How to become a gaming millionaire

IF SITTING around playing Fifa is your favourite thing to do, it turns out you might not be wasting your time after all.

Take KSI for example, a 21-year-old who has turned himself into a millionaire by doing just that.

His YouTube clips of him playing Fifa have amassed more than a billion views and more than 10 million subscribers, making it the second most viewed channel in the UK.

The Lamborghini-driving Brit brags about having a jacuzzi airlifted into his penthouse suite in a new documentary. But how did he do it?

"It all started in my bedroom," he told Vice in the documentary. "I started getting bigger and bigger."

The YouTube sensation is not the only one making money out messing around on a PlayStation.

Huge tournaments have spawned out of online gaming which has now become a multimillion-dollar 'sport' with audiences the AFL and NRL could only dream of.

Computer games have had a bad rap in the press pretty much since their inception and recently US researchers claim they have further evidence they are making us sluggish, lazy stupid and unconcerned.

But KSI is not the only success story in the world of professional gaming.

Earlier this year, five Australian men gave up their jobs to train full-time in professional computer gaming and became the first Australian team to qualify for the famous League of Legends World Championships.

The League of Legends World Championships is like the World Cup for computer gamers. Picture: AFP
The League of Legends World Championships is like the World Cup for computer gamers. Picture: AFP

Their matches were watched by thousands of people in Chinese stadiums but watched by millions more people online.

So how do you make a fortune by playing computer games?

If you're useless at playing, don't give up because apparently you don't have to be that great.

Despite his success, KSI refrains from calling himself a "pro gamer" and believes his success is down to his personality.

He says the branding of his videos has allowed him to branch out and bring in money from other products.

"A lot of people think to be at the top you have to be the best at a certain game - no you don't," the young Londoner told Vice.

KSI has branched out from gaming videos. Picture: KSI/ Facebook
KSI has branched out from gaming videos. Picture: KSI/ Facebook

"It's more about personality. I'm now a brand.

"Like I have several incomes now. So I have my own shop. I'm in a group that also has a shop. I do music, I do acting.

"But the main income would definitely be through advertising, through the views my videos get.

"Last month I got like 70 million views. It's crazy that it's all just come about from me sitting in my bedroom just making a few FIFA videos."


If you have zero personality, you still might be able to make a living from gaming because of the global growth of eSports - which pits the best players in the world against each other for money.

The League of Legends World Championships, like the World Cup or Superbowl for eSports, wrapped up earlier this month and it is growing every year.

The competition attracted an online audience of more than 43 million people last year, including 14.7 million watching at one time. The top team this year took winnings in excess of $2.2 million.

Do not mess with the LG Dire Wolves
Do not mess with the LG Dire Wolves

Manager for Aussie team LG Dire Wolves, Nathan Mott, said the experience for those who take part is life-changing.

"The World Championship grand final is played in the Bird's Nest in Beijing in front of 90,000 people, so if you make it there that is a game changer and that will change all of our players' lives," Mr Mott said.

However, if you think playing computer games professionally is easy, think again. Those in the business say it takes a lot of training and discipline.

Team captain Mitchell Shaw said the players treated training "like a full-time job" with structured 12-hour training days, a coach and activities designed to help the team's mental and physical endurance.

"eSports is different to normal sports," he said. "In normal sport you focus more on physical attributes while in League of Legends you focus on mental attributes. We pretty much train, gym, eat healthy, take care of ourselves, and it's really paid off this year."


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Topics:  editors picks games and gadgets gaming technology

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