August 20, 2015
With the rise in popularity of e-sports, videogame coaching as a profession is also on the rise. Coaches can make from $30,000 to $50,000 a year, a salary that matches that of minor league baseball coaches. Coaches study gameplay, oversee practice sessions and provide feedback to e-sport competitors, many of whom can earn up to $120,000 a year. As tournament fans are quickly turning videogame competitions into a popular spectator sport, e-sports now generate more than $600 million in global revenue.
According to The Wall Street Journal, 6,200 students from 460 colleges around the U.S. and Canada competed in Activision Blizzard’s “Heroes of the Dorm,” which aired on ESPN2, and paid the winning team $75,000 in scholarships. Meanwhile, at least one coach is hired for each of the 116 competitive teams that compete in Riot Games’ tournaments.
Mark Zimmerman, who is the assistant coach for Team Liquid, a team that competes in Riot Games’ “League of Legends” tournaments, is paid in the $30,000 salary range, higher than the median annual salary for minor league baseball coaches.
According to Major League Baseball’s official historian John Thorn, because of the millions of followers of e-sports and the gambling sites invested in videogames, “Electronic gaming is on course to enter the arena of modern American sports.”