Esports is a burgeoning industry seeing an increasing number of players each year. For kids in high school, it is especially enticing with many of them aiming to achieve professional level of competence in these digital games.
While there are certainly hazards involved in becoming a professional in esports, there is still a clear path for those who do wish to become a professional player. For parents who are unsure about whether their teen should be a Fortnite player, this article offers a glimpse into the advantages, and the possibilities offered by esports.
Esports encapsulate all kinds of video-game based competitions or the associated chances of earning from these competitions. Games such as Fortnite are participated in tournament-style, in which the winner is awarded a major prize. Other games such as League of Legends are played by teams and the team members get a salary over and above some prize money.
Prize money is just one part of the compensation for a professional esport ‘athlete’, as they are usually also financially backed by gaming companies. They appear on streaming websites such as Twitch and YouTube. On these websites, they earn money by incorporating advertisements into their videos, promoting company products, and receiving donations from digital followers. For nonprofessional players there are not a lot of chances for large amounts of money, but for professionals there is a way to earn big money.
Any video game can be played in an esport competition, with some popular titles being the Madden Franchise and Call of Duty. However, the most played and the highest-earning video games in esports in that order are: Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Fortnite, League of Legends, and Starcraft II. These titles hold a big opportunity for the top performing players to earn millions of dollars. For instance, Dota 2, being the highest rewarded esport game, pays out-of-ordinary performers more than $200 million annually (excluding the money earned through sponsorships).
Esports aren’t much different from other sports. Like them, they also represent an industry with a valuation in billions of dollars in which players, recognized for their gaming skills, are financially backed by companies and come to achieve celebrity statuses. The only difference is that they aren’t played in a physical space but a virtual one.
Advantages of Esports
Before we have a look at the disadvantages of esports, we must find out the reasons for which they can actually be good for some aspiring gamers. Below, we discuss the top three advantages of being an esport player.
The Financial Aspect
Tyler Blevins, with his gaming world title “Ninja,” is the highest paid gamer in the world. He is reckoned to be making almost a combined $16 million annually from various revenue streams such as donations, sponsors, online appearances and advertisement income. Being 28 years of age, he seems to be at the top end of the age range for most professional players, who are at an average age of around 22 years. This shows that most male and female esport professionals could be making top bucks when they are fairly young.
Backing from sponsors, online appearances and advertisement revenue are not the only lucrative revenue sources for these players, with tournament participation also offering a considerable reward. In 2019 the Fortnite World Cup paid nearly $30 million in prize money. Each participant got at least $50k, while the winning participant earned $3 million in prize money. With such impressive figures, there is no doubt that the earning opportunity for a big-time player is massive.
Recognition from Schools
The truth is that many high school teens would rather stay away from the physically challenging sports in favor of the stimulation offered by video games, generally considered by them to be far more rewarding, offering a high dose of excitement and adrenaline rush. While for their parents, video games may represent a non-lucrative and wasteful endeavor, for them it is definitely something with the potential of a career.
High schools are giving into the passion of the students. The National Federation of High School Associations now considers esports an approved sport and all over the country schools have started building teams for competitions. This is a right step toward making esport-loving students feel amalgamated into a bigger community of like-minded enthusiasts, thereby giving weight to their passion for the game and boosting their self-image. This also ensures that esports are being checked for any foul displays of language usually found in video games. For teenagers who are are left out of the advantages of playing physical games, video games offer similar benefits in terms of increased social bonding and interaction with peers, making them feel united against a bigger aim and contributing to the buildup of their mental strength.
Scholarships by Colleges
Colleges, like high schools, also now regard esports as a legitimate passion and career. Many colleges now give formal recognition to esport teams, with organizations such as the National Association of Collegiate Esports offering heavy scholarship amounts to esport players seeking admission into colleges to play in college-level teams. Imagine a significant decrease in the loan amount you as a parent and your teen will have to shed off post-college as a result of an esport scholarship. Monetary savings aside, if your kid has mettle to prove to be a serious pro-player, they could end up gaining validation as a first division athlete for their exceptional skills.
Andy Earle is a researcher who studies parent-teen communication and adolescent risk behaviors. He is the co-founder of talkingtoteens.com, ghostwriter at WriteItGreat.com, and host of the Talking to Teens podcast, a free weekly talk show for parents of teenagers.