You’ll never get rich sitting around playing video games all day.
It’s the sort of thing most of us can remember our parents saying to us as teenagers, and something many of us catch ourselves saying to our own offspring in those terrible “turning into our parents” moments. Except, in this case, it’s not entirely true. Over the past 10 years, gaming industry revenue has risen by more than 500 per cent from $19.7 billion to $119.6 billion. There’s money to be made from gaming, and not just by those who develop and sell games.
eSport has legitimized playing games as a lucrative pursuit and had the same effect on the act of spectating. With any hobby, whether it is kicking a football, playing the guitar or baking a cake, people want to watch and be inspired by those who truly excel. This has opened up opportunities for top gamers to reap awe-inspiring rewards using just their PC, a webcam and their gaming skill.
It will come as no surprise to learn that the wealthiest streamers like Tyler “Ninja” Blevins are based in the USA. However, Scandinavia in general and Finland, in particular, has emerged as a European hotbed for pro streaming. Let’s meet some of their biggest stars.
Netherlands-born streamer Anssi Huovinen is based in Finland and streams in Finnish. He is best known for streaming PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, but is also a regular on the poker circuit. These diverse gaming activities, along with more than 240,000 followers on Twitch have helped the 29-year-old to generate an estimated net worth of $79 million.
Last year, AndyPyro courted controversy that earned him a seven-day Twitch ban, when live streaming while driving his new BMW. The father-of-two was unrepentant, taking to Twitter to tell those critics who were judging him without having seen the stream to “get off his d***” The whole incident has only served to increase his notoriety and gain him more followers. Most recently, AndyPyro streamed live from an eSports event in Tampere, central Finland.
Not every streamer is all about Fortnite and League of Legends. Jaartu84 is a Finnish streamer who focuses on casino gaming. This subgenre has grown even faster than other forms of gaming over recent years, and whether you are into slot games like this or traditional table games like blackjack, any casino gamer will be keen to learn tips and tricks from an expert.
Like AndyPyro, Jaartu84 is a streamer who can be controversial, and one casino blog memorably described him as “fake, fat and foolish.” Yet this was just further evidence that in streaming, there is no such thing as bad publicity, and his 50,000 plus subscribers almost certainly earn him better revenue than his casino winnings.
Another common misconception about gamers is that they are male, pizza devouring geeks. Anniina provides evidence to the contrary. Finland’s most popular female Twitch streamer is one of the nation’s top CS:GO players. She became a full-time streamer after giving up her job as an automotive engineer and car mechanic at a Helsinki Audi dealership.
And dozens more
The phenomenon of celebrity gamers earning millions might seem bizarre. However, in the early 20th century, the public looked at the fuss surrounding the likes of Douglas Fairbanks and Greta Garbo in exactly the same way. These big-name gamers from Finland are just a taste of what is to come.