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Esports earnings: Top 25 Highest Paid Players in 2020 So Far

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Esports earnings: Top 25 Highest Paid Players in 2020 So Far
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 > Five teenagers, including a 15-year-old, among the best
> Two chess players make the list
> No League of Legends players in top 25

2020 has hit a lot of industries very hard – but not esports.

The lockdown has brought huge growth in viewers to professional gaming as millions flock to watch the world’s best players in action.

This new level of interest will only help the industry grow, along with the pay packets of the gamers themselves.

But, how much do they earn?

New research by esports bookmakers Unikrn shows just how much the top 25 players have been winning in tournament prize money so far this year.

In 2019, there was a total prize pool of $227m shared between over 25,000 players playing in 5,000 tournaments.

Six months into 2020 and there’s still been $32.5m in prize money – despite the cancellation and postponement of many events.

Of that pot, the highest earning player has taken home $300,000 so far.

Brazilian Paulo Damo Da Rosa, known as PVDDR, won Magic: The Gathering Arena’s, Magic World Championship XXVI in February – pocketing the huge fee in one lump sum.

The five members of Spacestation Gaming’s Rainbow Six Siege team  – Bosco, Rampy, Thinkingnade, Fultz and Canadian – also feature in the top 10.

Their victories in this year’s Six Invitational 2020 and Pro League Season 11 have earned them $210,000 each.

With a combined age of 47, teenagers Wolfiez, Furious and JannisZ are in the top 16 for their big Fortnite wins.

The UK’s Wolfiez, 16, has taken home $130,000 so far this year from two tournaments coming second in both FNCS Invitationals: Europe last month.

JannisZ, 15, from Germany, won one of those tournaments, while American 16-year-old Furious secured victory in the FNCS Grand Finals in North America – both earning $120,000+.

Among the top 25, Chess24 stars Hikaru Nakamura and grandmaster Magnus Carlsen have also taken home over $100,000 each in prize money.

STATISTICS

The average age of the top 25 earning players so far in 2020 is 24 years old.

So far this year, the top country for earning prize money is the United States with players making over $6million between 1,870 of them.

However, the best average prize winner per country belongs to Jordan.

Six players earned an average of $33,000 each – made up mostly by Doha 2 players Yapzor and Miracle-, who claimed $175,000 of the total $200,000.

Bear in mind all of these earnings do not include their sponsorships, bonuses or salaries – some of which are rumoured to be around the $500,000 mark.

So there will be players easily taking home close to $1,000,000 a year.

The highest earning esports player of all-time is Danish Dota 2 player Johan Sundstein.

Going by player ID N0tail, the 26-year-old has amassed $6.9m in prize money from 117 tournaments and been a winner at the International 2018 and 2019.

Ryan Jurado, esports analyst with the industry juggernaut Unikrn, said: “As impressive as the prize earnings are in esports, they’re just the tip of the iceberg.

“In reality, thousands of players around the world make additional income by building their brand and fan bases with non-competition activities such as gaming streams, earn income with sponsorship deals and receive a salary to play as part of an organized team.

“Amazon’s Twitch alone has 22,000 partnered streamers, most of whom are playing games and earning cash outside of tournaments. When you add in Microsoft’s Mixr, Google’s YouTube, Facebook, plus non-American platforms like Huya, plus thousands of yearly video game tournaments, the number of players making some form of income by gaming is likely well over 100,000 worldwide. For most, this is a paying hobby rather than a career, but some players do reach multi-millionaire status before they even graduate high school.”

