How much are European players able to make from sponsors and other sources of income ?
I'm not sure how much they are actually earning but you can definitly make a living playing starcraft in europe/NA.
I suppose korean players have it a bit easier especially if they can get into Code-S. In general though there are still more money in Brood war. There the top players are actually on a salary from their teams like you know it from football teams or similar. That's why none of the big brood war players have switched over to SC2. It's simply not worth it for them.
You would obviously have to show that you can do well in tournaments first though. Usually strong perfomance in open tournaments like MLG or Dreamhack is the best way to get noticed.
But there are many pro players who play great and still make only 6K $ a year and u can't make a living with that.
Sponsors in Europe won't play you remotely the same money since SC2 is not popular in Europe like it is in Korea where you have regular competition and match broadcasts.
You need to spend much time playing to get to the top level and it is still not certain whether you will manage to make a good income. It is a risky investment.
But seriously though, it's like Soodle said, with all of the effort involved, you might as well get a normal job.
Plus, in a documentary a saw once, this gig only lasts for 4-5 years, depending on how good you are, because of the reflexes involved, and the constantly better and younger players that are showing up (I'm speaking especially about the Korean scene). I wouldn't want to be a pro-gamer, really, because I feel it would be much more stressful and mind-numbing (literally) than a normal job (well, your equivalent paying job), because of the constant training, and repetitive actions, not to mention the stress your eyes and body endures. (it sucks to sit down 24/7)
Hey, but because it's not my cup of tea, it doesn't mean it doesn't taste sweet for others.
I was thinking more like participate in GSL as one of Finlands representatives...
I imagine Day9 makes some good cache from his youtube vid's, but past that you need to win big to win. It seems a lot of tournament have 4,000$ prizemoney for first place, which is rather little.
Just take some well known WC3 figures that no longer game professionally. The competition is too intense to remain at the top and make a living from it.