Competitive gaming is not a new concept by any means, 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 and while some teams focus on studying and using technology to hone their skills, others are trying to become popular athletes in esports games.
Now, the question is “who are the highest paid esports players?”
Highest paid esports players are a group of people who use most of their time playing games and taken 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 Esport game and its highest paid esports players.
What are Esports Games?
Esports, also known as electronic sports is a form of competition using video games.
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 huge sums of money on regular basis 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 in visual attention.
Many people are considering finding their career path in this industry. If you are thinking about physical sports like football, esports is still yet to make a breakthrough to 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, content creator.
Also, marketing executive, admin or referee, social media manager, production crew, agent, and even an event manager.
Seeking a career opportunity in esports is a viable opportunity in some cases.
You must have to play the most popular games and if you are really 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 definitely have adverse effects on you- even if not now, in the nearest future.
Health problems- You may develop problems like eye problems and posture problems. Research has also shown that it may also cause mental health issues.
Only top gamers are lucrative and this serves as a major issue in picking esports as a career. Top three gamers in the world 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 a difficult one.
It can be addictive– You can end up spending hours and sometimes even days in front of the computer, playing games and forgetting about everything else which 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.
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 are frequently winning 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 themselves will have an easy method to compete.
Once you have proven yourself as a solo player or have put a team together, you will be able to play in open qualifiers- which will have scheduled match times and are more organized.
Usually, these will be online, but again, every game is different and 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 own 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
- 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
- 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, PlayStation 3 in August 2012, and Linux in 2014. The game pts. 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 is a multiplayer online battle arena 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 of the heroes 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, which allows them to be matched with players who are 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 their own separate base on the map.
Each of the ten players independently controls a powerful character known as a hero and would have unique abilities and differing styles of play.
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 of them are also streamed over the internet and sometimes simulcast on television networks.
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#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 team 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 styles of play.
League of legends is often cited as the world’s largest esports, with an international competitive scene composed of 12 leagues.
Fortnite was developed by Epic Games and released in 2017. It has drawn more than 125 million players in less than a year, earning hundreds of millions of dollars per month, and $9 billion in revenue in its first two years.
It is distributed as three different 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 as well as 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 2022
Here are the top ten highest paid esports players in 2022
- 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 to date, making him king of the hill in the esports earning game. Also, ranks #1 in the world 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, has earned up to $3.14 million so far 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 clocks in as the fourth-highest income earner in the esports arena.
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, and ranks #1 in his country.
#4. Topias Taavitsainen
He is known as ‘Topson’ on 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 in the world 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 to 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 in the world 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 that 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 is ranks #8 in the world and #1 in his country, Bulgaria. He 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 $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 a true sporting competition remains in question, they have been featured alongside traditional sports in some multinational events in Asia, with the International Olympic Committee also having discussed their inclusion into future Olympic events.
Esports isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It is a booming industry and people enjoy playing games for a living.