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Why Everyone Wants to be a Professional Gamer

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Melanie is a former twitch streamer and current owner of a streamer support Discord channel.


Kids in the 80s all wanted to be rock stars. They watched Bon Jovi, Metallica, and Van Halen rock it out on stage and aspired to achieve those levels of fame and fortune. They started bands in their garages with their high school friends, and a very select few went on to become rock legends in their own rights.

Now though, kids are aspiring to a different kind of fame. They don’t want to be on stage in front of a crowd of adoring fans but are more comfortable behind a computer screen. Kids these days want to be professional gamers and YouTubers.

Professional Gamers are the New Rock Stars

Professional gamers are the new rock stars. Big-name streamers like Ninja and Pokimane draw thousands of viewers every time they go live, while internet-famous Youtubers like PewDiePie make millions of dollars creating videos based around video games. Both platforms boast hoards of adoring fans who idolize their favorite creators in much the same way that youth of the 80s and 90s idolized rock stars.

Instead of starting bands in their garages with their friends, kids are starting Twitch streams and Youtube channels, hoping to one day draw thousands of viewers the way their favorites do. The fame and prestige of becoming internet famous is a large part of the allure.

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Professional Gamers Can Make Big Bucks

If the stardom isn’t reason enough to want to become a professional gamer, the money is. Top Twitch streamers can earn a hundred thousand dollars a month, just with subscribers alone. These gamers are also making money via cheers, donations, affiliate marketing, and sponsorships. They are pulling in over a million dollars a year with all of these methods combined.

Professional gamers can also make big money by winning tournaments. E-sports is a growing niche, and gamers competing in tournaments can make hundreds of thousands of dollars. A multitude of games now have these paid tournaments, including shooters like Call of Duty, MOBA (Multi-player Online Battle Arena) games like League of Legends, and sports games like FIFA.

Although professional gamers can make this much money, it isn’t typical. Most Twitch affiliates hardly make any money at all, and those who do are usually only earning enough to supplement their income.

Gaming is Fun

One of the top reasons that people want to become professional gamers is that it’s fun. Playing video games beats working retail, sitting in a cubicle, and dealing with horrible people all day.

Gaming is fun, can be community-driven, and provides a much-needed escape from the banality of our lives. Getting paid to do something fun like this is the dream for most people, whether it be through gaming, art, or another passion. And with the advent of the internet and the accessibility of creating content as a legitimate means of survival, it’s no wonder that so many people are looking to become professional gamers.

It’s Easier to Make an Income Gaming Than it is to be a Rock Star

The thing about being a rockstar is that it was just a dream for most people. In the 1980s, record executives still held the keys to the golden gates, and if they didn’t like you, you couldn’t get in.

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The new world of the internet and online broadcasting has changed the game. Nearly anyone can post a video on Youtube or start a Twitch stream. Becoming a professional gamer is accessible in a way that other types of stardom never were.

That’s not to say it is easy. The fact that becoming a professional gamer is easier than becoming a rockstar doesn’t make it a cakewalk. Becoming a doctor is easier than becoming an astronaut, but both are difficult and take tons of hard work and dedication.

But those who are willing to put in the work can make money doing it. Even if they don’t make millions of dollars the way the stars do, they can make enough to supplement their income or even support themselves if they have low expenses.

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How to Become a Professional Gamer

There is still room in gaming for newcomers to make it big, but it’s important to remember that it takes a lot of hard work and skill to make money as a professional gamer. If it’s something you are interested in, the first step is to decide what type of professional gamer you want to be – do you want to be a streamer, make videos, or play in tournaments?

Playing in Professional Tournaments

Playing in tournaments is the most difficult way to make money as a professional gamer because you need a lot of skill to be competitive. This is only a good route for someone who is incredibly good at a certain game. Think of these gamers as the athletes of the gaming world – most gamers will never achieve their skill, but that’s okay. Live streaming and making videos around gaming are two amazing alternatives.

Become a Professional Streamer

If you aren’t in the top tier of a particular game, it’s far easier to make a name for yourself as a professional streamer. Streamers get paid to broadcast their video gameplay to an audience. Fans watch them fight enemies, navigate dungeons, and beat levels, cheering them on the entire way.

Many people choose this route when they want to become a professional gamer, and as such it’s saturated. It is incredibly difficult to make a name for yourself as a streamer. However, those who are willing to put in the work can still make a living off the network.

Although there are many different platforms for streaming, Twitch is still a top choice for many. It’s one of the most well-known, and it’s easiest to monetize. In order to start monetizing on Twitch, you need to become a Twitch affiliate. That means you have to meet Twitch’s streaming and viewership requirements, which are lower than on any other platform. Although you can start monetizing as soon as you achieve affiliate, don’t expect to earn a lot. Most Twitch affiliates don’t make enough each month to receive a payout. It takes a lot of work to gain enough Twitch viewers to make any real money, but those who are dedicated and good at marketing themselves can achieve it.

Make Gaming Videos

The last way to become a professional gamer is to make videos of your gameplay and upload them to Youtube. This requires a little more technical skill than live streaming because you will need to edit the videos to showcase the highlights or get rid of the dead space. People watching gaming videos are generally looking for “how-tos”, like how to beat a certain dungeon or how to find a specific item. Additionally, you can create game and console reviews, and be a go-to resource for those thinking of purchasing a new game.

Making a name for yourself on Youtube is just as hard as on Twitch. You will need to be dedicated to the platform and make a lot of videos before you see any traction. In addition, you will need to do a lot of networking and market yourself, so that people can find you. However, Youtube is a huge platform and newcomers are constantly coming and succeeding.

Many people who want to be taken seriously as professional gamers use both Twitch and Youtube. They live stream on Twitch, but curate and edit videos to upload to Youtube. This helps them expand their audience and reach more people, and also gives them two platforms for potential monetization.

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Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Professional Gamer?

Becoming a professional gamer will not be easy. It takes technical skills in gaming, interpersonal skills to draw and engage viewers, and networking skills to build an audience. These things take time to develop, and most people give up in less than 6 months.

But for those dedicated and willing to put in the work, there is still room at the top. New gamers are joining the platforms every day, and the only difference between the ones who make it big and the ones who don’t are attitude and perseverance. If you have the right attitude and are willing to work hard for a year or more to make it big, you can be successful.

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