Written by: Nick Mingay
SACRAMENTO – E-sports has become a sensation and streaming online games such as League of Legends is a viable source of revenue for professional gamers.
The gaming community has exploded in the past decade with the introduction of MMORPG’s (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) and RTS (Real Time Strategy) games. It is not only playing the games that has infiltrated pop culture, but the streaming of live gameplay has become all the more prevalent. Players of games such as League of Legends, Starcraft II and Counter Strike sit in from of their computers or have parties not to play the game, but to watch it being streamed by professional players.
League of Legends seems to be the most commonly streamed game. It is not the most popular game in big tournaments put on by Major League Gaming or the massively successful Dreamhack, but the fans of LOL, as it is known, is growing by the day. Many of the professional League of Legends players stream for a majority of the day seven days a week. They play advertisements during downtime and make money depending on how many viewers they have at the time.
Streamers can get a free program to broadcast their games, Xsplit seems to be the most popular. From there, they need only to sign up with a streaming website, Ow3ed.tv or Justiv.tv are the two most commonly used.
Own3d.tv is by far the most popular streaming website for professional players. The site hosts the players streams and provides a platform for them to make money off the stream by playing the advertisements set up by Own3d.
Streamers are paid for how many viewers they have at the given time of advertisements. For every advertisement played per 1000 viewers, the streamer gets three dollars. This may not seem like a lot, but the most popular players have an average of 10,000 viewers watching while they are online. That means $30 for each ad played.
The ads are often played in sets of three, so for every three adds the streamer can make $90. They can play the ads as much as they like, but most play a set of three once every half hour or so. Not a bad payout for playing a game you love.
The hardest part about streaming to make money is to capture your audience. Many of the professional players are known from international tournaments. Anyone just coming into a stream will have to grab the attention of viewers through wit, banter, well played games and a great music selection while they stream. The biggest key to keeping and growing an audience is keeping them entertained during downtime. This can be done with Youtube videos, discussion of the last game or game mechanics overall and have music running in the background.
Online streaming does not seem to be a consistent way to make money in the future because of the dynamic nature of competitive gaming, but for the professional League of Legends players it seems to be a great way to enjoy what you do for a living.