Is it just me, or has there been an excessive number of ads on YouTube lately? Well, it turns out that’s because a legion of pro esport players like Matthew “OpticNadeshot” Hague are making big bucks off our hits.
“I have a couple of different revenue streams,” he told VentureBeat in an descriptively-titled article, How the players, developers, and leagues of e-sports are making money. “I monetize ad content on my YouTube videos. I also do that on my live-stream. I have multiple [sponsors] that pay me to represent their products. There’s a lot of different ways to make money if you know what you’re doing and you know how to brand yourself correctly.”
Hauge is a champion in an array of esports from Call of Duty to League of Legends, but most of his income, which tallies over 100 grand, comes from shooting videos of himself playing these games, rather than taking down rival teams in the semi-finals. Seriously, could these guys jobs get any better.
But as Hague describes it, its more PBR than rosé. “It’s very stressful, because if I take a day where I don’t upload a video, I know that day I’m not going to be making any money. . . If you’re having a bad day—if you’re sick and you can’t get anything done—you’re not going to make any money. It’s something that you need to stay focused on.”
While great for fans, this is like Russell Westbrook setting up a webcam in his driveway and shooting hoops on his days off so he can pay rent. It goes to show that although professional gaming has made strides in terms of viewership, the various leagues and teams aren’t completely there yet when it comes to supporting individual players financially. Hopefully one day these great players will get more respect.