Esports Opens Doors For Gamers To Make Money From Their Play

The Michigan State Esports Association is using the streaming platform Twitch to make a path in the revenue side of gaming.

East Lansing, Mich. – Making $550,000 per month would be nice, right? That’s how much Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, a video game streamer and Michigan native, is estimated to make per month on Twitch, according to Forbes. Including advertisements and YouTube, Forbes said Blevins was estimated to make $17 million last year. 

Twitch, the Amazon-owned streaming platform which displays users hosting live video game broadcasts to the public, has become the top streaming site in the esports community. Unlike most companies, video game streaming has succeeded during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Twitch’s revenue stems from advertising and subscription fees. Nationally numbers like the ones in that graph signify major ad-revenue dollars for Twitch and their top streamers. but locally the Michigan State esports Association has used their Twitch stream for other reasons. 

The MSUesports Association has six different clubs that play six different games under their umbrella on Twitch; League of Legends, Overwatch, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Rocket League, Rainbow Six: Siege, Halo. Each game has a casual and competitive team except for Halo as that’s only played casually. 

“You’re just as safe playing League of Legends than doing nothing in your home,” said Michigan State Media and Information Professor Ryan Thompson. “The physical risks aren’t there the way sports are, esports while sports were shutting down is even more of a phenomenon than it already was.” 

Twitch grew 56 percent in viewership from this year’s first quarter one to second quarter according to Stream Elements, a gaming blog. The whole live-streaming industry reported 45 percent gains from just March to April, while most people were under lockdown. 

As Covid-19 guidelines loosened slowly it hasn’t shown a substantial drop on viewership numbers, looking at June’s viewership numbers from Stream Elements.

“The overall profit of the Twitch stream we’ve made a handful of dollars,” said Brendan Przwara, MSU esports Association Director of Operations. “The possibility of bigger profits is definitely there.” 

That possibility is clear especially at MSU, which is home to the seventh-best video game design and development programs globally, according to the Princeton Review.

Twitch has three levels of streamers on their platform. The lowest tier of streamer is just classified as a regular Twitch user, is somebody who streams on the platform very infrequently and doesn’t have any following but mostly uses it to watch others play, these users aren’t able to monetize their streams. Twitch still runs ads, but the regular user doesn’t get a piece of that pie. 

The second tier for streamers on…

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