The opportunities to make life-changing money in the esports industry is increasing thanks to the growing popularity and accessibility of professional gaming. Just the League of Legends viewership (58 million) alone is greater than that of the MLB (38 million) and the NBA (32 million). More attention often means more money which is the case for gamers who get paid to play their favorite games. Here are ten of the highest-paid esports athletes in the world:
1. Johan Sundstein (N0tail): $6,890,592.79
Johan Sundstein is at the top of the list with his all-time earnings coming in close to $7 million. Like so many other highly paid esports athletes, Sundstein made the bulk of his income by playing Dota 2. Hailing from Denmark, Sundstein has won cash prizes from 109 tournaments.Johan Sundstein is at the top of the list with his all-time earnings coming in close to $7 million. Like so many other highly paid esports athletes, Sundstein made the bulk of his income by playing Dota 2. Hailing from Denmark, Sundstein has won cash prizes from 109 tournaments.
2. Jesse Vainikka (JerAx): $6,470,000.02
Jesse Vainikka is the second highest-earning esports athlete in the world and whose home country is Finland. He made money from 64 tournaments and is a Dota 2 player. Vainikka’s largest cash prize came from The International 2019 winning a total of $3,124,036.20.
3. Anathan Pham (ana): $6,000,411.96
Anathan Pham rounds out the top three highest-earning professional gamers. Pham is an Australian Dota 2 player who racked more than $600k in cash prizes before he turned 18 years old.
4. Sebastien Debs (Ceb): $5,489,233.01
Sebastian Debs is a French player who has made his money from playing Dota 2. 56.91% of his total earnings came from placing 1st in The International 2019 which paid him $3.1 million.
5. Topias Taavitsainen (Topson): $5,414,446.17
Like Sundstein, Topias Taavitsainen is also from Finland. His $5.4 million came from 20 tournaments playing Dota 2. Taavitsainen’s first year of winning money from gaming happened in 2014 netting him $188.37 which is peanuts compared to the millions he has earned since.
6. Kuro Takhasomi (KuroKy): 45,128,788.15
German esports athlete Kuro Takhasomi comes in at #6 in earnings thanks to his success as a Dota 2 player. He has been making money from video game tournaments since 2008.
7. Amer Al-Barkawi (Miracle-): $4,692,418.88
Amer Al-Barkawi is from Jordan and he made his gaming money playing Dota 2 like the other players so far on this list. 22-year-old Al-Barkawi has been getting paid for his Dota 2 skills since he was 17 years old making $759.45 from success in two tournaments.
8. Ivan Ivanov (MinD_ContRoL): $4,483,493.36
Bulagarian gamer Ivan Ivanov has made his $4.4 million from 61 tournaments over the span of his career. Ivanov’s Dota 2 skills have continued to be profitable for him since 2014.
9. Maroun Merhej (GH): $4,086,426.44
Maroun Merhej, who is also a Dota 2 player, is from Lebanon. Merhej came a long way in his journey as a professional gamer considering the fact that his first tournament win paid him $100 compared to the money he’s made since.
10. Sumail Hassan (SumaiL): $3,591,225.34
Pakistani professional gamer Sumail Hassan rounds out the top ten highest-earning players. Like everyone else on this list, Hassan has made his money from playing Dota 2. He has been making money from cash prize tournaments since he was 15 years old.
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