Lots of people mostly spend money on League of Legends, but there are a select few that make their money playing the game instead of spending it all on skins and fresh accounts. This wide range of players includes both professional players who compete at the top level and streamers of all skill levels. Even ignoring all of the people who make their living working on, or around the game, playing the game itself can be quite lucrative.
But how much can you really make playing League of Legends? It’s honestly a harder question to answer than you might think, but here is how it breaks down.
As A Professional
Professional eSports players all make a good amount of money at the top level. After all, it’s their job and they’re some of the select few in the world that can do it. That said, despite the fact that eSports collectively would be the fourth most-watched sport in the world, League of Legends players aren’t exactly going to be taking home Soccer Player Messi’s 127 million anytime soon.
The Granddaddy of professional League of Legends is T1’s Faker. The man is a legend in the scene and has been dominating since the earlier days of League of Legends, but how does that translate into money? Well, the answer is a lot more complicated than just his salary.
If you’re just looking at his salary, Faker reportedly makes somewhere between 1-2 million dollars a year as a player on T1. This is just a rumor seeing as League of Legends contracts, unlike many sports, don’t need to have public contracts, but even working off that number it’s far from the full story.
In fact, if you’re just pulling from the salary, there is another player who is making more right now. Cloud 9’s PERKZ has a rumored salary of 2.7 million a year from the organization. Likely the thing that helped convince him to jump across the ocean and join the LCS this season.
Like we said though, this isn’t the full story. Faker’s contract includes making him part-owner of the gaming organization T1, which means he would have a lot more value in pure dollars from that. Additionally, it’s impossible to know exactly how much he is pulling home from sponsorships and tournament winnings each year. It’s a complicated set of math, and all of it is behind closed doors.
That said, we do know that Faker himself has admitted he turned down contracts that would make him 10,000,000 a year to move to China and play for one of their teams. So clearly he is making enough right now that ten million wouldn’t be a completely life-changing pay-raise. Along similar lines, PERKZ was given a brand new BMW by the Cloud 9 Sponsor, so clearly even a brand new car is a sneeze compared to the money involved in all of this.
Simply put, if you’re at the top of the professional League of Legends scene, you’re going to be making multiple millions a year, likely over five million. How much above or below this it ends up being is all based on hearsay.
As a Streamer
The amount that someone can make streaming is going to be even more nebulous than trying to determine the amount that professional players bring home.
The only thing that you can reliably keep track of is the number of subs that someone has. Twitch subscriptions donate, at minimum, half the $5.00 they pay to the steamer that they are subscribing to. Which can give a fairly reliable metric of the baseline that someone is making.
The most subscribed League of Legends streamer, LolTyler1, has around 15.5 thousand subscribers most of the time, meaning that he is making, at minimum around 40K a month from Twitch, and that’s assuming that he hasn’t gotten a better rate from Twitch (which he likely has) and that none of those subscribers are subscribed at higher tiers (which some assuredly are.)
This is the absolute baseline of income that a streamer could have, but they are also going to make money from ad revenue, donations, brand deals, and sponsored streams. These are all of the more nebulous figures that are involved in how much Twitch Streamers make, as there aren’t many streamers that are open about the amount they make.
Disguised Toast is a smaller variety streamer, but one of those that has been the most open about the money he makes. With 4000 subscribers at the time he spoke about his income, he was making about $2,500 from donations and about $4,000 from the inherent twitch ads. Applying this to Tyler1’s close to 4x subscriber base, and we’re looking at an additional $26,000.
Then there are sponsored streams which can frankly make up the majority of a streamer’s income if they are smart about them. A sponsored stream can reportedly bring in between $0.01 and $1.00 per viewer per hour. It wouldn’t take long for that to add up with Tyler1’s average of twenty thousand viewers.
Finally, Tyler1 is part of T1 (The same team as Faker) as a content creator, meaning that he is sponsored and paid by them to make content and appear at events. He also has additional revenue streams through youtube and working directly with Riot games which means that it’s almost impossible to determine exactly how much he makes, though it seems to be quite a bit below the multiple millions that the best professional players are pulling in.
That is what we know, for now, it’s going to be interesting in the coming years to see if more transparency enters the ring when it comes to eSports earnings. Even if it’s just knowing exactly how much players are earning every year, it might be enough to drive more people toward, or away from a career playing League of Legends.
Going pro or becoming a streamer will force you to deal with one issue, it is the safety of your ELO and your account in general. It is not a secret that a lot of players stream from their secondary accounts to avoid the stream snipers and potential trolls. Also a lot of pro players practice using their alt accounts to keep their strategies hidden from the competition. This is something you might want to get into as well. Growing your secondary account can take a lot of time, instead you can buy lol accounts and spend that time on more interesting activities. It’s a wise decision that a lot of pro players and streamers make!