Doing Business in the E-Sports Industry: How Does That Work?

Like any sports industry, e-sports offer multiple opportunities for business. One can make money from this activity even without being a player. All you need is to find the right approach. Betting is usually the best strategy for non-players. Though you can also go down the slower way with investing in various sectors of the industry. Players themselves mostly get their money from tournaments and streaming.

Overwatch esport tournament

E-sports are a type of sports that runs in video games. For the most part, this type of activity takes the form of large competitions between professional teams or players. As the popularity of gaming grows, so does the e-sports industry.

From being something done for fun and for free, video game tournaments have progressed to having multimillion-dollar prize pools. Understanding how this happened will help you find your niche for making money from e-sports.

Money in E-Sports: Where Does It Come From?

The money in the e-sports industry comes from five main sources:

  1. Sponsorships
  2. Merchandise
  3. Advertising
  4. Media rights
  5. Game publisher fees

The value of the e-sports market in 2017 was nearly $700 million, which is roughly $200 million more than in 2016, and is projected to surpass $2 billion by 2023.

These five sources contribute equally important streams into the stream of the e-sports industry. This makes it the fastest growing in its niche. This insane level of growth means popularity, which results in the rapidly-increasing demand for software and hardware. This, in turn, infuses more money into e-sports as manufacturers look to endorse its main patrons.

eSports gamer

How to Make Money in the E-Sports Industry

If you are a professional player, you’ll have three main avenues for making money in e-sports:

1. Win tournaments

Prize pools on these reach fantastic amounts. The largest is from Dota 2 International in 2019, which reached $30 million  – the largest ever for an e-sport competition.

2. Stream

Live streaming your games via Twitch or YouTube is a major source of income for players and even beginners. You may never become a professional fit for the e-sports league, but if you have enough charisma, you can get thousands of subscribers and viewers. Each of those will contribute to your salary.

3. Advertise

High-profile e-sports players can make money by promoting industry brands as any other sports players do. Some even go as far as to create their brands, like Fnatic. That’s where the opportunities for non-players start to show up.

Fortnite eSport competition

If you aren’t a video gaming pro but want to benefit from the fast growth of the e-sports industry, you can:

4. Start a niche business

That’s a bit vague and will require an initial investment and a truly good idea. What you need is to come up with a service or product that will be needed by players/sponsors/fans. You’ll also need to promote it actively to achieve success.

5. Bet

E-sports betting is going big now as betting always is. It’s the venue for those who don’t have an opportunity or desire to start a brand new business.

6. Make Guides

Creating how-to guides and other helpful materials will forever remain a lucrative field in every industry. These materials are essential, therefore, they will always be in demand. However, you will have to make yours truly special and valuable to sell them for good money.


The e-sports industry grows fast, which means it presents multiple opportunities for making money. It doesn’t matter if you are a pro player yourself, you can use a variety of methods to get your share. From betting to launching your own line of e-sports hardware, you can try any or all possible venues to make the most of this growth.