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The 10 highest earning eSports players

eSports has been one winner of the current Corona Virus pandemic as the eSports community take their tournaments online to continue competitions, something which traditional sports simply can’t do.  But it’s not been all plain sailing as major sold out events have had to be cancelled,  two recent casualties are ESL One Los Angeles major and ESL One Birmingham.  But all is not lost as these will take place online.

The growth in sSports have been astounding, it’s now a billion dollar a year industry, this had lead to some very big sponsorship deals and prize money.  For example, Intel are spending over $10 million annually to sponsor the Overwatch League and Nike are spending $8 million a year to supply kit to the teams competing in the League of Legends Pro League.

The history of eSports

We first covered the highest paid esports players back in 2018, only 4 names remain on the current eSports rich list, these are the highest paid eSports players in the world right now:

10. Sumail Hassan

21 year old, Sumail Hassan is one of the younger eSports professionals in the high earners list.  From Pakistan, Sumail is a professional Dota 2 player for OG.  Hassan’s career began when he signed with Evil Geniuses in 2015, in the same year he and the team won The International 2015, which awarded him over a million dollars in prize money, making him the youngest gamer to surpass $1 million in sSports earnings.

It’s estimated that he has amassed $3.6 million in prize money to date.

 

9. Maroun Merhej

Merhej signed with eSports heavyweights Team Liquid in January 2017 which was a very good move, the Lebenese man and his team went on to win first place at the 2018 China Dota2 Supermajor and second place at the International in 2019.  And GH as he is known is credited with significantly strengthening the team.

His estimated total earnings now stand at $4.1 million.

Broadcast rights and sponsorship in eSports

8. Ivan Ivanov

24 year old Bulgarian Ivan Ivanov represented a number of big eSports teams before signing with Team Liquid in 2015. There he won the International in 2017 and continues to represent the Netherlands-basedTeam Liquid.

He has earned over $4.5 million to date.

 

 7. Amer Al-Barkawi

The third Team Liquid player on the eSports rich list, and he’s from Jordan and known as ‘Miracle’.  Another Dota 2 player player he had massive success on his own before signing with Liquid in 2016.

His total eSport earnings stand at $4.7 million.

The rise of betting in eSport

6. Kuro Takhasomi

‘KuroKy’ turning professional at the age of 16, the German national had massive success with different teams over the years and has played in every single International since it began.   He’s an authority figure in eSports and currently captains the now wildly successful Team Liquid.  Kuro was number one on our list when we covered the highest earners in 2018.

Total earnings are now north of $5 million

 

5. Topias  Taavitsainen

‘Topson’ another professional Dota 2 player hails from Finland and has played eSports since he was 8.   The two-time winner of the International is still only 21 and plays for Team OG.

Total career earnings are $5.4 million

The Massive Growth of eSports

4. Sébastien Debs

Debs was not even in the top 10 in 2018, how times have changed for the Frenchman known as ‘Ceb’.  He started as professional Dota 2 player back in 2011 with Team Shakira.  Since then he’s moved around before becoming the Team OG coach in 2016.  He then went on to become an official player for OG, helping the team win the International in 2018 and 2019.

He has now earned an estimated $5.5 million playing and coaching eSports.

 

3. Anathan Pham

The Australian player known as ‘Ana’ at 20 is the youngest members of Team OG.  His professional career only began in 2016 with Invictus Gaming before joining OG.   With his success so far at this young age he’s the one to watch going forward.

Career earnings are estimated at $6 million, not bad for a 20 year old!

The Fastest Growing Sports in the World

2. Jesse Vainikka

‘JerAx’ retited in January 2020 at 27 years old, but not before amassing a fortune in eSport.   He played for various teams over the years of his career, including Team Liquid and OG.  He has a few high profile wins including the International in 2018 and 2019 with Team OG.

Total career earnings are $6.5 million

 

1. Johan Sundstein

Photo credit – https://liquipedia.net/

The Danish 26 year old known as NOtail is the highest earner in eSports.  Playing since 2012, Johan didn’t even make the top 10 in 2018 but has since lead Team OG to victory at The International for the second year in a row. What an athlete!

The current GOAT of eSports has earned $6.9 million to date.

The biggest athlete sponsorship deals in sport

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Are you or someone you know raising money for sport? If so, get in touch with us via info@pledgesports.org, or visit www.pledgesports.org and hit “Create A Campaign” to start raising money today!

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