estimates, but you will probably only get a realistic value if you ask the streamer himself. The values given here also only apply to very well-known and popular channels. The most successful channels can be found in our Twitch-Data section. On the basis of the viewer hours (time x viewer) listed there, the income from advertising can be estimated quite well. Simply divide the value by 1,000 and multiply it by the assumed eCPM value of the streamer and the number of commercials per hour.
How much do the Top YouTubers earn?
Similar to streamers, also YouTubers have different sources of income and are therefore difficult to estimate. Sometimes, as in the case of Gronkh, there are even strong overlaps here, since many streamers are also active on YouTube (or even have their roots there). Others, such as LeFloid with his gaming channel « DoktorFroid » only feel at home on YouTube despite Twitch’s high market presence. Many creators on YouTube for example use the platform patreon.com, where fans can make monthly donations and receive rewards for them. However, the most important sources of income are the YouTube ads, where partners of Youtube participate in the revenues from advertising before their videos (similar to Twitch). Of course, the most successful channel is the one that receives the most views. Therefore we have selected and listed the German Youtubers with the most views in gaming for you:
The CPM value (cost per mille, i.e. the advertising revenue of a YouTuber per 1,000 ads) always changes not only according to the popularity of your own channel, but is also seasonal. Before Christmas, for example, the advertising budget of companies is significantly higher than in February, which can lead to an increase in CPM. This article by Hank Green from 2014 illustrates this quite well.
One thing to consider when estimating advertising revenues on YouTube is that today many users have installed programs like AdBlock. That’s why 1,000 views do not mean that the advertising was displayed just as often. A good tool to estimate the advertising revenue of a channel on YouTube is the « YouTube Verdienstrechner » by Sumago (German page). There, you will get quite exact estimates for each channel on YouTube.
How to become successful Can I become as successful as my role models?
This question is not easy to answer. The possibilities of becoming big and popular in streaming, eSports or on YouTube are almost as numerous as the reasons why it couldn’t work out. Of course, it depends primarily on your own talent: In eSports you need a lot of luck and especially talent, even if this is still no guarantee for a career. Becoming a successful streamer also requires a lot of patience and work but big streamers like Gronkh, Shroud and Co. still can’t be reached that fast.
How to become a successful eSports player
As mentioned above, you need a lot of luck and talent, but that’s not enough. You must be willing to train for hours to climb up the rankings. If you get far enough, you’ll probably be scouted by a larger team and can move up, but even that sounds easier than it is. Alone, this is going to be quite difficult. Once you have reached a certain level, it’s best to join a smaller team and try to make your way to the top together.
Most larger teams keep an eye on the rankings of the various games. So if you make it alone or as a team, you will sooner or later attract their attention. A more detailed article on this topic can be found on gamona: eSport erklärt: Wie wird man eigentlich E-Sportler? (German article)
How to become a successful streamer
However, the above mentioned difficulties should not prevent you from trying to start a career as a streamer. Even as a small streamer you can have a lot of fun with this hobby and earn money with a strong community. You may not become a millionaire immediately, but every journey begins with a first step. Who knows where else it could take you.
A strong community is the first step here. Use social media to attract attention, animate your friends and try to get quite a large reach for the start. Pay attention to the quality of your content and your channel.
We want to help you with that. Here on own3d.tv you will find a lot of useful information, tools and tutorials on streaming and gaming. Check out our guide « The best Streaming Guide: How to successfully stream games on Twitch.tv! ». There you will find all the information you need to start your streaming career. If you prefer playing on a console, have a look at our Console Streaming Guide. In our shop you’ll find a large selection of Overlays, Panels, Avatars, Website Templates and more to improve your channel.
List of the most successful eSports players by prize money (Wikipedia) (German article): https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_der_erfolgreichsten_E-Sportler_nach_Preisgeld
How much can you make streaming as a Professional Video Gamer? (Huffington Post): https://www.huffingtonpost.com/jesse-aaron/how-much-can-you-make-str_b_6926362.html
Pro gamer reveals: That’s how much eSports players really earn (Chip) (German article): http://www.chip.de/news/Profi-Gamer-packt-aus-So-viel-verdienen-eSportler-wirklich_87567156.html