Author:
Dominik Petermeier

Top 10 ranking by prize money earned

Top 10: The most successful eSports players

The eSports scene is booming. Numerous teams compete against each other in the regional and international competitions of major eSports games such as League of Legends, Fortnite and Dota 2 and fight for millions in prize money. Professional players have also become celebrated stars and are getting closer and closer to the earnings of classic athletes.
But how much do the top eSports players earn exactly? Below is the ISPO.com ranking of the ten most successful eSports professionals.

Unsurprisingly, due to the above-average prize money of the Dota 2 Championships, the top 10 most successful eSports players are exclusively occupied by Dota 2 players. The first non-Dota ranking is in 22nd place with US-based Fortnite pro Kyle Giersdorf aka. "Burgha." Burgha secured the top spot in 2019's Fortnite World Cup Finals - Solo.

eSports definition: What is the virtual sport all about?

eSports is a competition in which players compete against each other in multiplayer-based computer games. The tournaments are held professionally under the specification of rules.

The most popular eSports games are the following:

  • Dota 2
  • League of Legends
  • Call Of Duty
  • Fortnite
  • Counterstrike

The top 10 eSports players of all time are all Dota 2 gamers. Regularly ranked 20th to 50th are Fortnite and Counterstrike players.

Rank 10: Maroun "GH" Merhej

The 10th most successful eSports player is Maron Merhej. Under the nickname "GH", the Lebanese competes for the Dota 2 team Nigma Galaxy. Together with his former teammate, the support player also competed at The International 2017 and 2018 alongside Matumbaman, finishing first and fourth. With total prize money earnings of 4.213.811 USD, GH is 10th in the ranking.

Rank 9: Lasse "Matumbaman" Urpalainen

Lasse Urpalainen aka. Matumbaman is a Finnish Dota 2 professional player. Currently, the pro competes for Team Secret, but recorded his greatest successes for Team Liquid, for whom he and his teammates secured first place in The International 2017 Dota 2 Championship and fourth place at The International 2018. Over the course of his career, Matumbaman earned a total of 4.507.889 USD in prize money, ranking him 9th among the most successful eSportsmen of all time.

Rank 8: Ivan "MinD_ContRol" Ivanov

Ivan "MinD_ContRol" Ivanov recorded a total of three major successes at Dota 2's The Internationals. In addition to first place in 2017 and fourth place in 2018, the Bulgarian offlaner secured second place for himself and his team at The Internationals 2019. Thanks in part to this success, MinD_ContRol manages to finish ahead of his two former teammates GH and Matumbaman in 8th place with a total of 4.599.516 USD in prize money earned.

Arena of the Dota 2 International Championships 2018.

Rank 7: Amer "Miracle" al-Barkawi

Nigma's solo midlaner Al-Barkawi (Miracle) has been playing since the StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3 2017 championships alongside MinD_ContRol and therefore has been recording the same successes since then. 1st place at The International 2017, 4th place at The International 2018 and 2nd place at The International 2019. Thus, the Polish-Jordanian Dota 2 pro occupies the 7th place in the ranking with a total profit of 4.818.442 USD.

Rank 6: Kuro "KuroKy" Takhasomi

One of the most experienced eSports players in the Top 10 is the German support player Kuro "KuroKy" Takhasomi. Back in 2013, he participated in his first The International Championship, where he finished second with his team at the time. He kept up his performance in recent years as well, winning at The International in 2017 and finishing second in 2019. Through his numerous successes, the current Team Nigma supporter has received a total of 5.215.504 USD in prize money.

Rank 5: Topias "Topson" Taavitsainen

With a total of two wins at The International 2018 and 2019 with his current team OG, Topias "Topson" Taavitsainen is one of the most successful Dota 2 pros in recent years. In his Solo Middle playing position, the Finn has already earned a total of 5.690.418 USD in prize money, landing him in 5th place.

Rank 4: Sébastien "Ceb" Debs

Sébastien Debs aka. Ceb or 7ckngMad is a French-Lebanese Dota 2 offlaner. Currently competing for OG, he and his teammates finished first twice in the Dota 2 championship The International 2018 and 2019. Over the course of his career, Ceb has earned a total of 5.773.812 USD in prize money, ranking 4th in the list of the most successful eSportsmen of all time.

3rd place: Anathan "ana" Pham

Winner of The International Championships 2018 and 2019 with OG, solo midlle Carrry Anathan Pham (ana) lands in third place. The Australian earned a total of 6.004.412 USD in prize money.

2nd place: Jesse "JerAx" Vainikka

With a total of three placements, Finland is particularly dominant among the top 10 most successful eSports players. Jesse "JerAx" Vainikka lands as the highest ranked Finn at #2 in the overall ranking. As a support, JerAx won The International 2018 and The International 2019 along with his OG teammates, earning prize money totaling 6.470.549 USD. JerAx retired from professional eSports in January 2020.

Place 1: Johan "n0tail" Sundstein

The eSports pro with the most prize money earned overall and thus number 1 in the ranking is Johan "n0tail" Sundstein. The current support of the successful team OG, which the Dane himself founded in 2015 as "(monkey) Business", recorded the victory at The International 2018 and 2019 as his biggest achievements so far. In addition, n0tail won numerous smaller championships. As a Dota 2 and former Heroes of Newerth pro, Sundstein earned a total of 7.183.918 USD in championship prize money, making him the most successful eSports player of all time by prize money earned.

The most successful eSports players: Conclusion

Based on the prize money earned by the pros, it's clear that eSports is a rapidly growing field. Ten years ago, hardly anyone believed in the current development of eSports, but with the increasing popularity of multiplayer games like Fortnite, League of Legends and Call Of Duty, players have created a market with high demand.

FAQ

Below we answer the most frequently asked questions related to eSports.

How much do eSports players make?

Salaries vary and depend on success and the employer. In addition to prize money, eSports players receive a fixed salary, which can amount to more than €10,000 per month. In professional leagues, players are said to earn between €200,000 and €300,000 per season.

How to become a professional eSports player?

There is no training for the profession. Players must stand out from the crowd with their skills in online-based multiplayer games and attract clans.

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Author:
Dominik Petermeier
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