Esports is arguably the fastest growing sport in the world. The industry saw momentous growth in revenues since 2016, reaching the billion-dollar mark last year, according to a recent report on global esports trends. This means the world’s elite players can achieve phenomenal earnings playing in front of millions. The highest paying game for the top esports players in the world is Dota 2, making up over 90% of total earnings for the world’s top league players. Other high paying games are Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends.
Despite the debate about whether pro gamers are athletes, it comes as no surprise that competitive players are now relying on exercise and positive routines prescribed by a whole team of health professionals. The numbers confirm that players who look after themselves like traditional athletes, see significant improvements in overall performance and wellbeing.
So who are some of the world’s elite athletes under this category? Our list takes into account not just Dota 2 players (almost all highest earners in esports), but pro gamers who earn 6 figures at least through incomes, endorsements and prize money.
Johan Sundstein is a professional Dota 2 player and captain of team OG, which he joined in 2015 after leaving Cloud9. Currently ranked first in the world, his highest prized earnings were $ 3,124,036.20 in 2019 – his second consecutive win of The International after 2018. According to a combination of sources his net worth is estimated at $ 81 million.
Total Prizes Earned: $ 6,890,591.79 (109 tournaments)
Celebrity streamer and professional esports player, Tyler Blevins, is regarded as one of the best players on the planet. Known as the king of Twitch, he was the first to reach 10 million followers on the live streaming platform. His enormous rise to fame is largely due to the popularity of his game of choice “Fortnight: Battle Royale”. He began his professional career by attending Major League Gaming (MLG) Orlando 2009, and by playing Halo 3. His net worth is estimated at approx. $ 15 million.
Total Prizes Earned: $ 263,958.07 (50 tournaments)
Finnish Jesse Vainikka which goes by the alias JerAx is one of the top Dota 2 earners. He began as a member of Team Liquid and joined rivals OG in 2016. He is known for his Earth Spirit and was the first player to make 4 consecutive Major finals. His Net Worth is estimated at $ 3.3 million.
Total Prizes Earned: $ 6,470,000.02 (64 tournaments)
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Kuro Salehi Takhasomi is a professional Dota 2 player and is one of the highest-paid esports players of 2019. He is one of the few pro gamers to have actively participated in every International since 2011, which he ended up winning in 2017. He claims that his leg disability was what led him to spend such long hours playing video games.
Total Prizes Earned: $ 5,143,188.15 (105 tournaments)
Amer Al-Barkawi, age 22, of Jordanian – Polish descent, started playing Dota 2 as a “pubstar”. He was a member of Team Liquid that won the International 2017, and he is now a player for Nigma alongside former Team Liquid members.
Total Prizes Earned: $ 4,706,818.88 (52 tournaments)
Another young player, 20-year old Anathan Pham from Australia, was a member of the OG that won the International for two consecutive years in 2018 and 2019. He is currently ranked third in the world in Dota 2 total earnings.
Total Prizes Earned: $ 6,000,411.96 (24 tournaments)
Lee Sang Hyeok is a South Korean League of Legends (LOL) professional player with the highest earnings in the game. Known for his aggressive play in the mid lane he is the only 1 of 2 people in the world to have won 3 LOL world championships.
Total Prizes Earned: $ 1,255,465.80 (50 tournaments)
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