Greetings and welcome to another article where we talk about the electronic sports scene! Today we’re going to talk about Counter Strike: Global offensive and how much money streamers who focus on broadcasting this game are able to pull off.
If you are into games and eSports, you probably know that Twitch has a huge monopoly over online broadcasting. Some players also stream on YouTube or some smaller sites but the biggest and most popular personalities choose Twitch (and later upload their highlights or gameplays to YouTube for some extra revenue – we`ll also talk about that later down the road). So for that reason, we`ll speculate the earnings only of those who stream on the Twitch platform.
Types of streamers
You can find a diverse variety of broadcasters showcasing their matches. They can be divided into the following groups:
There a number of active pros that show their daily matches to the audience. These guys are able to pull off insanely high viewer numbers (above 20k for the most popular ones) just by playing on the highest level possible. Some people even watch this kind of streams as an educational tool, to learn smoke placements, peek timings and strategy in general. Some players that fit this criterion are: Fallen, taco and fer from SK gaming, shroud from Cloud 9, flusha and JW from fnatic – only to name a few!
These are the guys who have quit playing professionally for a team and now devote their full time to broadcasting. Their show also showcases a lot of high tier plays, but they must also add some entertaining side to their sessions, now that they lack that team flair. Some of the most successful streamers are from this category – gamers who acquired a huge fan base while playing on the tour and now maintain it and even grow it through their daily spectacles.
Talent and personalities
This category is composed by popular members of the community who aren’t and never were pro gamers. They’re the analysts, commentators, writers, basically, any one on the landscape of the game with a certain level exposure to guarantee a good turnout viewer wise. These shows are mostly focused on fun and entertaining and don’t aim to play at the highest level possible – the audience is there to have a good laugh and have a good time.
Here we have the guys who never played professionally and were never involved in any role within the game’s ecosystem, and just wanted to start doing their own thing. This is the category with the least amount of successful streamers – that’s because on Twitch, starting out from scratch is extremely hard. You don’t have a following to kick things off, you don’t get a lot of exposure and you’re basically on your own trying to climb a huge mountain. Even so, some people manage to grind their way through the ranks, and some even turn into “talent and personality” for the competitive scene.
How do CS:GO streamers earn money?
Now that we know about the different types of channels you’re able to find on Twitch, let’s see how their model works for rewarding the stars of the show.
The platforms model is pretty simple and straightforward – Twitch offers a partnership contract to the most popular streamers, meaning they get a bunch of perks to their channels, like custom emoticons, custom video and audio quality, exposure on the main page of the site and some others.
On top of that, the partnership allows the audience to subscribe to the channels they enjoy. It costs $5 per month, of which service takes a cut. For the newest guys on the block, it’s usually a 50-50 split, but there have been plenty of rumors around the forums indicating that the biggest broadcasters are able to negotiate a better deal and get more money out of each subscriber.
Another way to earn money is through “Twitch Bits” – the viewers can buy these Bits and use them to cheer and send a message to the streamer. It functions like a small tip, but it adds up quickly when you have thousands on your audience cheering on your channel.
And last, but not least, we have direct donations. All the big channels have accounts set up to receive donations – and the people who donate can also send a message to show up on the stream. This is usually the highest source of revenue for the channel, with subs coming in 2nd and bits in 3rd.
Speculations on how much they earn
Before we start, remember that this is all speculation, as no one has ever come in publicly and stated how much they make monthly from CS:GO streaming alone.
With that being said, there are some channels that display a number of subscribers they have, and we can use that to estimate how much others are making, comparing the sizes of their channels.
For example, summ1tg reached the astounding figure of 20.000 subs back in March – that alone makes up for more than $60.000 per month, and probably, even more, considering he must have a better contract than most.
Some smaller streams on the scene also pull good numbers: most pros who disclose their numbers have above 1k subs – which is already a pretty good amount of money, and when you add donations on top of that, you have players making more money streaming than playing tournaments.
It’s a hard task to estimate exactly how much each of them makes, but one assumption is safe to make: there are a great number of CS GO streamers pulling 1k-4k subscribers, plus donations, YouTube channel ad revenue, salary (if the player has a team) and on-screen sponsors.
Right now the streaming scene is very healthy is has been growing exponentially over the last few years. 7 years ago we had nothing, and today we have the top dogs making close to $100k per month.
The future is bright for this business segment, but nothing is certain in life, and you have to consider that most of these people are sacrificing a higher degree education or learning a trade skill to be able to stream and entertain their audiences full time. So it’s understandable that they should be able to make a good living out of it and plan for their futures accordingly.
Stay tuned for our next articles, discussing all things related to eSports!