Sports Gaming: Can You Cash Out?

: Carlos Salmoran
Carlos Salmoran

Until recently, esports have never been taken seriously despite video games being massively popular. According to Variety, at least 67% of Americans play video games. That’s roughly 220 million people. Sony has sold more than 92 million units of the PlayStation 4. Even with such high numbers, America had still denied the thought of playing video games competitively.

It wasn’t until parents were seeing their young children watch one particular streamer – and finding out how much money he makes from it – that they began to consider letting their kids start playing these games more often. That streamer is Tyler Blevins, also known as Ninja. Forbes reports that before switching to Mixer, Ninja would make $700,000 a month from Twitch subscriptions alone. After hearing this, parents allowed their children to be lost in a sea of young streamers hoping to be the next Ninja. But the young man that truly sent esports skyrocketing since July of this year was 16-year-old Kyle Griesdorf, better known as Bugha. Bugha won the Fortnite World Cup, a tournament with a prize pool of 30 million dollars, making it the esports event with the largest prize pool ever. The teenager took home the first-place trophy and three million dollars with it.

I had never seen so many young kids at a LAN (Local area network) tournament after that. I myself have competed in tournaments during seasons 3-5 of Fortnite, and despite making a decent amount of money from it, my parents were not very happy at first. My little brother is 15 and he is already earning his own money playing the game competitively as well. Due to his sucess my parents have been more open about gaming.

I have noticed that a lot of people are seeing esports as an investment, especially celebrities. Sports legend Michael Jordan invested 26 million dollars into Team Liquid. Offset of the Migos has invested into FaZe Clan, even going as far as to call himself FaZe Set and hoisting an iced-out chain with the team’s logo. Steph Curry and Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors provided an investment of 37 million dollars into Team Solo Mid, saying that these gamers should also be considered athletes. 

I believe that if you possess the talent of being a top tier gamer, you should pursue that passion for being competitive and climbing the ranks. If you’re a competitive gamer on campus, come join the new SHC Esports club! Email me for info on this club at carlos.f.salmoran@email.shc.edu.

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