The progress of eSports has been quite remarkable over the years and the athletes are surely enjoying it. Recently, Riot Games senior manager Chris Greeley and LCS commissioner revealed an interesting statistic. At the GamesBeat Summit in Los Angeles, California the duo disclosed that the average salary of the LCS athlete is US$300,000. This just proves how far the competitive landscape of LOL has established itself.
No one in the world could have predicted such attractive salary figures back in the inaugural days of the LCS. Yet, it is believed that this rise in payroll can solely be attributed to the franchising model of 2018. Its implementation led to teams paying $ 10 million for a slot in the LCS. This flow of income led to players earning attractive paychecks.
The average salary of players in the LCS has been confirmed to be $300,000 by the league's commissioner.
This is equivalent to what the average salary in the @MLS was back in 2016.
— The Esports Writer (@FionnOnFire) April 24, 2019
In February, Romain Bigeard the general manager Optic Gaming hinted in an interview that: An average player of LCS is paid over US$320,000. His statement didn’t get much attention as some believed that the numbers were exaggerated. Yet today Romain is having the last laugh.
Other emerging titles
We usually don’t see salary figures disclosed by the organizers and franchises of eSports. Yet this recently revealed payroll of Riot Games is surely the best one in the industry. Since a few months ago Overwatch League made it official that each player in the OWL will get a minimum salary of US$50,000. After a few months, a Korean platform officially announced that the salary of each player ranges between US$80,000 to US$120,000. This huge spike is due to the team’s willingness to pay big for the stars of the game. A few weeks, ESPN reported that San Francisco Shock paid US$150,000 for 17-years old Jay “sinatraa” Won.
Faker The King of Esports?
Yet this figure is no match when compared to the most successful star of League of Legends, Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok. Faker is the mid laner of the Korean side SK Telecom T1 and competes in the LCK. In the esports earning charts, he is the richest player of League of Legends as he won the most prize money from tournaments, $1.175 million. It is believed that he is the highest paid player of LoL but no information has been disclosed yet.
One of the pros of StarCraft, Hong “YellOw” Jin-ho recently claimed that Faker annually earns over US$2.4 million. This figure is yet to be approved but we won’t be surprised if it’s true. Since some online platforms revealed that after winning the third Worlds title. SK Telecom T1 agreed to pay Fakers US$2.5 million per year. We know about his winnings and have some idea about his salary. Yet we have no idea how much the Korean has earned from his Twitch Streams and sponsorships.
All these salary figures, justify the progress of the eSports industry. We are surely optimistic that by the end of 2019, the industry could be worth over $ 1 Billion.