Do you know what Peyton Manning, Choi Seong-Hun and Peyton Manning share in common? They are paid millions to play.
Seong-Hun, aka Polt on the gaming arena, is a professional player of video games. At present, he is among the top Starcraft II players around the globe. He stands on the fourth spot in the game's worldwide standing. Living the celebrity life as a pro player of video game tournaments, specifically among the Protos, Zerg and Terran races, is rewarding. For his efforts on the fictional worlds of the Koprulu realm, Polt earns a minimum of six figures in dollars annually.
Seong-Hun's screen name was inspired by a favorite character from his childhood. He said his profession is not as simple as it seems; it involves real-time strategies, too. He has built a professional career in E-Sports, which is a rising industry these days. Since video game tournaments have become more popular, they are now regarded as professional sports events. Theaters, and even stadiums, are filled with spectators eager to watch the tournaments as it unfold.
This has become an emerging business. In 2011, video game tournaments were only around 9,000. By 2014, it has grown to about 47,500 as claimed by Battlefy - Battlefy is a software corporation that manages e-sports competitions. These tournaments range from small, intercollegiate events to global competitions like the annual League of Legends World Championship, which will be hosted by Seoul in their World Cup Stadium. Aside from that, a study by SuperData Research found that over 71 million tune in to their television or computer screens to watch video games. The previous League of Legends championship had a viewership of 32 million, while the NBA Finals only had 26 million viewers.
The top gamers also get the privileges enjoyed by professional sports players; these include sponsors and fan clubs. In the case of Polt, not only did he got signed for endorsements but he also gained a US visa typically given for professional athletes. He has been employed to by Cooler Master, a company manufacturing computer equipment like headsets and keyboards.
He practices between six and eight hours every day and he gets paid for it. Basically, he plays for money and either he wins or loses, he is earning.