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

George Miller

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Esports earnings: Top 25 Highest Paid Players in 2020 So Far
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

 > 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

Asia

Newzoo Joins Forces With EVOS Esports To Expand Its Market View With Southeast Asia Data

George Miller

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Newzoo Joins Forces With EVOS Esports To Expand Its Market View With Southeast Asia Data
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Newzoo, the world’s leading provider of games and esports analytics, announced today its partnership with EVOS Esports, Southeast Asia’s leading esports organization housing over 15 professional teams across five different countries.

By adding EVOS Esports to its partnerships program, Newzoo will get improved insights from the Southeast Asian market, a region expected to further boost the growth of the esports business. Furthermore, EVOS Esports’ mobile focus within the market represents an additional layer of insights that Newzoo will use to further solidify its esports estimates, which are featured in its landmark Global Esports Market Report and the Newzoo Platform.

In exchange, Newzoo will advise EVOS Esports with market insights, helping the organization to benchmark, spot opportunities, and provide strategic insights for its further expansion.

“Southeast Asia is currently the most exciting region for the overall future growth of esports and gaming, both from a business and consumer engagement perspective. EVOS Esports is right at the center of this.”, said Peter Warman, Newzoo’s Co-Founder and CEO. “Partnering with an ambitious and forward-thinking esports organization like EVOS Esports supports us in keeping up with this huge esports region to further strengthen our view on the global and local esports ecosystems.”

“We are excited to be the first esports organisation in Southeast Asia to form this partnership with Newzoo. With Newzoo’s market intelligence and expertise, it will assist us in making actionable data-driven decisions as we scale our business verticals across the region. With access to the tools and insights provided by Newzoo, we look forward to achieving continued success, especially when discussing with commercial partners.”, said Ivan Yeo, EVOS Esports’ Co-Founder and CEO.

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Blockchain

MakerDAO Partners with FirstBlood Technologies Competitive Gaming Platform “Earn DAI for excelling at the most popular Esports games available today”

George Miller

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MakerDAO Partners with FirstBlood Technologies Competitive Gaming Platform “Earn DAI for excelling at the most popular Esports games available today”
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Today, ​FirstBlood Technologies​, the ​online competitive ​gaming ​platform and maker of Gaming Blockchain Dawn Protocol that lets ​esports​players challenge the field and win real rewards for excelling at their favorite games,​is integrating with ​MakerDAO​ to bring decentralized stablecoin integration to the ​FirstBlood Platform​. MakerDAO, the protocol behind the popular ​DeFi stablecoin Dai​, will enhance accessibility for enthusiasts and professional gamers alike by offering rewards in DAI to competitive gamers playing on FirstBlood. This signals an immense victory for gamers, and allows for permissionless cross-border payments to be made in what is arguably the most popular DeFi crypto-token available today. While the FirstBlood Platform supports it’s own native token $Dawn the addition of an algorithmic stablecoin sweetens the prize pot for gamers all around the world.

Joe Zhou, the Co-Founder and CEO of FirstBlood, says “we aim to leverage the massive DAI community and facilitate blockchain adoption into the world of competitive gaming. With players competing from every continent, payments in cryptocurrencies will simplify barriers to entry for users, and provide a stable and secure environment for players to earn rewards for rising to the challenge.” Of the partnership, Rune Christensen, CEO of the Maker Foundation and co-founder of MakerDAO, had this to say, “the borderless, decentralized nature of Dai makes it the perfect stablecoin to use as in-game rewards for FirstBlood players. The stability, transparency and ease of use of Dai will let players spend more time focused on competing and less time sorting out how to manage their rewards.”

To celebrate the partnership, MakerDAO is offering 10,000 DAI in prizes to sign up and compete on FirstBlood. All prizes will be paid in Dai. The details are as follows:

  • Beginning the 3rd week of November 2020, FirstBlood players will have an opportunity to compete against each other in the newest game-integrated on the FirstBlood Platform, Call of Duty: Warzone.
  • On the third Monday for the months of November, and December of 2020 and January 2021, FirstBlood will host the Maker Monthly tournament, which will have a $1,500 prize pool, payable in Dai.
  • Starting November, 4th, 2020, FirstBlood will host the Daily Dai with a prize pool of $100 each day for 40 days.
  • Events are available for players on PC, Playstation, and Xbox.
  • To sign up and get started, simply visit the FirstBlood platform and create an account at https://app.firstblood.io​.
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eSports

Rix.GG signs Joonas “Mognus” Salo to Rocket League roster

George Miller

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Rix.GG signs Joonas "Mognus" Salo to Rocket League roster
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Rix.GG, a new esports organisation, announces the signing of Finnish superstar Joonas “Mognus” Salo to its Rocket League roster.

Rix.GG’s Rocket League roster ahead of RLCS X Winter Split will be:

  1. Dan “Polar” Rees
  2. Lorenzo “Dead-Monster” Tongiorgi
  3. Joonas “Mognus” Salo

By signing Joonas “Mognus” Salo, Rix.GG is taking a hybrid approach to both nurture home-grown talent and bolster it with unrivaled expertise in Rocket League. Joonas “Mognus” Salo brings with him a wealth of experience, competing and winning at the highest levels of the esport. Rix.GG hopes the move will lead to the development of a winning team strategy to become one of the top Rocket League teams in the EU.

Jamie Lewis, founder, said: “We [Rix.GG] are doubling down on our efforts to build a top tier team and are delighted to have a world-class talent like Mongnus on board. We feel he is the perfect addition to our budding team.”

Ibrahim Taylor, team manager, said: “Mognus is widely regarded as one of the most capable Rocket League players, someone that has seen great success for many years at the very pinnacle of competitive Rocket League. He also gels very well with the team and the great atmosphere is clear to see. Polar and Dead-Monster are both keen to continue to improve, with the experience and history Mognus brings he is the perfect person for them to combine with to take them to new heights.”

Joonas “Mognus” Salo, said: “I’m happy to be joining Rix.GG as a new third player for its Rocket League team. They take good care of their players, so I know I’m in good hands. Immediately from the first scrim I noticed the potential that Polar and Dead-monster have. With my experience, I hope to bring more consistency to the table

and bring out the best of my teammates. It will definitely take some time, but I hope you can support me and my new team on this journey.”

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