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Those of certain age may remember a time when playing video games was considered a wasteful hobby that led to nothing. But thanks to the monumental rise of eSports, a career in gaming can be a lucrative one. Just ask 17-year-old Jay "sinatraa" Won, who’s become the highest-paid Overwatch League player with a salary of $150,000 per year plus benefits.
Sinatraa’s wage means he’s now earning $100,000 more than the league’s minimum player salary, and that’s before you factor in the revenue-sharing options, potential $3.5 million bonus pool in the first season, and $1 million for the year’s champions.
The player signed for NRG eSports following a bidding war between the team and Cloud9, which led to an extra $50,000 being added to his salary. In the end, sinatraa and his mother – who must sign the agreement as he is a minor – decided to go with NRG.
The contracts given to Overwatch League members come with a slew of perks. Players receive one-year guaranteed deals with a second-year option, employer-sponsored housing, a retirement savings plan, and health insurance. They’re also entitled to 50 percent of team bonuses.
The move sees sinatraa reunite with his former Selfless Gaming coach and team co-owner Brad Rajani, who is now head coach and manager of NRG. Sinatraa left Selfless after it disbanded in July. Rajani’s presence no doubt helped convince the pro gamer to join him at NRG.
Congrats to my boy @sinatraaOW on the big contract. One of the easiest players to work with and at such a young age. You're a beast dude!— Russell Campbell (@FaZeFCTFCTN) September 3, 2017
It’s been just over a year since Overwatch launched on the PC, Xbox One, and PS4. In that time, Blizzard’s first foray into FPS games has gained over 30 million registered players and continues to hold a spot on our ‘Best PC Games (You Should be Playing)’ list.