Thinking about becoming the next big thing on the esports circuit? Many people assume being great at any given game is enough to hit the big time, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In order to give yourself the best possible foundations for a career as a first-rate esports professional, there are considerable costs involved. Below, we break down the most essential expenses you should be prepared for when embarking on an esports career.
Consoles and Computer Costs
If it’s an esports career for you, you’ll need to decide on what your hardware of choice is. If you’re a PC gamer, the overall costs of a gaming computer and associated peripherals can set you back several thousand dollars. You may be able to secure a budget-friendly gaming computer for around $600, but it’s unlikely such a machine will brace for the big leagues.
Thankfully, console gaming is relatively more affordable. As of 2022, the cost of an Xbox Series X console or PlayStation 5 is around $500. However, this doesn’t include additional games, hardware, and ongoing subscriptions to gaming services.
Gaming Rig Expenses
Once you’ve decided on your hardware and purchased peripherals, you’ll need to kit out your gaming rig with some quality furniture. A dedicated gaming desk is an absolute must. You can pick a fairly basic model for around $300, although it’s worth spending a premium on a desk that can adapt to new hardware and accessories. An ergonomic gaming chair is also crucial. You’ll be spending many hours at a time in front of a screen as you train, so something that delivers exceptional levels of comfort and support is essential.
Cost of Games
This is one cost that can vary wildly, if you’re pursuing console gaming, you’ll often find yourself spending upwards of $45 on the latest releases. However, you can mitigate expenditure by investing in a rolling subscription to services like the PlayStation Network.
Thankfully, many of the major esports tournaments center around free-to-play games, with the League of Legends and CSGO schedule filling countless hours of competitive play every year. You won’t have to shell out a cent to play either game. However, as with any freemium title, the developers have to eke out a profit. There’s a good chance you’ll want to customize your in-game avatars with unique skins and premium upgrades.
Founding a Team
Setting up an esports team from scratch can come with considerable costs. A team averaging around 10-15 players can cost anywhere up to $50,000 to establish. This involves fielding and recruitment costs, purchasing equipment, as well as renting suitable training spaces. Sponsorship can go a long way in alleviating these expenses, but only an established team with a proven track record has any real hope of landing a lucrative sponsorship deal.
If you’ve managed to establish a team and progressed to a standard that’s worthy of tournament-level play, you’ll next have to contend with entrance fees. As with other expenses, the tournament entrance fees can vary wildly.
Any major esports league will charge entrance fees to any team looking to compete. Generally speaking, the higher the prize winnings, the more you can expect to pay to enter. If you’re looking to avoid expensive entrance fees, consider exploring online-only tournaments instead. Admission to an online Call of Duty tournament may only set you back several hundred dollars. If you instead set your sights on a stadium event, you can expect to pay many times that to enter your team.
Solo players will find entering live tournaments a far more affordable venture. In some cases, entrance fees may be less than $100. However, you’re far more likely to secure a win with an experienced team behind you. Provided you place high enough in the leaderboards, you can redirect your winnings back into team development and secure a place in a more lucrative event in the future.