Esports earnings: Top 25 Highest Paid Players in 2020 So Far
> 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.
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.”
|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|
|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|
|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|
|Country||Prize Money||Players||Average per|
|Korea, Republic of||$2,067,293.52||455||$4,543.50|
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
EUROPE’S TOP EA SPORTS FIFA 23 PROS FACE OFF IN $280K eCHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINALS ON JUNE 7 IN ISTANBUL
Competitors Head to Istanbul to Hoist the eCL Trophy Ahead of 2023 UEFA Champions League final and Earn Their Spot at the EA SPORTS FIFA 23 Global Series Playoffs
The eChampions League (eCL) approaches its pinnacle with the eCL Finals on June 7 in Istanbul, Turkey. In the leadup to the 2023 UEFA Champions League final, Europe’s best EA SPORTS™ FIFA 23 competitors will look to take home their share of the $280,000 USD prize pool, the coveted eCL trophy, and European glory.
“EA SPORTS FIFA esports continues to offer players and fans unique and exciting ways to celebrate their love of football,” said Sam Turkbas, Sr. Director, Esports & Commissioner, Football Esports, Electronic Arts. “We look forward to closing out another successful season of the eChampions League, in Istanbul with a live audience, featuring epic Finals matchups on the virtual pitch”.
After two previous events of high-stakes competition this season, the pool of over 1,000 hopefuls has been narrowed down to eight, who will face off live on stage at Turkey’s ESA Espor Arena. Gameplay kicks off as four competitors on the brink of elimination clash through an additional qualifying round in the lower bracket, while the four top-seeded competitors vye for a direct spot in the semi-finals through the upper bracket. The eventual eCL champion will get the unique opportunity to hoist the trophy live from the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in the evening of the UEFA Champions League final on June 10. Both the winner and runner-up will also punch their ticket to the EA SPORTS FIFA 23 Global Series Playoffs, while the third and fourth seeds have a chance to qualify through the Play-Ins.
In addition to cheering on their favorite competitors, fans in attendance will have an opportunity to engage with a number of onsite activities. Attendees will be able to take photos with the UEFA Champions League trophy ahead of the eCL Finals and see football legends and UEFA Champions League winners Kaká and Ruud Gullit, who will also be joining the event and broadcast.
Cybeart signs a multi-year deal with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products as their official home and consumer electronics partner in India
Cybeart, a leading manufacturer of comfortable and premium high-quality products across Canada, India and the Middle East, has signed a multi-year licensing deal with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products as their official Home & Consumer Electronics partner in India. This strategic partnership aims to bring the strength of Warner Bros. Discovery’s brands to Indian consumers through a range of cutting-edge technology products including but not limited to Gaming chairs, keyboards and Mouse Pads.
Cybeart will utilize its expertise in design to manufacture state-of-the-art home and consumer electronics products that feature iconic Warner Bros. Discovery IPs. By integrating IPs such as DC, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon, Mortal Kombat, Lord of the Rings, and Rick and Morty in the products, Cybeart aims to deliver a comfortable, premium experience to its fans and users.
Krutik Patel, Founder and CEO of Cybeart said, “After recently renewing a three-year agreement with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products as the official Home & Consumer Electronics partner in Canada and the Middle East, Cybeart will leverage this partnership to strengthen our presence in the India market with a range of licensed products in the category. At Cybeart, we have always been driven by our passion for innovation and creativity, and through this partnership, we would like to bring these iconic franchises closer to their fans.”
Having established a strong presence in India with high-profile associations with Revenant Esports, Orangutan Esports, Mumbai Indians, and Gujarat Titans recently, Cybeart is aiming to transcend the Esports and sporting landscapes to become a household name in the country through this partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products.
With new momentum into the second esport season: Ski Challenge plans Nations Cup
Ski Challenge, the fast-paced esports game by Greentube, has become one of the most popular sports games just a few months after its official launch. For the second season, the developers of NOVOMATIC Digital Gaming and Entertainment Division, in close cooperation with ski associations and co-shareholders from Austria (ÖSV), Switzerland (Swiss-Ski), and Germany (DSV), are planning an attractive innovation for all ski and game enthusiasts: the Nations Cup, starting in autumn 2023.
Developed as a tribute to Greentube’s first published game, Ski Challenge has had an extremely successful first season with over half a million downloads on iOS and Android since its release in October 2022. The game is not only popular among players but has also established itself as an attractive platform for high-profile global brand partnerships.
Thanks to continuous and extensive updates that enhance the competitive nature of Ski Challenge, Greentube and the three successful ski associations, ÖSV, Swiss-Ski, and DSV, have now joined forces as shareholders to create an exciting new tournament series: the Ski Challenge Nations Cup.
This thrilling competition invites players to represent their countries and compete for honor, glory, and attractive prizes in multiple qualifying rounds and the tournament phase. But that’s not all. Ski Challenge players who qualify for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland will now compete as official national teams for their respective ski associations.
The tournament events will take place parallel to the actual Ski World Cup events. With this expansion, Ski Challenge aims to further strengthen its esports concept and transfer the enthusiasm of skiing into the virtual world.
Michael Bauer, Greentube’s CFO/CGO, said: “We are thrilled to be able to add a number of new teams to the game as part of our Ski Challenge Nations Cup update. These federations are staples of the sport and give the game another level of legitimacy. We firmly believe our highly dedicated and loyal player base will be delighted with these upcoming additions as Ski Challenge continues to grow as a premier esports title.”
Diego Züger, CEO Commercial Swiss-Ski: “This is a great opportunity for skiing. With the establishment of the Nations Cup and the entry into esports, we will inspire new target groups and further develop skiing as a whole. The successful cooperation with Ski Austria and the German Ski Association, as well as Greentube, shows that a lot is possible with good collaboration.”
Stefan Schwarzbach, Board of Communication, German Ski Association: “With the Nations Cup, we as associations want to establish a direct connection to real skiing and our top athletes. Ski Challenge is increasingly becoming an attractive communication platform to inspire children and young people for skiing. In the medium term, our clubs and ski clubs should also benefit from this.”
Christian Scherer, Secretary General, Austrian Ski Association: “We are incredibly excited to launch a virtual tournament series that will revolutionize the world of skiing and bring nations together. This initiative expands the reach and ignites the competitive spirit of skiers worldwide. It is undoubtedly one of the most exciting announcements of 2023 as we embark on this exciting journey to shape the future of skiing and create an unforgettable experience for all involved.”
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