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Who Are The Highest Paid Esports Players In 2023? | Best Games

Competitive gaming is not a new concept, but the idea of having professional video game players who make a living through competing akin to traditional sports certainly is.

Esports has experienced an explosion in popularity in the past few years. While some teams focus on studying and using technology to hone their skills, others try to become famous athletes in esports games.

Now, the question is, “who are the highest paid esports players?”

Highest paid esports players are people who use most of their time playing games and take it as a career path.

These Professional gamers earn thousands of dollars each month in prize money alone, while some of the best players in the world rake in millions of dollars every year.

This read will give you more insight into the Esports game and its highest paid esports players.

What are Esports Games?

Esports, also known as electronic sports, is a video game competition.

It takes the form of multiplayer video game competitions, particularly between professional players, individually or as teams.

With esports, teams of people playing games against each other at a professional level often win vast sums of money regularly as prizes.

Is Esports a good Career?

The growing popularity of esports has created some viable careers. Research has shown that playing video games helps with visual attention.

Many people are considering finding their career path in this industry. If you are thinking about physical sports like football, esports has yet to break into these traditional forms of sports.

This gaming market has driven more than $1.1 billion in global revenues.

There are many careers in the esports industry, ranging from being a professional player to being a host, coach, and content creator.

Also, marketing executive, admin or referee, social media manager, production crew, agent, and event manager.

Seeking a career opportunity in esports is a viable opportunity in some cases.

You must have to play the most popular games; if you are good at them, this could be a good career path for you.

Downsides of This Career Path

Here are some downsides to this career path-

Low Salary– Most players barely earn an average annual salary. Life is still difficult for most professionals, and they often resort to streaming platforms or filming videos with them showing best practices for playing.

Health- It can be bad for your health. Sitting in front of the screen for long hours would adversely affect you- even if not now, but in the nearest future.

Health problems- You may develop issues like eye problems and posture problems. Research has also shown that it may also cause mental health issues.

Only top gamers are lucrative, a significant issue in picking esports as a career. The top three gamers worldwide command 60% of the money in esports.

Therefore, for those who are experts in playing less popular games, the path to making a living in sports is difficult.

It can be addictive– You can spend hours and sometimes even days in front of the computer, playing games and forgetting about everything else that could be important.

How much do Esports Players make a Year?

The money earned is one of the most exciting things about esports. Professional gamers earn thousands of dollars each month in prize money alone, while some of the best players in the world rake in millions of dollars every year.

Esports offers regular salaries to team participants, with average salaries in the $3000-to-$5000 monthly in gaming hotbeds like China and the U.S. Top echelon players can earn much more, up to $15,000 for a single competition plus bonuses.

Some teams also go as far as offering their players perks like health insurance and retirement plans.

Read this: What is the Highest Paid Sport in The World? | 10 Best in 2023

How to Start Competing in Esports

Most games will have ranked modes and playlists you can jump into through the game itself.

You will be matchmade with others online, and often, this mode will have different rules than the standard game, with some restrictions or timer differences.

If you have reached the stage where you frequently win in ranked play, there is a good chance you are ready to take the step up.

This is where each game varies because games that have first-party esports support from the developer will have an easy method to compete.

Once you have proven yourself as a solo player or have put a team together, you can play in open qualifiers- which will have scheduled match times and are more organized.

Usually, these will be online, but every game is different. Sometimes there will be different events like Call of Duty’s City Circuit which allows anyone to represent the various franchised teams.

The specifics for each game will be different; make sure you do your research.

Here are some step-by-step guides to get into the esports industry-

  • Sign up for gaming Courses
  • Choose your niche
  • Look out for opportunities
  • Practice
  • Play fair and emphasize character
  • Get sponsors
  • Take Part in competitions
  • Don’t be afraid to lose
  • Stay focused

What are the Highest Paying Esports Games?

Here is a list of the highest paying esports games.

  • Counter-strike: Global Offensive
  • Arena of Valour
  • Dota 2
  • League of Legends
  • Fortnite
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battleground Mobile

#1. Counter-strike: Global Offensive

This is a multiplayer first-person shooter developed by Valve and Hidden path Entertainment. It is the fourth game in the Counter-Strike series.

It was released for Windows, macOS, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 in August 2012 and Linux in 2014. The game puts two teams against each other in different objective game modes.

The most common game modes involve the terrorists planting a bomb while counter-terrorists attempt to stop them. There are eight official game modes, all of which have distinct characteristics specific to that mode.

The game has an active esports scene, continuing the history of international competitive play from previous games in the series. Teams compete in professional leagues and tournaments, and it is now one of the largest global esports.

#2. Arena of Valour

This multiplayer online battle arena was developed by TiMi studios and published by Tencent Games for Android, iOS, and Nintendo Switch for markets outside Mainland China. As of September 2018, the game has grossed over $140 million outside China.

Players control characters referred to as heroes, and each has a unique set of abilities.

Matches give players rewards, such as gold, which can be used to buy a variety of heroes or arenas.

Players can also play a ranked match, allowing them to be matched with players at their skill level and be assessed through in-game ranks.

#3. Dota 2

Dota 2 is played in matches between two teams of five players, with each team occupying and defending its respective base on the map.

Each of the ten players independently controls a powerful character known as a hero and has unique abilities and differing play styles.

A team wins by being the first to destroy the other team’s Ancient’, a large structure located within their base.

It has a large esports scene, with teams from around the world playing in various professional leagues and tournaments. It is the most lucrative in esports games.

