As a kid of the 80s, I dreamed of playing video games professionally - long before it was commonplace. Movies like The Wizard might have helped with that, along with the legendary Nintendo World Championship. Little did I realize at the time, pro-gaming was most certainly going to become a very big thing in the future, with no current sign of its rapid growth slowing down anytime soon.
To help put things into perspective, Business Insider posted a list of the world's 15 most successful pro-gamers, in terms of their overall winnings. Looking over this list, it's easy to draw up a couple of simple conclusions: most pro-gamers hail from Asian countries, and most call an RTS or MOBA game their home.
A major exception in the list is the USA's Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel, who places first. Johnathan has long been credited as the one to take pro-gaming to the mainstream, and I readily admit to watching some of his matches in the past and simply being in awe of his skill. From 35 tournaments, Johnathan has reaped about $454,000 in winnings.
Of the fifteen pros listed here, 5 are Dota 2 players, and their nationalities are a bit varied; two from the Ukraine, and one from China, Russia and Estonia. Half of the list call StarCraft their home; 7 for SC II, and 1 strictly for SC. Of these, seven are from Korea; the other from France.
The entire list is clearly dominated by Dota 2 and StarCraft II, with an exception being the Painkiller FPS and the large variety of games Fatal1ty has under his belt (typically FPS titles like Quake). Mentioned above, Fatal1ty places first with $454,000 in winnings, but 15th, Ferrari_430, scored $226,000 - ironically enough to acquire a recent Ferrari F430. Clearly, there's big money to be made in gaming, if you have the serious skill that's required.