Esports continues to be an industry with huge growth, as the top-earning players of 2019 gained made more than $216 million combined.
Esports are gaining traction in the entertainment industry, and the value is being noticed around the world. In 2019, more than $216 million was earned in prize money, and if those trends are anything to go by, the numbers are only going to rise. Esports have migrated away from dark bedrooms and into state-of-the-art gaming facilities; celebrities like Drake, Will Smith, and Michael Jordan have invested in the growing industry, and several others will inevitably follow.
But what players are making the most money?
Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf made history at 16 years old when he won $3 million in the first Fortnite World Cup in 2019. He made more than Novak Djokovic was awarded for winning Wimbledon in the same year. Bugha also made more than Tiger Woods did for winning the Masters. However, despite winning such a huge prize, Bugha doesn’t even break into the Top 10 of the highest earners in esports.
The industry has transformed into a global phenomenon. Out of the top 100 earners, only 10% are American. 29% of the top earners are from China. According to the latest figures from EsportsEarnings, you can find the top-earning players from 2019 below:
Top 10 Highest Earners in Esports
- N0tail (Johan Sundstein) – $6,890,591
- JerAx (Jesse Vainikka) – $6,470,000
- Ana (Anathan Pham) – $6,000,411
- Ceb (Sébastien Debs) – $5,489,233
- Topson (Topias Taavitsainen) – $5,414,446
- KuroKy (Kuro Takhasomi) – $5,128,788
- Miracle- (Amer Al-Barkawi – $4,692,418
- MinD ContRoL (Ivan Ivanov) – $4,483,493
- GH (Maroun Merhej) – $4,086,426
- SumaiL (Sumail Hassan) – $3,591,225
Top Paying Games
- Dota 2 – $219,095,635
- Counter Strike: Global Offensive – $87,119,453
- Fortnite – $84,420,164
- League of Legends – $73,091,646
- Starcraft II: $32,137,196
Top 10 Players in 2019
- JerAx (Jesse Vainikka) – $3,163,536
- Ceb (Sébastien Debs) – $3,163,536
- Topson (Topias Taavitsainen) – $3,163,536
- N0tail (Johan Sundstein) – $3,163,536
- Ana (Anathan Pham) – $3,163,536
- Bugha (Kyle Giersdorf) – $3,061,716
- Psalm (Harrison Chang) – $1,819,300
- Aqua (David Wang) – $1,790,036
- Nyhrox (Emil Bergquist Pedersen) – $1,509,516
- EpikWhale (Shane Cotton) – $1,297,366
More than $700 million has been paid out in prize winnings throughout the different titles in esports so far. With more people becoming involved, esports will continue to thrive. Franchised esports titles like Overwatch and Call of Duty help promote longevity in player careers. In addition, more college leagues and programs are being developed. Currently, there are over 120 colleges and universities offering esports programs in the United States. Big money equals big opportunities, and the growth is just beginning for the esports industry.