Top 25 Highest Paid Esports Players in 2020 (By Prize Money)
Real name Player name Game Nationality Age Prize Money 2020 Tournaments Prize Money (Overall)
Paulo Damo da Rosa PVDDR Magic: The Gathering Arena Brazil 32 $300,000.00 1 $337,800.00
Troy Jaroslawski Canadian Rainbow Six Siege Canada 23 $210,000.00 2 $317,628.57
Dylan Bosco Bosco Rainbow Six Siege United States 25 $210,000.00 2 $275,750.00
Nathanial Duvall Rampy Rainbow Six Siege United States $210,000.00 2 $261,060.00
Javier Escamila Thinkingnade Rainbow Six Siege El Salvador 21 $210,000.00 2 $261,030.00
Alec Fultz Fultz Rainbow Six Siege American $210,000.00 2 $238,966.67
Lee, Byung Ryul Rogue Starcraft II Korea 26 $155,128.20 9 $832,543.20
Marcio Carvalho Marcio Carvalho Magic The Gathering Arena Portugal 34 $150,000.00 1 $214,900.00
Jaden Ashman Wolfiez Fortnite UK 16 $130,000.00 2 $1,300,026.67
Lasse Urpalainen Matumbaman Dota 2 Finland 25 $122,413.40 7 $3,684,194.44
Clement Ivanov Puppey Dota 2 Estonia 30 $122,413.40 7 $2,783,899.63
Ludwig Wåhlberg Zai Dota 2 Sweden 22 $122,413.40 7 $2,443,054.42
Yazied Jaradat YapzOr Dota 2 Jordan 25 $122,413.40 7 $1,452,524.07
Michał Jankowski Nisha Dota 2 Poland 19 $122,413.40 7 $852,679.11
Furious Fortnite United States 16 $121,500.00 3 $122,400.00
JannisZ Fortnite Germany 15 $120,000.00 1 $131,362.42
Asger Larsen AcilioN CS:GO Denmark 23 $117,688.05 6 $205,471.35
Lucas Andersen Bubzki CS:GO Denmark 21 $113,800.00 5 $186,770.86
Frederik Gyldstrand acoR CS:GO Denmark 22 $113,800.00 5 $183,034.72
Rasmus Beck sjuush CS:GO Denmark 21 $113,800.00 5 $178,613.09
Fredrik Jørgensen roejJ CS:GO Denmark $113,800.00 5 $167,242.03
Hikaru Nakamura Hikaru Chess24 Japan 32 $102,632.19 10 $148,117.61
Sven Magnus Carlsen DrNykterstein Chess24 Norway 29 $101,170.48 7 $130,928.92
Seth Manfield Seth Manfield Magic: The Gathering Arena United States 29 $100,000.00 1 $141,900.00
David Wang Aqua Fortnite Austria 18 $98,750.00 4 $1,868,341.23

 

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
Top 10 Highest Earning Countries in 2020 (By Prize Money)
Country Prize Money Players Average per
United States $6,340,646.89 1870 $3,390.72
China $2,918,944.04 340 $8,585.13
Brazil $2,161,506.14 401 $5,390.29
Korea, Republic of $2,067,293.52 455 $4,543.50
France $1,516,403.65 419 $3,619.10
Russian Federation $1,495,117.67 440 $3,397.99
Denmark $1,472,041.31 173 $8,508.91
Germany $1,262,670.52 483 $2,614.22
United Kingdom $1,255,641.62 333 $3,770.70
Canada $1,170,591.49 308 $3,800.62

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Highest Earning Players of All Time (By Prize Money)

Real name Player name Game Nationality Age Prize Money Overall Tournaments
Johan Sundstein N0tail Dota 2 Denmark 26 $6,895,040.18 117
Jesse Vainikka JerAx Dota 2 Finland 28 $6,470,000.02 65
Anathan Pham ana Dota 2 Australia 20 $6,000,411.96 24
Sébastien Debs Ceb Dota 2 France 28 $5,501,233.01 54
Topias Taavitsainen Topson Dota 2 Finland 22 $5,415,046.17 21
Kuro Takhasomi KuroKy Dota 2 Germany 27 $5,177,764.81 110
Amer Al-Barkawi Miracle- Dota 2 Jordan 22 $4,743,118.88 57
Ivan Ivanov MinD_ContRoL Dota 2 Bulgaria 25 $4,534,193.36 67
Maroun Merhej GH Dota 2 Lebanon 24 $4,137,126.44 44
Lasse Urpalainen Matumbaman Dota 2 Finland 25 $3,674,181.04 69

**Stats taken from www.esportsearnings.com and do not include salaries, bonuses or sponsorships

eSports

LE MANS VIRTUAL SERIES BY MOTORSPORT GAMES GEARS UP FOR ROUND TWO ON OCTOBER 16, 2021

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LE MANS VIRTUAL SERIES BY MOTORSPORT GAMES GEARS UP FOR ROUND TWO ON OCTOBER 16, 2021
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After a thrilling 1ST round that saw more than 2.6 million impressions worldwide, the 2nd stage kicks off at 7:30 a.m. EDT on Saturday

Motorsport Games Inc. announced that after a thrilling 1st race, the stage is set for round 2 of the Le Mans Virtual Series, the 6 Hours of Spa Virtual, slated for October 16, 2021 at 07:30 a.m. EDT. Saturday’s race will feature 38 entries (entry list HERE). Le Mans Virtual Series is a joint venture between Motorsport Games — a leading racing game developer, publisher and esports ecosystem provider of official motorsport racing series throughout the world — and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (“ACO”) — the creators and organizers of the world-famous 24 Hours of Le Mans and promoter of the FIA World Endurance Championship (the “FIA WEC”).

