An eSports player can earn up to 8 million a year, more than many footballers
South Korea is the country par excellence in the eSports sector, but hot on its heels is China, which has received an overwhelming government economic injection. This investment has made the conditions of the players improve enormously, finding the case of Knight, ‘midlaner’ of JD Gaming, who receives 6.6 million euros per year in salary. That unless it is known, because there are other players with better sports performance that could be around 8 million.
When talking about the world of video games it is impossible not to mention the League of Legends (LOL) that, currently, and according to Riot Gameshas eight million daily players on PC. These figures, added to its great influence in eSports, have made it the most played and relevant game in the world.
eSports are still booming, especially LOL, and there is no better example than the last edition of the Worlds 2022where the final between DRX and T1 obtained a peak of more than five million simultaneous viewers. According to Esports Charts, this day of the annual world championship has made it the most watched competition in MOBA history.
This repercussion, with a final between two Koreans, has gone around the world, confirming that Asia stands above the rest on a competitive level.
In League of Legendsthe salaries of the players are usually a mystery, but sometimes the leaks go viral and turn the media wheel, allowing us to know the exorbitant figures that the industry handles, which, Until 10 years ago, it was a ‘geek’ thing.
Riot Games has worked to structure the professional scene, which has allowed players to earn income on a regular basis. In Spain, as in the rest of the ERL (European regional leagues), the range is estimated between 1,500 and 12,000 euros per month.
Making the leap to Europe, in the LEC the salary margins are much larger, since the leap in quality is enormous. Riot Games established a minimum salary of 60,000 euros per season: “Clubs with greater economic power usually have priority when it comes to signing players, but this does not mean that the team will be successful,” said Goked.
If the sector is unknown, the figures may seem high, but if we cross the continent, landing on Asian lands, the amounts of investment, salary and benefits make the Europeans ‘small change’.
He insider anonymity deciphered for Blix some of the most outstanding salaries in the LPL (Chinese League), finding dizzying data: one of the players came to collect 6.6 million dollars a year. Comparing these figures with other sports, Knight, the aforementioned, would obtain more annual income than soccer players like Dembélé.
The report explains how, in addition to Knight, eight other players would have received salaries of at least 4.4 million dollars a year. It is known that they are not the highest in the league, due to their sports performanceso players like scout either JackeyLove could be around 8 million.
How can Europe compete in eSports?
From Riot Games, that impossible speculation -as if it were about the Arab sheikhs in soccer- seems to have ended. The ongoing covid crisis and the world’s inflationary burden have awakened the eyes of the tech giant.
The ‘salary cap’-fairplay in soccer – it has established itself in the LPL, but it will not be long before it reaches the rest of the regional leagues and continental competitions. This limit will not only affect clubsbut also, players will not be able to collect exorbitant amounts individually.
“Each ecosystem has its own economy and you cannot regulate everything based on an economic equality that does not exist, mainly because each ecosystem is different and it would not make sense”, -he comments to THE OBJECTIVE a source specialized in the sector-“in the end, Europe competes against North America to keep the best European talent and ‘carry’ the leftover scraps from Korea. That is why, in the end, what Europe has to offer are more competitive projects and environments”.
“I personally believe that the only way to compete on equal terms is by making the best possible decisions regardless of available resources», mentions Alex ‘Goked’ Kie, Strategic Coach of Koi, exclusively for THE OBJECTIVE.
Nonetheless, European investment in eSports is still far from expectedTherefore, the work of the clubs is focused more on maintaining healthy environments and good conditions, something that many accept due to the tough and relentless competitive demand of the Asian labor system.
«Clubs with greater economic power usually have priority when it comes to signing players, but this does not mean that the team will be successful. It is true that many players prefer to go where the economic offer is greater, but many others prefer to sign for those teams with a sports project that works very well and obtains resultsGoked explains.