Imagine making millions by just playing video games! For some people, it is much more than a hobby; it is a highly lucrative career that has separated them from the rest of the world. eSports or competitive online gaming is one of the fastest growing industry in the world today. The growth has been impressive for each consecutive year and it doesn’t seem to be fading anytime soon.
As reports state, there are 162 million frequent eSports watchers and 131 million occasional watchers. These numbers are expected to rise to 286 million and 303 million by 2020. In 2017 alone, over $110 million was awarded to eSports players across more than 3000 tournaments. The big money shouldn’t be too surprising considering the number of real-world bets that are placed on the outcome of these games, with most online bookmakers providing odds for esports.
Table of Contents
- Top 10 Highest-Earning eSports Players
- 10. Gabriel Toledo ‘Fallen’ – Earnings: $748,000
- 9. Lee San-hyeok ‘Faker’ – Earnings: $1,100,000
- 8. Sumail Hassan – Earnings: $1,640,777
- 7. Maroun Merhej – Earnings: $2,440,654
- 6. Peter Dager – Earnings: $2,645,280
- 5. Saahil Arora ‘UNiVeRsE’ – Earnings: $3,000,700
- 4. Lasse Urpalainen – Earnings: $3,080,665
- 3. Ivan Ivanov – Earnings: $3,080,960
- 2. Amer al-Barkawi ‘Miracle’ – Earnings: $3,313,890
- 1. Kuro Takhasomi ‘KuroKy’ – Earnings: $3,740,478
Top 10 Highest-Earning eSports Players
Today, we introduce you to the widely popular eSports players who have used their
dedication and hard work to rack up hefty bank accounts. Here is the list of our top 10
highest earning eSports players.
10. Gabriel Toledo ‘Fallen’ – Earnings: $748,000
A Brazilian professional eSports player currently playing the role of an AWPer for MIBR, Gabriel Toledo was chosen as the most influential player in Brazilian eSports in 2015. He owns the Brazilian eSports organization Games Academy.
Fallen is recognized as one of the top in-game leaders, AWPers and gamers in the world. He has won about $748,484 majority of which comes from his two championship wins in major LANs. The academy has more than 1500 students enrolled to learn how to do better at Counter-Strike.
9. Lee San-hyeok ‘Faker’ – Earnings: $1,100,000
The most celebrated professional eSports player of all time, Faker is one of the two players to have won the League of Legends World Championship three times. The South-Korean player used to play Chaos before transitioning to League. He is currently the mid lane of SK Telecom T1.
Faker is known for his mechanical skill at the game and his ability to play any tournament at the top professional level. He has also won the 2014 All-Star Paris, Mid-Season Invitational Tournaments in 2016 and 2017 and 2016 IEM World Championship. Having won more than $1 million as prize money in tournaments, Faker is ranked as one of the highest earning and most popular eSports players in the world.
8. Sumail Hassan – Earnings: $1,640,777
A Pakistani Dota 2 player, Sumail Hassan currently plays for Evil Geniuses. The team won the Dota 2 Asia Championship in Shanghai in 2015 earning him about $2 million. At the age of 16, Sumail became the youngest ever professional eSports player to win this amount. The team also won The International 2015 with Sumail finishing in the first place, taking home $6,634,661.
He has played tournaments like The International 2016, The Shanghai Major and Frankfurt Major. In 2016, ‘Time’ recognized him among the ‘The 30 Most Influential Teens’. He currently lives in the United States.
7. Maroun Merhej – Earnings: $2,440,654
Maroun ‘GH’ Merhej is a Lebanese professional Dota 2 player currently a member of the Team Liquid. He gained notoriety winning different qualifiers and matchmaking competitions before joining Team Liquid. His addition to the team in 2017 improved their performance considerably with two online qualifier victories and one LAN win at StarSeries Season 3.
Winning the first place at The International 2017, GH secured a prize money of more than $10 million. It was this recent win that helped him accumulate a lot of net worth and put him on the list of the highest earning eSports players in the history.
6. Peter Dager – Earnings: $2,645,280
The famous American eSports player, Peter Dager started his professional career in gaming with Heroes of Newerth in 2012 under the name PPD. He joined a number of different teams before becoming the captain and CEO of Evil Geniuses and transitioning to Dota 2.
During this time, his team won the first place at The International 2015, earning him a prize money of $1,326,932. This was the largest ever prize from a single tournament, making him one of the highest earning eSports players in the world.
5. Saahil Arora ‘UNiVeRsE’ – Earnings: $3,000,700
One of the best veterans of the game, Saahil Arora is an eSports player from the United States. He is a common contestant at the biggest stage of Dota – The International and is known for his exceptional gaming style. Saahil is popularly famous as Universe which is his game name. He was the member of the EG team that won the International 2015.
At present, Saahil is ranked as the highest earning player in the United States. The biggest ever cash prize won by Universe from a single tournament was from The International 2015 for an amount of $1,326,932. This makes up a lot of his total net worth. He has participated in numerous tournaments across the world, raising his reputation and fame as a professional gamer and an annual income of $3 million.
4. Lasse Urpalainen – Earnings: $3,080,665
The 23-year-old eSports player born in Finland, Lasse Urpalainen plays Dota 2 under the in-game name Matumbaman and is the highest earning gamer from Finland. Out of the 55 tournaments won, the largest cash prize Lasse ever received was from The International 2017 for $2,172,536, making a good part of his total earnings.
He earned a name for himself and caught the eyes of worldwide Dota fans by showing off his skills with complex players like Ember Spirit and Tinker. In 2016, Matumbaman won a cash prize of $81,000 for finishing second at The Shanghai Major 2016. Cash prizes won from 22 tournaments across the world got him to the position of one of the highest earning eSports players.
3. Ivan Ivanov – Earnings: $3,080,960
A member of the Team Liquid, Ivan Ivanov started his career in Dota with Vast Cast in 2014 which was picked up by Aftershock Gaming and won some tournaments. The Bulgarian Dota 2 player won The International 2017 finishing first and winning a cash prize of $2,172,536. This was the largest prize money acquired by ‘Mind_Control’ from a single tournament.
He also obtained a prize money of $81,000,000 from his second place finish at The Shanghai Major 2016. Ivan crossed the milestone of earning a total prize money of $100,000 by winning 18 tournaments.
2. Amer al-Barkawi ‘Miracle’ – Earnings: $3,313,890
One of the best Dota players in the world, Amer loved playing the game from an early age. He started playing Dota at the age of 12 and became a pro in such a little time that the local scene in Jordan named him ‘Miracle Boy’. He joined Balkan Bears in 2015 and was removed from the team in some months.
Amer started gaining recognition by climbing the matchmaking leaderboards in pub games. He eventually achieved the No. 1 ranking by MMR and later joined Team Liquid which was carried to the championship in The International 2017 with the largest eSports prize pool in the history.
1. Kuro Takhasomi ‘KuroKy’ – Earnings: $3,740,478
The widely popular German professional Dota 2 player currently plays for Team Liquid. With about $4 million won as gaming prizes, KuroKy is the highest earning eSports player of all time. He began his professional career at the age of 16 with Defense of the Ancients.
The Dota 2 veteran became the top earner in eSports in 2017 after carrying Team Liquid to victory at The International 2017 where he could take home $2 million as prize money. The highest finish ever before 2017 was the second place at The International 2013.
With the rising popularity of eSports, there is no doubt that the prize pools will just get bigger, creating many more top players with sky-high net worth. Do you think eSports will take over real sports in near future? Do share your thoughts and your favorite players in the comments section below.