The year 2020 has been a strange one for people all across the world. The lockdowns and social distancing measures have hit most industries very hard, with sectors like hospitality and professional sports taking heavy losses due to closures and restrictions.
Gamers and professional online gaming, however, have seen a boost in income as more people have been stuck inside with little to do and have flocked to game streaming sites like Twitch and YouTube Gaming in record numbers.
Professional e-sports gaming and video game streaming have become more mainstream over the last few years, and now there are countless pro-gamers and streamers bringing in the big bucks online as they play games to online audiences that sometimes number in the millions. Here we are going to take a look at some of the biggest earners in online gaming this year, and what they do to make their money.
Ninja (A.K.A. Tyler Blevins)
Though just one of many successful online streamers, Ninja captivated the attention of many both inside and outside of the video games world with his high profile endorsement and exclusivity deals.
His switch from Amazon’s Twitch to Microsoft Mixer platform was big news and impacted the stock price of both technology companies. His popularity led to the game Fortnite designing a Ninja avatar for players to use while playing the game. Endorsement deals with Adidas and Red Bull have helped push his annual earnings to over $17 million dollars this year.
PewDiePie (A.K.A. Felix Kjellberg)
Possibly the world’s most famous gamer, PewDiePie has been a household name for gamers for most of the decade. His popularity soared through his YouTube channel, which contains a lot of non-gaming content as well as ‘Let’s Play’ style game streams.
Though he was by no means the first person to stream their game playing, his game streaming has arguably done more to make the genre popular than anyone else, and his status in pop culture was cemented by his appearance on an episode of South Park in 2014. Since then his popularity has swelled and he now boasts the biggest following on YouTube with millions of regular viewers and a huge 4.5 billion views in 2019.
If you want to start making money from YouTube, it’s certainly an avenue worth exploring as PewDiePie has demonstrated!
Preston is one of the most popular video game vloggers on the internet and makes a lot of money from playing with fans in online games of Minecraft that require in-game spending. Though this is a controversial way to profit from gaming in some corners of the video game culture, that hasn’t stopped Preston from amassing a fortune worth about $14 million dollars last year, and he is expected to make even more in 2020.
It has been rumored he also enjoys a little online gambling too, as a break from all the mining and crafting he does online. It’s no surprise either, as playing some online casino games at a best odds casino is a great way to blow off some steam, especially if you have $14 million in the bank! Obviously, you need to be careful if you’re going to get into online gambling. Choosing a best odds casino gives you a much better chance of winning, so you should research those first which you can do through this selection of casino games that have been reviewed. Be sure to set yourself spending limits when gambling, as unlike Preston it may make a bigger dent in your account if you get too involved!
Shroud (A.K.A. Michael Grzesiek)
Shroud made his name many years ago as a successful pro-gamer and has expanded into a range of different commercial endeavors including streaming and producing his own clothing line with the gaming brand Jinx.
He is a favored player with publishers like Electronic Arts and Blizzard who consult him on many different aspects of their games and gameplay, as well as marketing and their outreach to young players. This gamer has a lot of influence in the industry yet keeps a generally low-profile online with very few regular streams, or let’s play videos. This hasn’t prevented him from being one of the industry’s big earners, however, with over $12.5 million banked last year and a higher amount expected this year.
VanossGaming (A.K.A. Evan Fong)
VanossGaming started out by streaming playthroughs on YouTube that quickly gained popularity for his comedic takes on gameplay and his hilarious antics as he walked through the game with his viewers.
Last year he hit over 24 million subscribers, and the number is still climbing. His videos had more than 1.6 billion collective views and he looks set to smash that year’s record in 2020 with over 2 billion views predicted. His popularity is growing every day, fueled mainly by his comedic chops, and he has also starred in an animated series on YouTube called Paranormal Action Squad as a monster hunter. This helped build his profile and get more viewers on his own channel.
TimTheTatman (A.K.A. Timothy Betar)
This well-inked individual has seen his popularity soar through 2019 and 2020. His walkthroughs and funny Fortnite streams have led to a number of high profile endorsement deals with top brands like Reese’s chocolate and Budweiser’s Bud Light beer. This culminated with an exclusivity deal with Twitch which cemented his place as a top gamer and one to watch in 2020. He is also a commentator on Twitch for NFL Thursday Night Football games, which is making him a household name for many video game fans.
Nickmercs (A.K.A. Nick Kolcheff)
Like many of the popular gamers today, Nick made his name playing the ever-popular Fortnite. What made Nick different from most, however, was that he played using a controller rather than a keyboard and mouse setup like most Fortnite streamers. This is considered more difficult and so his success in the game made him much more notable among viewers and other players. He was the tenth most-watched streamer in 2019 and this helped him bag a two-year exclusivity deal with Twitch worth an estimated $2 million.
Video games are quickly becoming one of the biggest sectors of the entertainment industry, with millions of dollars’ worth of endorsement and exclusivity deals being signed every year. Maybe it is time to dust off your joypad and start a Twitch stream yourself? You could be on this list in 2021!