Esports, or competitive video gaming, has exploded in popularity in recent years. With millions of fans worldwide and a growing number of professional leagues, esports has become a lucrative industry for teams and players alike. In this article, we’ll explore the various ways in which esports teams make money, from sponsorships to merchandise sales to streaming revenue and beyond. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of how these teams are able to turn their passion for gaming into a profitable business.


Sponsorships are a critical part of the esports ecosystem. Brands are eager to get in front of the massive esports audience, and sponsoring a team can provide exposure and credibility. Esports teams can secure sponsorships in a variety of ways – by winning tournaments, by having a large and engaged fan base, and by demonstrating a commitment to excellence in their gameplay and in their team culture. Successful sponsorship deals can provide teams with substantial sums of money and other perks, such as access to exclusive events or equipment. For example, in 2019, FaZe Clan, one of the most popular esports teams in the world, signed a sponsorship deal with Nissan that saw the car company become the team’s exclusive automotive partner. This deal not only brought in revenue for FaZe Clan, but it also provided them with a high-profile partner that added to their credibility and prestige.

Tournament Prizes

One of the most exciting and potentially lucrative revenue streams for esports teams is tournament prizes. Winning a major tournament can mean a prize pool of millions of dollars, with the top teams splitting the winnings. This money can be a huge boost to a team’s financial stability, especially for smaller organizations that may not have high-profile sponsors or merchandise sales. Some of the most successful teams in esports, such as OG in Dota 2 and Astralis in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, have won multiple major tournaments, earning millions of dollars in the process. It’s important to note, however, that tournament winnings are not the most reliable source of revenue – teams cannot always count on winning every event they enter.


Another major source of revenue for esports teams is advertising. Just like traditional sports teams, esports organizations can earn money by displaying advertisements on their live streams, social media channels, and websites. This can take the form of banner ads, pre-roll or mid-roll video ads, or sponsored content. The biggest esports events can attract millions of viewers, making them an attractive platform for advertisers. For example, in 2020, League of Legends World Championship aired on multiple platforms and reached an estimated peak viewership of 3.8 million. Brands that want to reach this massive audience are willing to pay top dollar to esports teams that can deliver it. Successful advertising partnerships can bring in significant revenue for esports teams, as well as help them build relationships with brands outside of the gaming industry.

Merchandise Sales

Esports teams can also make money by selling team-branded merchandise to their fans. This can include clothing, gaming accessories, or even physical collectibles. The popularity of team-branded merchandise has exploded in recent years, with fans eager to show their support for their favorite teams. Some of the most successful esports teams, such as Team SoloMid and Cloud9, have built substantial merchandise businesses that are nearly as profitable as their esports franchises. Selling merchandise can be an excellent source of revenue for teams, as well as a way to build strong relationships with fans.


Professional players on esports teams can also make money from streaming their gameplay live on platforms like Twitch or YouTube. Successful streamers can attract thousands of viewers, who are often highly engaged and willing to donate money to support their favorite players. Additionally, streamers can earn revenue from advertising, either through directly selling ad space on their streams or by working with platforms like Twitch that offer ad revenue sharing. Esports teams and players can also attract sponsorship deals from brands that want to reach viewers through the streamers they follow. For example, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, one of the most successful esports players and streamers, has signed multiple sponsorship deals with major brands, including Red Bull and Adidas.

Content Creation

Finally, esports teams can earn revenue by creating and uploading content to social media and video platforms. This can include behind-the-scenes videos, interviews with players, and highlights from tournaments. Successful content creators can attract a large following and can earn ad revenue from platforms like YouTube. Esports teams can also use their content to promote merchandise sales or to attract new fans to their esports franchises. For example, OpTic Gaming, a popular esports team, has a successful YouTube channel that features a variety of content related to the team’s activities and culture. This content not only generates revenue for the team, but it also helps build a loyal fan base that is invested in their success.


Esports teams have a variety of revenue streams available to them, from sponsorships to tournament winnings to advertising and beyond. To be successful, teams must be innovative and entrepreneurial in how they approach monetization, finding ways to leverage their unique assets and expertise to generate income. As esports continues to grow in popularity, we can expect to see even more ways for teams to earn money, from new forms of advertising to innovative approaches to content creation. By staying on the cutting edge of these trends, esports teams will be well-positioned to thrive in this exciting and rapidly evolving industry.

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By Happy Sharer

Hi, I'm Happy Sharer and I love sharing interesting and useful knowledge with others. I have a passion for learning and enjoy explaining complex concepts in a simple way.

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