In addition to playing live to audiences in arenas and stadiums, broadcasts are streamed over the internet and sometimes simulcast on television networks.

Check this: Top 15 Highest Paid Sports Teams In 2023

#4. League of Legends

This is a team-based game with over 140 champions to make epic plays with. In the game, two teams of five players battle in player-versus-player combat, each occupying and defending their half of the map.

Each of the ten players controls a character, known as a champion, with unique abilities and differing play styles.

League of legends is often cited as the world’s largest esports, with an international competitive scene composed of 12 leagues. 

#5. Fortnite

Fortnite was developed by Epic Games and released in 2017. It has drawn over 125 million players in less than a year, earning hundreds of millions per month and $9 billion in revenue in its first two years.

It is distributed as three game modes- Fortnite: Save the World, Fortnite Battle Royale, and Fortnite Creative- using the same engine; each has similar graphics, art assets, and game mechanics.

Players can use their pickaxe to knock down existing structures on the map to collect basic wood, brick, and metal resources. In all modes, players can use these materials to build fortifications.

#6. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

It was released on October 25, 2019, for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It takes place in a realistic and modern setting.

The game’s special ops mode features cooperative play missions that follow up the campaign’s story.

The multiplayer mode supports cross-platform multiplayer and cross-platform progression for the first time in the series.

It has been reworked for gameplay to be more tactical and introduces new features, such as a realism mode that removes the HUD and a form of the Ground War mode that now supports 64 players.

#7. PlayerUnknown’s Battleground

In the game, up to 100 players parachute onto an island and scavenge for weapons and equipment to kill others while avoiding getting killed themselves.

The available safe area of the game’s map decreases in size over time, directing surviving players into tighter areas to force encounters. The last player standing wins the round.

In addition, this is one of the highest paying esports games

Top 10 Highest paid Esports Players in 2023

Here are the top ten highest paid esports players in 2023

  • Johan Sundstein
  • Jesse Vainikka
  • Anathan Pham
  • Sebastien Debs
  • Topias Taavitsainen
  • Kuro Takhasomi
  • Amer Al-Barkawi
  • Ivan Ivanov
  • Maroun Merhej
  • Lasse Urpalainen

#1. Johan Sundstein

 Johan Sundstein, also known as NOtail is a highly popular and successful ‘Defence of Ancients 2’ game player. He is one of the highest paid esports players.

He is 26 years old and has earned about $7 million in playing in 128 tournaments, making him king of the hill in the esports earning game. Johan also ranks #1 globally and #1 in his country, Denmark.

#2. Jesse Vainikka

Born on October 8, 1993, 27-year-old Vainikka, also known as HerAx in the sports world, earned up to $3.14 million in 2019 alone from about 65 tournaments.

Jesse ranks #2 in the world and #1 in Finland. Also, he is one of the highest-paid esports players.

#3. Sebastien Debs

Sebastien Debs is one of the highest-paid esports players. At $5.5 million in career earnings, ‘Ceb’ Debs is the fourth-highest income earner in esports.

Competing as both and a player, the Frenchman won the prestigious international ‘Dota 2’ event in 2018 and 2019 as a member of team OG. Moreso, He ranks #4 globally, and France ranks #1 in his country.

#4. Topias Taavitsainen

He is known as ‘Topson’ in esports. He earns about $5.4 million in professional gaming income.

The Finland native began playing ‘Dota 2’ at age 8 and is now considered a franchise player for team OG, widely recognized as one of the most dominant teams in all of esports.

He ranks #5 globally and #2 in his country, Finland. Also, one of the highest paid esports players

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#5. Kuro Takhasomi

KuroKy grew up in Berlin, Germany. He suffered from disabilities in his legs and would struggle to use his legs. It was this weakness that led him to play video games.

He was born on October 28, 1992. His team is team Nigma. His total prize money earned from esports games is about $5213504.15 from about 117 tournaments. He ranks #6 globally and #1 in his country Germany.

Furthermore, Kuro Takhasomi is one of the highest paid esports players.

#6. Amer Al-Barkawi

Amer Al-Barkawi was born on June 20, 1997. His alias is Miracle. He is a professional Jordanian-Polish Dota 2 player for Nigma.

He was a member of Team Liquid, which won The International 2017, which had the largest prize pool of any esports tournament at the time.

Furthermore, he earns total prize money of $4,816,441.68 from 69 tournaments. He is ranked #7 and #1 in his country, Jordan.

#7. Ivan Ivanov

Ivan Borislavov Ivanov was born on January 20, 1995. He earns total prize money of $4,597,516.16 from 78 tournaments.

Furthermore, he ranks #8 globally and #1 in his country, Bulgaria. Ivan is one of the highest paid esports players.

#8. Maroun Merhej

Maroun Merhej was born on June 17, 1995, in Lebanon. He is a Dota 2 Esports Player. His net worth is $4,211,810.69. from 57 tournaments. He ranks #9 in the world and #1 in his country.

In addition, he is one of the highest paid esports players

#9. Lasse Urpalainen

Lasse Urpalainen was born on March 3, 1995. He earns total prize money of $3,786,569.04 from 78 tournaments.

Moreso, he ranks #10 in the world and #3 in his country. His alternate IDs are Liquid, MATUMBAMAN, HyperX, Urpalainen.  Lasse Urpalainen is one of the highest paid esports players.


Although the legitimacy of esports as an actual sporting competition remains in question, they have been featured alongside traditional sports in some international events in Asia. The International Olympic Committee also discussed their inclusion in future Olympic events.

Esports isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It is a booming industry, and people enjoy playing games for a living.