So I think one thing that is very hard to get information on in the gaming/twitch/youtube/eSports universe is how much do streamers and gamers actually make? Maybe you wonder how much money that guy on twitch with 200 viewers average makes from streaming all day but you have no idea. I’m here to bring some transparency to this as when I started out it wasn’t easy to come by this sort of information. A lot of people are scared of sharing their financial situation but honestly it has never bothered me, people can judge me how they wish.
So anyway a little about me before I start this blog series. Currently I’m going allin on streaming, gaming etc. I originally started off with the intention of playing SC2 at a professional level, after trying for quite a decent amount of time I realized that I wasn’t improving fast enough to sustain myself with pure gameplay. So I started streaming a bit, streaming brings in a bit of money and allows for sustenance, kinda. The problem is, when you stream and spend time creating content in general you improve at a much slower rate… Pushing the dream of being a player back even further. For me there is honestly no reason to attempt to play competitively unless my goal is to be the absolute best. If I’m streaming, creating content etc. I do not believe that it’s possible to be the absolute best. Why? Because the current absolute best are not streaming, pretty simple. The mountain to climb is just too big – trying to catch up with the best players while having less efficient practice by them.
The first 2 months at the ROOT house I spent really trying to improve. Around MLG Anaheim time I hit somewhere around rank 30 GM NA. Now while this was a big achievement for me and I was loving the improvement I was getting, I knew that once I got back to Australia (4 months from that time, as my visa would run out) I would actually need money to move out and pay for things. It’s around that time I started streaming more to try and get a bit of an income going. At this point I wasn’t going “Full streamer mode” as Redbull Detroit was coming up which was 1-2 months after that. After a disappointing result at Redbull Detroit (ro32, knocked out by HyuN) I went emo for a week questioning things and decided that it’s just not possible to be the best while streaming. I had to pick: Player or Streamer/Content producer if I wanted to have my entire life engulfed by gaming/eSports, and I did, because I fucking love it. So I decided to go full streamer mode the last 2-3 months at the ROOT house and realized that I could actually (JUST) make enough for the most minimal of living standards.
Now I’m back in Australia and the next couple of months are going to be a test to see whether I can commit my entire life to gaming. I’ve moved 12 hours across the country away from my family to get a good internet connection, living with another streamer at one of the few places with good internet in Australia. I thought it would be great to share my attempt at trying to achieve this crazy dream of mine as I’m sure there are others out there that have thought the same but they’re not quite sure. This will be the first month I’ll be sharing my income, growth, strategy and mistakes I make along the way.
Note that before now I’ve already put a lot of time into gaming and streaming over the past 2-3 years, so I already have a bit of a following so if you are just starting out yourself you will have an even longer road to travel than myself. Alright without further ado, here we go!
I pre-planned a schedule that I thought would be great for January, with the intention of changing it in February after I realized the flaws it contained. My schedule for everyday was as follows:
- 04:30-05:00 Wakeup, gym, breakfast, shower
- 06:30 Stream for 9 hours (6 Hours of SC2, 3 hours of another game (Heroes, Arma 3, whatever I enjoy) to branch out further and reach a wider audience)
- 15:30 Dinner/small break
- 17:00 Create YouTube content then if there is any free time before 21:00 (Bed time) do something fun
I know that if I want to make a living from doing what I love I HAVE to put in a lot of time, which is why it might seem like a lot. And honestly, this schedule was a bit too much, I thought I could push it with my passion but it was a bit rough. I managed to get in the 9 hours of streaming everyday I was at home (Had to go back to see family for 7-10 days) but after the 9 hours of streaming I felt completely exhausted and slacked heavily on creating YouTube content for the 2nd half of the month. This schedule left me with basically 0 time to talk to friends or basically do anything else. It also destroyed my sleep, through this month I was running on average 4-6 hours sleep because when I did create YouTube content it took a lot longer than expected and pushed past my bedtime, also since it’s a very early bedtime my housemates were awake and even though they tried to be fairly quiet it turns out I can’t sleep without complete silence. So obviously I need to make some adjustments to this schedule which I haven’t completely thought through yet. It’s difficult to do so without screwing over EU viewers (Which is why I sleep so early and wake up so early mostly) and still feeling like I’m putting in enough time to make a living from this.
Here’s what everyone really wants to see, I guess. Most of these numbers are estimates, because sites tend to calculate pay outs months later but they should be close to accurate.
- Tips: $716.88
- Twitch Subs: $212.50
- Twitch Ad Revenue: $61.92
- Casting with Basetrade: $44
- YouTube Ad Revenue: $12.49
I don’t have numbers from previous months but in future months blog posts I will be able to compare to this month. So for this month here are my current numbers:
- Twitch Subs: 86, not sure how many at the start of the month
- Twitch Followers: 5792, +1025 in January
- Twitch Avg Concurrents: 165~ This is hard because Twitch doesn’t actually give the statistic, just a graph. So this number was taken from Fuzic.nl, it could be pretty far off.
- YouTube Views: 753218 Total views, +21663 in January
- YouTube Subscribers: 7125, +135 in January
- Twitter Followers: 1870, not sure how many at start
- Facebook Followers: 461, not sure how many at start (but honestly barely use facebook anyway)
In terms of putting in the time into streaming that I wanted to, January was amazing. It did however come at the impact of a lot of other things in my life, mostly my health. As I said I slacked on YouTube content in January because I was streaming myself to exhaustion everyday so that definitely needs to change in February. YouTube content can be very valuable especially to other people as a short YouTube video can provide way more entertainment or learning in a much shorter period of time. Things I will be looking to change are: Less time streaming, different schedule for better sleep and deciding where the hell I want to go with Heroes of the Storm (Casting, playing, running tournaments or whatever)
I think that’s about it. Hopefully this gives you more of an idea of how much streamers are actually making or this kinda transparency can help someone out who is going to make the leap into #thedream