How do ESports Teams Make Money?

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Esports athletes often command substantial salaries, with some raking in millions annually while many others secure hundreds of thousands. But what fuels this financial success? And just how lucrative is the industry?

The esports landscape encompasses a multitude of games, each with its own distinct audience and revenue model for players. In this exploration, we endeavor to dissect the intricate ecosystem of player compensation in esports — from diverse revenue streams to comprehensive insights into earnings. Stay tuned for a detailed breakdown that sheds light on the financial realities of professional gaming.

ESports Salary

For players, the primary — and typically most lucrative — source of income comes in the form of team salaries.

These salaries vary widely based on factors such as the team's size, the player's skill level, the game they compete in, the competitions they partake in, and numerous other considerations. At the highest tier, esports athletes can command multimillion-dollar salaries from their organizations.

Hal Biagas, former Executive Director of the LCS Players Association, noted in a 2020 podcast that the average salary for LCS players, North America's premier League of Legends competition, stood at $410,000 (~£329,000). This figure likely represents the mean average. Subsequent reports indicated that salaries in 2021 reached record highs and remained steady in 2022, implying that the average salary for top-tier League of Legends players exceeds $410,000.

Notable outliers like League of Legends standout Perkz, who inked a three-year, $6 million (£4.82 million) deal with Cloud9 in 2020, underscore the earning potential for players in recent years. In regions like China, where gaming culture runs deep, salaries soar even higher. According to, an LPL player reportedly earned RMB 45 million (£5.3 million) annually, with others signing contracts worth 30 million RMB per year (~£3.53 million).

In Counter-Strike, FaZe Clan's Robin ‘ropz’ Kool pocketed approximately €800,000 (~£705,455) in 2022, with the bulk likely stemming from his salary from FaZe, supplemented by prize money and skin sales.

In VALORANT, many players, even those outside VCT-partnered teams, earn between $20,000 and $40,000 (~£16,000-£32,000) per month, with select individuals commanding higher sums.


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