Prize pools continue to increase and additional exposure means teams can afford to pay their star players bigger salaries – with this career winnings are increasing at a rapid rate, here we take a look at some of the biggest players in esports from a range of different games, and just how they’ve reached where they are.
Johan “N0tail” Sundstein – DoTA2 – $6,940,222.80
N0tail started his competitive career playing Heroes of Newerth, an early iteration in the MOBA genre that had gained some popularity but never really making it big – as the game fell into decline N0tail had made the move to DoTA2 as it gained in popularity and started competing under the OG banner. His first big win came in 2018 as OG took home the title at The International 8, and would become the first two-time TI-winner after winning the consecutive title at The International 9. At 26 years of age, he is currently the player with the highest tournament earnings across all esports titles with his teammates of Ceb, ana, Topson, and JerAx following behind.
Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf – Fortnite – $3,072,333.34
The 17-year-old Fortnite player shot in to fame in 2019 winning the Fortnite World Cup at the age of 16, and taking home the grand prize of $3,000,000. Remaining an active part of the Sentinels roster since his first showing in the World Cup qualifiers, the youngster has yet to take home any other big wins just yet and plenty of runner-up placements in smaller tournaments and leagues since, but with the 2020 Fortnite World Cup being cancelled due to the pandemic, the young player has plenty of time to practice with the aim of becoming a back to back world cup champion.
Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen – Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – $1,772,722.74
This 27-year-old Danish player is part of the extremely dominant Astralis team that had seemed to be unbeatable in the CS:GO scene throughout the later part of 2017, all of 2018, and the majority of 2019. Previously representing other huge teams such as TSM and Dignitas, dupreeh has a storied history throughout Counter-Strike and continues to be one of the most liked players in the scene. The team had found a bit of a rough patch following some recent roster shuffles due to injury and burnout seeing the former number one and most bet CS:GO teams in history fall down the rankings a little, but with some return to form it seems as if many of the players shaping up and looking to capture the old magic again.
Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok – League of Legends – $1,257,615.87
Being a long time representative of the T1 organisation, the 24-year-old Korean player has often been regarding as the best player in League of Legends. Winning multiple championships both on the international stage winning worlds in 2013, 2015, and 2016 – one of only two players to win three times, and regionally as a multiple time LCK champion, he has been called the most influential esports player in the world. Humble and dedicated to the game, his passion shines through and although recently has felt his ability to play well slipping, will likely remain a mainstay in the competitive League of Legends scene for a long time to come.