The 2021-22 season of the Le Mans Virtual Series consists of 5 rounds, the 2nd of which is the 6 Hours of Spa Virtual. The 38 prototype and grand touring endurance entries will compete virtually on the infamous 7 kilometer Belgian circuit, including famous corners and bends such as Eau Rouge, Raidillon, Stavelot and La Source. The live broadcast will feature lead commentary by FIA WEC’s Duncan Vincent, together with Chris McCarthy and Lewis McGlade.

Round 2 of the Le Mans Virtual Series comes on the heels of a successful 1st round that saw more than 2.6 million impressions worldwide and a thrilling victory from Realteam Hydrogen Redline. The 1st round of the esports endurance racing championship was an action-packed and incident-filled 4 Hours of Monza on September 25, 2021. Monza’s more than 2.6 million impressions on official channels during race week alone set the stage for a wildly successful series. Viewers can expect even more thrills and excitement for this coming round! Realteam Hydrogen Redline’s drivers Dani Juncadella, Jeffrey Rietveld and Michal Smidl took 1st place overall, while GPX Rebellion Esports and team Floyd Bykolles-Burst finished in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively. Mitchell Dejong, Mack Bakkum and Martin Kronke from the Porsche Esports Team took the Le Mans Grand Touring Endurance honors in a class that featured no fewer than 5 different manufacturers represented.

The Le Mans Virtual Series brings together top-level, real-life drivers such as Jenson Button, Alex Palou, Stoffel Vandoorne, Louis Deletraz and a number of the world’s other best sim racers to compete together in 5 endurance races that range from 4 to 24 hours in duration. This year’s series will conclude with the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual, which will take place live and televised at the Autosport International (“ASI”) show in Birmingham, UK in January 2022.

 

Here is where you can follow all of the weekend’s action, live and uninterrupted:

Friday, October 15, 2021: (all times Eastern Daylight Time)

1:00 p.m.                           Qualifying show live (not available on WEC or 24 Hours of Le Mans channels)

1:10 p.m.– 1:30 p.m.       Qualifying GTE

1:40 p.m.– 2:00 p.m.       Qualifying LMP

Saturday, October 16, 2021:

04:00 a.m.– 6:00 a.m.     Warm up

7:30 a.m.                           Le Mans Virtual Series show live

8:00 a.m.                           6 Hours of Spa – RACE

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The venue for the official Russian-language broadcast of PGL Major Stockholm 2021 is announced

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The venue for the official Russian-language broadcast of PGL Major Stockholm 2021 is announced
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The Russian-speaking talent crew will broadcast the tournament from the WePlay Esports studio.

WePlay Esports will be the official Russian-speaking streamer of the tournament, in a deal brokered by IMG on behalf of PGL. The talent team and broadcasting studio will be working from the WePlay Esports studio.

WePlay Esports has experience in organizing analytics studios in-house: BLAST Premier: Fall Season 2021, the WePlay Academy League, WePlay! Clutch Island etc. are cases in point. The broadcast will be organized in accordance with the standards and best traditions of the company, matching the visual identity of the English-language broadcast from PGL. The studio is equipped with the latest technology, and the company is in the final stages of preparation for the broadcast, adding finishing touches to the graphics, augmented reality (AR) elements, and content.

“We are ready for any kind of challenge, even for broadcasting several tournaments from different venues simultaneously. Our studio and arena in Kyiv, Ukraine, and the arena in Los Angeles, the U.S., which will be opened soon, allow us to create high-quality engaging content, which the esports community appreciates a lot.I can say with confidence that the quality of the broadcast, its content, and the set-up will be on par with the level of the Major,” comments Maksym Bilonogov, chief visionary officer and general producer at WePlay Esports.

The main tournament of this year in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), the PGL Major Stockholm 2021, will take place from October 26 to November 7. The PGL Major Stockholm 2021 will be the first CS:GO Major after a two-year break due to the pandemic. The total prize pool of the tournament is $2 million.

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Jarno Opmeer and Mercedes lead F1 Esports Series Pro Championship presented by Aramco after dramatic Event 1

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Jarno Opmeer and Mercedes lead F1 Esports Series Pro Championship presented by Aramco after dramatic Event 1
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The 2021 F1 Esports Series Pro Championship presented by Aramco got underway with an thrilling Event 1 this week, where Jarno Opmeer and Mercedes took an early lead in the Drivers’ and Teams’ Championships respectively, but with eight different podium finishers in the first three races, the huge $750,000 prize pot is all to play for.

