Banking or Gaming? The choice may be easier than you think
Quick, which job pays better – banker or pro gamer? It’s obvious isn’t it? After all, banking jobs are known to make insane amounts of cash for those talented enough to make it in the field. At least, that’s how it used to be. According to one banker, this may not be the case anymore.
One banker has made his choice – Chiang ‘Hibidi’ Wen Jun is a pro-FIFA player for the esports team NoFuchsGiven. He’s based in Singapore, and he officially quit his full-time banking job in favour of gaming.
Now this sounds like a midlife-crisis kind of move doesn’t it? Quitting a well-paid job in order to follow one’s passions…but it’s not why Chiang did it. According to him it made financial sense to do it. “The way people are in banking, a lot of them are very happy going for the opportunities with most upside. And that’s what going full-time was for me,” said Chiang.
“It’s the risk you want to take to get to the top level. I’m on a par now with my base (earnings) in banking, but the upside in esports is tremendous, maybe 10 times more.” The 28-year-old FIFA player was the first person from Singapore that was signed on by a European team in June. He quit his job even before that though – Chiang has been a full-time gamer since last October.
Before that, he spent a few years in a cushy corporate banking role at BNP Paribas – far from a bad gig. Chiang didn’t reveal how much he is being paid now, but we do know what other gamers at his level make – French club Paris St.Germain’s FIFA team reportedly earns up to €4000 per month, and that is without any tournament winnings.
That’s pretty neat if we’re being honest, and what makes it even more impressive is that Chiang was able to make that jump even without much support for it. His family struggled to understand his gaming hobby for the longest time – despite being a FIFA player since 2006, his family was always more keen on him playing ‘real’ soccer.
“They only started to realise this was more than a hobby when I had to take a flight for my first overseas competition at 16,” he said. “The kids today have it a lot easier. They can point to people like myself and other Singapore pros.”
While that may well be true, it does make Chiang sound a little conceited – but then he has every reason to be. Based in Singapore, his three teammates are British. He is planning on setting up his own FIFA academy in Singapore in order to organise more local events and to prepare local players for joining European or North American teams.
Chiang said: “You want to create an infrastructure where kids and their parents are confident they can do this for a living. It’s about making things more pro-friendly, like being able to look at the tournament calendar for the year.”
That’s a pretty cool goal!