Highest Paid eSports Players in the World

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  Many people still think of video games as a diversion for children. But the reality is that eSports is the fastest growing segment within the entire sporting world, and revenues are skyrocketing.

  As of 2017, the estimated total value of eSports at over $1.5 billion. The richest tournament in eSports history, the 2018 International, featured a total prize pool of over $25 million, with a first prize of more than $11 million. At present, 69 players spanning across four different games have become millionaires due to their eSports winnings. By the end of 2019, that number may well be over 100. The biggest esports live events rival the Super Bowl.

  Colleges are realizing that eSports are a serious enterprise, with more than 120 US universities and colleges offering eSports programs. Increasingly, becoming an eSports competitor is a viable career path for the best of the best.

  What’s especially exciting about the eSports industry is how much growth potential yet remains. Currently, the vast majority of fanbase for eSports are people in their teens, twenties and thirties. These are the first few generations to grow up with ubiquitous online gaming. As time goes on, a greater and greater percentage of the overall population will be within the potential audience pool for eSports.

  Young people with talent at online games can seriously consider pursuing a career in eSports. Like any ruthlessly merit-based occupation, competition is fierce and hard work and dedication are required to succeed. But for the first time, revenue, prize pools and sponsorship opportunities make eSports a hugely lucrative opportunity.

  1. Kuro Takhasomi

  Country– Germany

  Nickname– KuroKy

  Overall Earnings– $4,165,926.95

  2018 Earnings– $37,000.00

  2018 Earnings– $647,150.40

  Highest Paying Game– Dota 2

  Age– 26

  Biggest Prize– $2,172,536.60 – The International 2017, Dota 2

  Takhasomi, known as KuroKy, plays as a support for Team Liquid at the highest levels of Dota 2. A mainstay in the sport for years, KuroKy’s pinnacle came in 2017 when Liquid won The International 2017, the sport’s annual biggest tournament.

  2. Johan Sundstein

  Country– Denmark

  Nickname– N0tail

  Overall Earnings– $3,752,055.59

  2019 Earnings– $17,000.00

  2018 Earnings– $2,282,716.63

  Highest Paying Game– Dota 2

  Age– 25

  Biggest Prize– $2,246,831.60 – The International 2018, Dota 2

  Sundstein, known as N0tail or BigDaddyN0tail, is a support currently playing for Team OG competing at Dota 2. N0Tail and OG are the defending champions of The International, the most prestigious and lucrative Dota2 tournament in the world, having captured the crown in 2018.

  3. Amer Al-Barkawi

  Country– Jordan

  Nickname– Miracle-

  Overall Earnings– $3,730,337.28

  2019 Earnings– $29,000.00

  2018 Earnings– $640,150.40

  Highest Paying Game– Dota 2

  Age– 21

  Biggest Prize– $2,172,536.60 – The International 2017, Dota 2

  Al-Barkawi, known as Miracle-, is a carry who has played for both Team OG and Team Liquid in the professional ranks of Dota 2. After emerging from the pub ranks, Miracle has been a part of some of the strongest professional teams, including the 2017 The International winning Liquid.

  4. Ivan Ivanov

  Country– Bulgaria

  Nickname– MinD_ContRoL

  Overall Earnings– $3,521,411.76

  2019 Earnings– $37,000.00

  2018 Earnings– $662,150.40

  Highest Paying Game– Dota 2

  Age– 24

  Biggest Prize– $2,172,536.60 – The International 2017, Dota 2

  Ivanov, known as Mind_ControL, is an offlaner who plays for Team Liquid at the top ranks of professional Dota 2. Long acknowledged as one of the best players on the Dota 2 scene, MinD_ControL’s greatest triumph to date has been his win as part of Team Liquid in 2017 The International.

  5. Lasse Urpalainen

  Country– Finland

  Nickname– Matumbaman

  Overall Earnings– $3,505,116.04

  2019 Earnings– $37,000.00

  2018 Earnings– $646,150.40

  Highest Paying Game– Dota 2

  Age– 24

  Biggest Prize– $2,172,536.60 – The International 2017, Dota 2

  Urpalainan, known as Matumbaman, is a carry who currently plays for Team Liquid as a Dota 2 professional. Previously a member of Team Veni,Vidi,Vici, Matumbaman was recruited to Team Liquid in 2015, and was part of the squad which took down The International in 2017.

  6. Jesse Vainikka

  Country– Finland

  Nickname– JerAx

  Overall Earnings– $3,323,463.82

  2019 Earnings– $17,000.00

  2018 Earnings– $2,290,631.60

  Highest Paying Game– Dota 2

  Age– 26

  Biggest Prize– $2,246,831.60 – The International 2018, Dota 2

  Vainikka, known as JerAx, is a support who currently plays for Team OG at the top flights of Dota 2. JerAx has been a part of some of the strongest Dota 2 professional teams, including Team Liquid, although he left Liquid before their 2017 The International win. JerAx would capture his own The International title with Team OG the following year.