The return of the Pro Championship was more anticipated than ever before following record-breaking viewership last year, the highest ever participation numbers of fans attempting to qualify, as well as several huge moves around the grid with a number of F1 Esports’ biggest names switching allegiances in the off-season.

Much like the 2020 season, drivers are continuing to race remotely from their homes or team facilities, but the hugely popular competition continues to broadcast from the Gfinity Esports Arena in London, with live shows fronted by familiar faces: Natalie Pinkham, Tom Deacon and Nic Hamilton. Following the same Event format as recent campaigns, teams battle it out on the official F1 2021 video game, developed by Codemasters, in two races on a Wednesday, and one on a Thursday, across four broadcasts, which also features qualifiying.

In the first of Wednesday’s two races, the virtual world mirrored reality as the season opener took place at the Sakhir International Circuit, Bahrain, and it was Britain’s Lucas Blakeley who took his maiden win in a historic moment, becoming the first winner for the Aston Martin Cognizant Esports team. Blakeley started in P2 behind Nicolas Longuet but passed him going into the first corner and didn’t relinquish top spot until the final few laps when the lead changed hands several times between the pair, thanks to brave racing and the use of DRS, before the Aston Martin man timed his last attack to perfection. Alvaro Carretón was with the front two the whole way, ready to pounce on any mistakes, but in the end had to settle for a well-deserved P3 for Williams.

Wednesday’s action continued with a trip to China, and whilst the real-world drivers haven’t raced at the Shanghai International Circuit since the pandemic struck, the popularity of F1, and Esports, continues to flourish, as seen by the success of the F1 Esports Series China Championship. Reigning champion Jarno Opmeer showed his title-winning pedigree with an unbelievable victory, taking a huge risk as the only driver to start the race on intermediates tyres, despite there being torrential rain, after a poor qualifying performance that left him in P14. He fell as far as P18, before the rest of the grid began to pit and switch to the same tyres, allowing him to make his way up the grid. He was soon leading, and despite a brief change of leadership between himself and Fabrizio Donoso, as the Alpine driver became the first switch to softs, Opmeer was able to secure his first win for Mercedes in stunning fashion. Red Bull’s Marcel Kiefer put in an accomplished performance in tricky conditions to get his first podium of the season.

The first Event of the new season was rounded off with a second win for Opmeer at the Red Bull Ring with an emphatic victory as he sent out a message to the rest of the field that he is intent on defending his crown. Frederik Rasmussen, one of last year’s front runners picked up his first podium of the year, ahead of McLaren’s new boy Bardia Boroumand who secured third, and is already living up to the hype around him in the pre-season. 

Event 2 will see the drivers battle it out on a trio of iconic ‘old-school’ circuits as the Pro Championship heads to Silverstone, Monza and Spa, in what is set to be an action-packed two days across 27-28 October.

Following Event 1, the official standings are as follows:

Driver standings

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Team standings

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The live shows are streamed online via official channels of Formula 1 on Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and Huya, as well as broadcast on television via select international broadcast partners.

In the last 18 months, F1 Esports events have achieved over 40 million views across TV and digital, and this popularity led to a record number of people attempting to be a part of this year’s Pro Exhibition, with almost half a million taking part in qualification. This year’s qualification is now open through a challenge in the official F1 2021 video game, with the first event live until 31st October. If you would like to find out more information on how to take part in the F1 Esports Series and for more information on the Pro Championship presented by Aramco, visit www.f1esports.com.

Full race results:

Race 1 – Bahrain

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Race 2 – China

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Race 3 – Austria

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Ben Pincus, Director of Commercial Partnerships at Formula 1®, said:

“It’s great to see the F1 Esports Series Pro Championship presented by Aramco back underway. We’ve been spoilt with excitement in the real-life racing this year and if these first races are anything to go by, we’re in for a treat this season in the virtual world too.”

 

John Clarke, CEO at Gfinity, said:

“Last year’s record-breaking participation is a testament to Formula 1’s continuous innovation and expansion, bringing more fans than ever into the world of F1 Esports. Off the back of last year’s success, the F1 Esports Series has returned bigger and better than ever, giving Gfinity the opportunity to utilise its tech IP and world-class production to help F1 fans feel ever closer to the series.

 

Paul Jeal, F1 Senior Franchise Director at Codemasters, said:

“We’re into the fifth year of F1 Esports, and the standard continues to get higher and higher, with some blistering lap times and exciting wheel to wheel racing to open the series. A great display from Jarno Opmeer as he tops the drivers’ championship, and it looks like we could have an incredible battle between a handful of teams for the team championship. Roll on the second show.”

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