eSports: What You Should Know


A professional player in game at the Rocket League Championship Series.

Nate McEvoy, Staff Writer

During the pandemic we all found ourselves spending hours a day on our computers. Some watched shows and movies, and some spent hours in online meetings. Many young people around the world chose to play video games… a LOT of video games. In the US, 227 million people, or about 68% of the population, played video games regularly while stuck in their homes. Many people found it a good way to relieve stress and connect with other people who were stuck at home as well. But just like any other hobby, there’s a group that takes it significantly more seriously than others, and that’s where eSports comes in.

In 2021, there were nearly 24,000 eSports players who earned $227 million in thousands of different tournaments and competitions. Personally, I made a $20 contribution to this number by winning a small tournament in early 2021 in the online game Rocket League. This $20 pales in comparison to many of these players who earn their living from salaries, paid by the team they belong to from sponsor money. Hal Biagas, director of the players association for the popular game League of Legends, says that the average salary is over $410,000. Some of the highest-earning players win prize money in the millions over their careers, like N0tail, a Dota 2 player who has earned nearly $7.2 million in his six years of playing professionally.

But none of these pros are immediately successful. It takes thousands of hours for professional players, and some have racked up 20,000+ hours over careers longer than a decade. Most professionals, are playing 40 hours per week, the same amount as most Americans. Not every day is fun and games though, and it gets tiring to force yourself to play for hours every day. Dillon “Rizzo” Rizzo, a former professional Rocket League player, quit after a lack of “the drive or the motivation to continue to do it”. This is just one example of thousands of players who quit after struggling with mental health issues, motivation, or a variety of other problems that eliminate the joy of games.

Video games can be the outlet that many people need at the end of the day, as well as a high-earning, respectable profession. It takes many hours of dedication and practice to be the best in the world, and there are many people trying to make it. eSports are an important part of life for many Americans and people all around the world, and the community will only get larger from here.


Works Cited

Margerum, Will, et al. “Rocket League boosted engagement amid pandemic: participants – The GW Hatchet.” The GW Hatchet, 9 November 2020, Accessed 24 March 2023.

Slater, Donald J. “ESPORTS: It’s all Fun and Games. Until it’s Not – Journal of High Technology Law.” Sites @ Suffolk University, 10 March 2021, Accessed 24 March 2023.

“3, 2, 1 Go! Video Gaming is at an All-Time High During COVID-19.” Nielsen, Accessed 24 March 2023.

“United States Esports Results & Statistics.” Esports Earnings, Accessed 24 March 2023.