As of this writing, Lee Seon Woo (Infiltration) – according to ESportsEarnings.com – lags only 2 places behind Jeremy Florence (Black_Mamba) when it comes to income earned from fighting game tournaments, with estimated total winnings of USD 74,756.63. But this pales in comparison to e-sports’s biggest historical earner, Wang Jiao (Banana) of Dota 2 fame, with USD 1,192,049.90 to his credit.
This is why many prominent members of the FGC have branched out into other moneymaking enterprises. Ryan Ramirez (FilipinoChamp) sells access to his fighting game-related streams. Ryan Gutierrez (Gootecks), when not creating and/or selling FGC-related content, moonlights as a caster and commentator. Ho Kun Xian (Xian) is part-owner of Tough Cookie, a gaming cafe.
There are also those who have quit full-time competitive play and found employment within the videogame industry, most notably Seth Killian (who served as Capcom’s special advisor/community manager during Street Fighter 4 development, then put up a stint as lead game designer for Playstation All-Stars at Sony Santa Monica); David Hinds (Dawgtanian) & Peter Rosas (Combofiend), who’ve been hired by Capcom to help with Ultra Street Fighter 4 balancing; and community darling Mike Ross, who’s been picked up by Twitch for a yet undisclosed role.
For the dedicated sloggers, however, splitting time between tourney attendance and other business pursuits (videogame-related or otherwise) is a no-go. This is where product endorsements kick in. It allows a competitive player to keep doing what he/she does best and loves most while at the same time earning respectable amounts of money.
Back to Lee Seon Woo. If you’re an avid follower of the fighting game scene (particularly the Capcom Pro Tour), I’m sure you’ve become familiar with the common sight of Infiltration pausing in between sets to take a couple swigs of water – much like a tennis player. It took a while, but the South Korean bottled water industry finally took a hint. And the timing could not have been better since there’s currently a boom in the country’s premium bottled water market. Check the advertisement below.