Just yesterday I told you that Wei “CaoMei” retired and is set to make $800 000 annually. He is earning far more money now thanks to his streaming, but he did make a fair amount in the professional scene too. He is one of the minority though, as making a living from gaming is generally tough unless you are at the top and consistently winning tournaments. That may change for Koreans, as a minimum salary has been proposed.
League of Legends in Korea will see some major changes moving into 2015. These include moving from a tournament to league format, shifting from a two-team to a single-team system, and several other changes (PC Gamer via onGamers).
– Expand KeSPA pro-players’ Azubu streaming broadcast business and support various events
– Ensure increase in actual income of KeSPA pro-players who are streaming
– Introduce “Minimum Salary Policy for Pro Players for the 2015 Season”
– Adopt minimum salary standards that are on par with other domestic professional sports to help pro-players lead a stable professional career
– Support operating costs of teams participating in LoL Champions
– Help participating teams without a sponsor to find sponsorship and provide financial support for operating costs
– Set a one-year requirement for contracts between players and teams participating in LoL Champions
– Teams are advised (but not required) to set 1-year contract terms with the players in the 2015 Season, and required starting from the 2016 Season
– Ensure pro-players’ stable professional activities by requiring contracts to last at least one year
As you can see, the proposition is that pro gamers start earning a minimum salary that is in-line with other professional sports. A follow up article points at just what this amount should be.
Starting from 2015, the minimum salary for professional baseball will increase to 27 million Korean won (roughly 27,000 USD), 24 million Korean won (24,000 USD) for professional soccer, 35 million Korean won (35,000 USD) for men’s professional basketball, and 30 million Korean won (30,000 USD) for men’s professional volleyball. The specific number has not been revealed, but considering that esports is not as large as other sports, 20 million Korean won (20,000 USD) seems to be a reasonable guess
I honestly have no idea what the living costs are in Korea when compared to us, but $20 000 seems like a lot of money, especially when you consider that it’s just the starting salary. I’m not complaining though, I have massive respect for professional gamers. I hope this proposition goes through, and more countries around the world (South Africa included) get on board too.