Ever wondered how all these twitch streamers and gamers make TONS of money? Behind all the intense matches, the cheering crowds, and the flashy tournaments lies a crucial question: How do eSports teams make money? 


As eSports continues to skyrocket in popularity, drawing in millions of fans worldwide, people begin to question how all of this becomes possible. The glory of winning is always there, but it’s also about the economics that allow teams to compete at the highest levels. From sponsorships to prize winnings, the financial landscape of eSports is as broad as the games themselves. This is why this article will give you all the info you need to understand the economic side of eSports.

Let’s talk MONEY…




The journey of eSports from fun video games to breathtaking tournaments is nothing short of remarkable. ESports events fill massive arenas and are streamed to audiences across the globe. Could you have imagined that 30 years ago when you and your friends were playing Tekken for hours on end after school? It’s hard to believe it!


And if you think brands and media haven’t kept up with this rise, you’ve been living under a rock your whole life. Sponsorship deals have SURGED, with companies BEGGING for a piece of the action. These sponsorships, coupled with increased media coverage, have pushed eSports into the mainstream, making it a lucrative platform for these stakeholders.
In 2019, the Esports global market was valued at $957.5 million. This figure has grown to approximately $1.64 billion today – an increase of over 70% over the last four years.


The significant growth in audience size has also opened up new revenue opportunities for the industry. This includes ticket sales, broadcasting rights and EVEN viewer donations. The streams of income are only growing, increasing the popularity of eSports in every event that takes place.




Now that you’ve got some understanding of the different revenue systems, here’s a closer look at the primary sources of income for these teams:


1. Sponsorships and Partnerships: A SIGNIFICANT chunk of an eSports team’s revenue comes from sponsorships and partnerships with brands. These aren’t limited to gaming hardware companies that provide the essential gear for gaming. Lifestyle brands and even those not directly related to gaming, are partnering with eSports teams. These sponsorships can range from logo placements on team jerseys to more integrated partnerships involving social media and content collaborations.


In June 2021, TSM, a major eSports organisation, signed a sponsorship deal with cryptocurrency exchange FTX, reportedly worth $210 million. The deal led to the team rebranding to “TSM FTX” across all platforms, marking one of the most lucrative sponsorships in eSports history.


2. Tournament Prize Money: Success in eSports tournaments can be lucrative, with prize money forming a substantial part of a team’s income. The prize pools for major eSports tournaments have reached staggering amounts thanks to sponsorships, ticket sales, and crowdfunding efforts by the community. Teams that consistently perform well not only cement their position as a top competitor, but increase their financial landscape to bring in better players, sponsors and more.

The 2022 League of Legends World Championship (Worlds) featured a prize pool that surpassed $6 million. The winning team, EDward Gaming, took home a significant portion of this pool, underlining the substantial rewards available in top-tier league championships.


3. Merchandise: Like traditional sports teams, eSports organisations generate revenue by selling branded merchandise. This includes items like jerseys and hats, accessories, and even digital items such as in-game skins or emotes (dances). Merchandising allows fans to show support for their favourite teams while providing them with a direct income stream, pretty much identical to conventional sports events.


4. Media Rights and Content Creation: As the audience for eSports grows, so does the value of media rights. Broadcasting rights for major tournaments are sold to television networks and streaming platforms (Twitch, YouTube etc.), providing teams and organisers with another revenue source. Additionally, teams can create engaging content for their fans, including behind-the-scenes, training sessions, and player interviews, which can also attract sponsorships and advertising revenue.


5. Fan Donations and Crowdfunding: The eSports community is known for its passionate support of favourite teams and players. This passion translates into financial support through direct donations and crowdfunding campaigns for causes vital to teams and players. This direct community support underscores the strong bond between eSports teams and their fanbase, providing a strong revenue system for eSports as an entirety.

These were the figures in 2021 for income streams in eSports, provided by Newzoo:


Although the above income streams may seem more than enough for eSports teams, they aren’t always guaranteed. One MAJOR challenge for eSports teams is the variability of tournament winnings; while they pay well, they’re not guaranteed paychecks. This unpredictability shows the importance of diversifying revenue streams. Teams can’t just rely on prize money every tournament; they also need other income streams to support their financial state.


Moreover, the rapid evolution of eSports means teams must CONTINUOUSLY adapt to stay relevant and profitable. Engaging a growing global audience requires fresh & fun content, clever marketing strategies, and maintaining competitive performance. Sustainability in this context isn’t just about making money now; it’s about investing in the team’s future, from player development to brand expansion, ensuring long-term success for all branches.





The future for eSports revenue looks promising, with emerging technological advancements opening new avenues for income. As virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies improve, we can hope to see eSports experiences becoming more immersive, attracting a wider audience and, in turn, more lucrative sponsorship deals AND ticket sales.

Moreover, the increasing acceptance of eSports within the mainstream, including their inclusion in the Olympics and collaboration with traditional sports leagues, signals a future where eSports revenue could rival that of established sports. This acceptance will CERTAINLY attract investment and interest from sectors previously uninvolved in gaming. 

As eSports keeps growing, all these changes point to a future where the ways teams make money will be as varied and exciting as the games they play.

And that concludes this article. Hopefully, you gained some insight into the money-making methods of the eSports goliaths. If that’s the case, why not take a look at our other articles for more info on eSports, by clicking the link below.


If you’re yearning to dive deeper into eSports, the UTE conference in Cebu, Philippines, is where you need to be. This isn’t just any old event; it’s your ticket to really get a look at the world of eSports. PICTURE THIS: a place where you can get the latest info, try unreleased features out for yourself, and listen to some of the top players in eSports, all ready to share their knowledge with you. And it’s all happening on the August 23rd and 24th 2024 in Cebu. So, here’s your chance: Secure your spot NOW and be part of the future of eSports.