Ever wonder why it has become increasingly popular for esports organizations to sign streamers instead of esports athletes?
It feels like every day a streamer signs with an esports org.
In 2021, 100 Thieves signed 5 new streamers as content creators:
- Will Neff
Meanwhile, Esport teams like TSM, NRG, Luminosity, and others are following suit and signing streamer after streamer.
Most recently, the following streamers have been signed:
- Cloakzy signed with Complexity
- Prod signed with the Guard
- Clix re-joined NRG
Clearly, esports orgs are seeing massive value in signing streamers.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at their reasoning.
Why do streamers join orgs?
Streamers join orgs for a number of reasons.
Reasons streamers join orgs
- Access to sponsorships
- They become part of a family
- Access to free stuff
- Verification on Twitter (and other platforms)
Streamers get a lot of outside exposure when joining an esports organization. Especially if the esports org they join is a big one like Faze or 100thieves.
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Sometimes (not always!), streamers get a salary when they join an esports organization. The idea of a stable, monthly paycheck is enticing to many smaller and medium-sized streamers.
💰 Read also: How much do streamers make?
Access to sponsorships
By joining an esports org, streamers get access to bigger and better sponsorships. A small-to-medium-sized streamer might not be approached by big brands such as Razer or Logitech but once these streamers are attached to a global organization, they suddenly become a lot more appealing.
The organizations also act as a mediator in these sponsorships, this gives the streamer breathing room and allows them to focus on what they do best: live streaming.
💰 Read also: How to get sponsored as a streamer
They become part of a family
As a streamer, you are essentially your own boss. But being your own boss can be very lonely. By joining an esports org, streamers can feel like they are part of a family. They become part of a bigger collective. Suddenly, they have coworkers with similar jobs.
On top of that, you can collaborate with these fellow streamers that are now considered coworkers to continue your growth as a streamer.
The feeling to be part of something bigger, which is something we all feel, is definitely a big reason why so many streamers join esports organizations.
Access to free stuff
Esports organizations invest in their streamers. They can provide them with hardware upgrades to improve their stream or hook them up with plane tickets and accommodation to attend events.
Verification on Twitter (and other platforms)
Verification on social media platforms can make you feel like you made it. But in order to get verified, you need to have a certain status.
Oftentimes, just having an audience isn’t enough to get the verification check. For this reason, there are many streamers who can reach 1,000 viewers but aren’t verified on Twitter.
This is because Twitter simply doesn’t know who this streamer is. However, when they are represented by a bigger organization, they suddenly meet the requirements for verification.
While this might not be a big reason for streamers to join, getting verified on social media is a nice bonus.
Why do esports teams sign streamers?
One might wonder why esports teams, who usually sign professionals, have started signing streamers as well. The reason for this is very simple: streamers bring in sponsorships.
Esports organizations make most of their money from sponsorships. By signing streamers, these organizations can attract more sponsorships.
Think about it: streamers have an audience. Sponsors need audiences to sell their products towards. By signing different kinds of streamers, organizations can leverage sponsorships within different demographics.
How much do orgs pay streamers?
Every contract is different. Some organizations pay streamers a nice salary because they believe those streamers will bring in a lot of exposure to the organization. Bigger organizations might not pay streamers at all because they believe they are doing the streamer a huge favor by signing them.
For example, organizations like Faze Clan and 100 Thieves are so big, any streamer who joins them will instantly blow up. These types of orgs likely don’t pay streamers and instead give them other benefits such as access to big sponsorships and lots of exposure.
Nobody can really answer the question of how much orgs pay streamers. Every contract is unique and the contents are almost never revealed to the public.
Is joining an org as a streamer a good idea?
Whether or not joining an org as a streamer is a good idea, depends entirely on the expectations of the streamer and the offer from the organization.
Before signing with an org as a streamer, the streamer has to make sure the pros outweigh the cons.
The first question you should ask is: what can this org do for me?
Establish whether or not you will grow from the opportunity: does the organization have a sizeable audience? Next, how will you benefit from this opportunity in terms of monetary gain: do they have access to good sponsorships or do they provide you with a salary?
Once you have established that signing with this organization will be beneficial, you have to compare it to the drawbacks.
Will the org take a cut from my earnings? If so, what percentage will they take?
Finally, you should consider where you see yourself in the future. Most contracts last a couple of years. If you see yourself grow bigger than the organization in those years, then signing that contract will not benefit you.
This is exactly what happened to Tfue and Faze Clan. When Tfue originally joined Faze Clan, he was still a smaller streamer. But shortly after signing with Faze Clan, he blew up as a streamer. The contract he originally signed looked promising while he was still small, but once he became one of the biggest streamers in the world, it suddenly felt predatory to him.
How streamers grow through esports orgs
Valkyrae: before and after joining 100 Thieves
Before she joined 100 Thieves, Valkyrae was considered a medium-sized streamer with 2,394 average viewers. (source) But joining 100 Thieves gave her access to enough exposure for her to blow up as a creator. This in combination with her winning move to YouTube, turned Valkyrae into one of the biggest female streamers in the world.
Kyedae: before and after joining 100 Thieves
Just like Valkyrae, Kyedae saw a massive growth spurt after joining 100 Thieves. Before joining 100T, Kyedae had 2,579 average viewers on Twitch. After joining, she blew up and now streams to more than 10 thousand concurrent viewers.
Streamers join orgs for the mutual benefits that they provide. Sometimes they do it for exposure, other times they do it for monetary reasons. In most cases, joining an organization will benefit a streamer. As a result of joining, they will likely grow through the exposure that the org provides. But in some cases, it can go wrong and up in a lawsuit (like what happened between Tfue and Faze Clan).
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