  7. Sumail Hassan

  Country– Pakistan

  Nickname– SumaiL

  Overall Earnings– $3,313,914.94

  2019 Earnings– $28,000.00

  2018 Earnings– $646,175.80

  Highest Paying Game– Dota 2

  Age– 20

  Biggest Prize– $1,326,932.14 – The International 2015, Dota 2

  Hassan, known as SumaiL, is a solo midlaner who plays for Evil Geniuses in the ranks of professional Dota 2. SumaiL, originally born in Pakistan, moved to the United States in 2012, where he quickly drew attention for his precocious Dota 2 skills. Winning the 2015 International with Evil Geniuses, SumaiL became the youngest player to ever win $1 million plus in eSports.

  8. Maroun Merhej

  Country– Lebanon

  Nickname– GH

  Overall Earnings– $3,124,344.84

  2019 Earnings– $37,000.00

  2018 Earnings– $646,586.06

  Highest Paying Game– Dota 2

  Age– 23

  Biggest Prize– $2,172,536.60 – The International 2017, Dota 2

  Merhej, known as GH, currently plays as a support for Team Liquid as a professional Dota 2 player. GH originally rose to prominence on the Dota 2 scene as a solo midlaner, but he found his place as a support in the professional ranks. His joining Team Liquid was a huge part of the reason they won the 2017 International.

  9. Saahil Arora

  Country– USA

  Nickname– UNiVeRsE

  Overall Earnings– $3,038,737.67

  2019 Earnings– $5,500.00

  2018 Earnings– $95,934.20

  Highest Paying Game– Dota 2

  Age– 29

  Biggest Prize– $1,326,932.14 – The International 2015, Dota 2

  Arona, known as UNiVeRsE, is an offlaner professional Dota 2 player, currently a free agent but formerly a member of Dota 2 powerhouses like Evil Geniuses and Team Secret. UNiVeRsE is a Dota 2 veteran, having competed in all major tournaments in the sport’s existence, including a 2015 International win with Evil Geniuses.

  10. Peter Dager

  Country– USA

  Nickname– ppd

  Overall Earnings– $2,943,166.36

  2019 Earnings– $46,900.00

  2018 Earnings– $251,480.80

  Highest Paying Game– Dota 2

  Age– 27

  Biggest Prize– $1,326,932.14 – The International 2015, Dota 2

  Dager, known as ppd, is a support pro Dota player currently part of Team Ninjas in Pyjamas. Dager is a long time professional, with notable stints with OpTic Gaming and Evil Geniuses. As captain of Evil Geniuses, ppd led the squad to a win at the 2015 Internation, a personal career highlight in an overall decorated resume.

  Saahil Arora

  (See Above)

  Djardel Jicko Mampusti

  Nickname– DJ

  Overall Earnings– $653,007.11

  2019 Earnings– $36,000.00

  2018 Earnings– $104,932.20

  Highest Paying Game– Dota 2

  Biggest Prize– $290,786.40 – 4th Place at The International 2016, Dota 2

  Lu Yao

  Nickname– Somnus M

  Overall Earnings– $2,263,924.22

  2019 Earnings– $16,000.00

  2018 Earnings– $1,091,935.92

  Highest Paying Game– Dota 2

  Age– 23

  Biggest Prize– $817,029.60 – 2nd Place at The International 2018, Dota 2

  Kurtis Ling

  Nickname– Aui_2000

  Overall Earnings– $1,973,978.04

  2019 Earnings– $0

  2018 Earnings– $6,000.00

  Highest Paying Game– Dota 2

  Age– 26

  Biggest Prize– $1,326,932.14 – The International 2015, Dota 2

  Anathan Pham

  Nickname– ana

  Overall Earnings– $2,853,875.76

  2019 Earnings– $0

  2018 Earnings– $2,249,136.18

  Highest Paying Game– Dota 2

  Age– 19

  Biggest Prize– $2,246,831.60 – The International 2018, Dota 2

  Alexei Berezin

  Nickname– Solo

  Overall Earnings– $1,536,281.21

  2019 Earnings– $89,833.33

  2018 Earnings– $843,291.60

  Highest Paying Game– Dota 2

  Age– 28

  Biggest Prize– $229,789.60 – 5th/6th Place at The International 2018, Dota 2

  Kuro Takhasomi

  (See Above)

  Lee, Sang Hyeok

  Nickname– Faker

  Overall Earnings– $1,193,853.15

  2019 Earnings– $17,926.00

  2018 Earnings– $6,213.80

  Highest Paying Game– League of Legends

  Age– 24

  Biggest Prize– $338,000.00 – LoL 2016 World Championship, League of Legends

  Gabriel Toledo

  Nickname– FalleN

  Overall Earnings– $928,226.44

  2019 Earnings– $31,100.00

  2018 Earnings– $174,400.00

  Highest Paying Game– Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

  Age– 27

  Biggest Prize– $100,000 – ESL One: Cologne 2016, CS: GO

  Gustav Magnusson

  Nickname– s4

  Overall Earnings– $2,226,343.71

  2019 Earnings– $40,000.00

  2018 Earnings– $605,375.80

  Highest Paying Game– Dota 2

  Age– 27

  Biggest Prize– $536,175.80 – 3rd Place at The International 2018, Dota 2

  Images Sourced From: https://liquipedia.net/, https://dotablast.com/, https://www.sk-gaming.com/, https://www.prolink.gg