5. Pro players get paid more (and less) than you'd think

korean gaming

The professional gaming scene is ultra-polarized and South Korea rakes in the most competition money by a monstrous margin. In matters of Starcraft: Brood War, the Koreans win more cash than all other countries combined. The South Koreans also own at other money-making games like League of Legends and the Korean national pastime, Starcraft II. Step your game up, every other country in the world!

The amount that individual players take home is less impressive. Professional gaming in Korea blossomed into a lucrative phenomenon quicker than its financial infrastructure, and the gamers often get screwed by sponsors and even team managers.

It's so bad that as of late many players have taken their talents abroad, and the Chinese are more than happy to receive them. Having sniffed out the Korean discontent, the People's Republic is luring gamers with fatter paychecks, guaranteed contracts and presumably those gold-plated Monster HDMI cables. 

To be fair, KeSPA isn't run by money-greedy shysters -- it's just had trouble keeping up with eSports' meteoric rise. To ameliorate the problem a financial shake-up is in the works. Players will not only enjoy salaries comparable to professionals in other athletic fields but better contracts as well. 

Another change is the elimination of "sister teams," Organizations will no longer be allowed to field two separate squads and must instead decide on a single, ten-man roster. Furthermore, a survey 2,000 fan-voters revealed that the majority are okay with shifting from the current tournament format to a league format.

But according to Biggie, mo' money brings mo' problems and KeSPA's Secretary-General Cho Man-Soo believes that patriotic gamers should remain loyal regardless of salary. Cho asserted that those focused solely on their bankroll should get bent, though in not so many words.

However, some players do make bank. Young phenom MarineKing brings home around $105,000 a year, and equally iconic virtual balla' MVP rakes in a quarter million annually. Furthermore, a small-scale KeSPA report shows that, out of 40 League of Legends players, the average salary is over $57,000. A sampling of 25 Starcraft II players indicates that they averaged a little less, nearly $40,000 per year. StarCraft Pro or Assisstant Manager at GameStop: It's your choice.