Making Money the League of Legends Way

Dreamhack Festival 2011

The central floor at Dreamhack 2011

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, or are the two most commonly used. 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.


The Remarkable Benefits of Computer Gaming

Computer games do not deserve a wholly negative reputation

Slacker-inducing, obesity-generating, mind-numbing….we have heard it all before and pretty much accept this as fact. Like all things taken to the extreme, the effects of too much too often are likely damaging. But there is another side to computer gaming: a surprising “upside.” While concerns about violent games persist, researchers have discovered that gaming can boost cognitive function and foster positive behavior. It can also ease depression. It can teach, enlighten, and heal injuries. It can build team player and decision-making skills. Computer gaming is not all bad.

Most video games involve a number of mental tasks, and playing can boost any one of them. The fast pace can increase visual acuity, spatial perception, hand-eye coordination, and sharp observation skills. Complex strategy-based games can improve working memory and reasoning. One particular study involved a woman who suffered from depression and post traumatic stress. Unable to sleep at night, she started playing the popular PopCap game “Bedazzled,” and found that the distraction was pleasurable and soothing. Researchers have determined that the focused distraction of games can place people and children with physical or mental pain in a different mental zone, relieving them of their discomfort as they undergo treatment.

Hand-eye coordination and team player skills are a couple of the positive benefits of video games

The interactivity of computer gaming also provides a stimulating platform for learning. Integrating “play” into learning how to keyboard, for example, makes the tedium of learning to type more rewarding and interesting. Incorporating geography and real history into gaming strategies can be a creative approach to teaching.  Senior citizens who express interest in learning about computers easily adapt to the maneuverability of the mouse while playing computer Solitaire.

When we read books or work crossword puzzles or Sudoku games, we are rarely frowned upon as mindless time-wasters. Why are many video games viewed so harshly? Violent games are concerning, but evidence isn’t clear that they promote aggression. Aggression could stem from seeing violence on TV or in the home. And violent games can provide an avenue of venting in a fantasy world in lieu of acting out in reality.

Ultimately, computer gaming feeds a lot of human needs, and many of them are positive. Strike a balance, enhance the mind, and enjoy yourself.