The 10 Highest Paid Esports Players of The World [Esports Earnings]

Highest Paid Esports Player of The World

Esports events are becoming more and more popular nowadays, and as a result, the amount of income from these events is getting higher every day. You will be surprised to learn that some highest-paid esports players and their earnings are similar to a real-life game.

In 2020-21, Esports events were a source of income for pro gamers. Even during this time of emergency, esports players have fought for money and peripherals. This job allows you the opportunity to do what you want to do most, play games as well as pay off an enormous amount.

The popularization of game streaming services like Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook has brought gamers closer to people. Big gaming industries hold championships and events every year for gamers of all types. As a result, just like any other sport, Esports have gained honor, pride, and money. Professional gamers can earn a large sum of money from this event as prizes. Now, you might wonder who are the best and highly paid gamers in the world?

This list is about those highest-earning players in the esports industry. Surprisingly, half of this list will include DOTA 2 players. As they take double the amount that some players earn their entire career. Let us have a look at the top 10 highest-paid Esports players in the World. ESports Earning of 2021

What is Esports?

Esports, also known as electronic sports or eSports, is a form of video gaming competition. Gaming industries as multiplayer game competitions often organize Esports. These competitions can be among professional gamers, individuals, and teams. Organized Esports events were popular for many years, but since the 2000s, it has become popular worldwide. People enjoy watching pro gamers play video games in live streams as part of the championships. By 2010 esports became a significant part of the gaming industry. After that, people kept a tremendous amount of effort and money into these events.  

Some Major Esports Events

Tournament Name Game(s) played Location/ Region
Apex Legends Global Series Apex Legends Worldwide
BlizzCon StarCraft II (SC2), World of Warcraft (WoW), Overwatch, and Hearthstone.  Worldwide
Call of Duty League Call of Duty Worldwide
CS: GO Major Championships Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Worldwide
Dew Arena Dota 2 and CS: GO. India
DOTA Major DOTA 2 (Organized by Valve) Worldwide
eGames Different assortment of games.  Worldwide
Electronic Sports League Different assortment of games. Worldwide
FIFA Interactive World Cup  FIFA Worldwide
Fortnite World Cup Fortnite Worldwide
Intel Extreme Masters Different assortment of games. Worldwide
League of Legends World Championship League of Legends Worldwide
PUBG Mobile Global Championship 2020 PUBG Mobile  Worldwide
Rocket League Championship Series Rocket League  Worldwide
The International DOTA 2 Worldwide

Top 10 Highest Paid Esports Players in the world

This content is a list of the highest-earning Esports players in the world as of 2021. Please note that the amount of money they own may change after or during the publication of this article.

1. Johan “N0tail” Sundstein

  • Game: DOTA 2
  • Earnings: Around 7 million U.S. dollars.
  • Nationality: Danish.

Johan “N0tail” Sundstein Highest Paid Esports Player of The WorldJohan Sundstein, popularly known as N0tail, is a Danish professional eSports player of DOTA 2 and the captain of Team OG. He is the only player with the highest tournament earnings in Dota 2 and esports. He won The International “(official DOTA 2 international tournament)” for two consecutive years in 2018 and 2019. 

Aside from this, Johan Sundstein has played and won four Major championships. Some of his other winnings are the MDL Macau (2017), The Kiev Major (2017), The Boston Major (2016), ESL One Frankfurt (2016), The Manila Major (2016), The Frankfurt Major (2015), and XMG Captains Draft 2.0.

N0tail was born on October 8, 1993. He left high school to become a professional gamer. Before joining OG, he was part of Cloud9, Team Secret, and Fnatic. According to Statista, Notail’s net worth is around USD 6,976,271.

2. Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka

  • Game: DOTA 2
  • Earnings: 6.47 million U.S. dollars.
  • Nationality: Finnish.

Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka second Highest Paid Esports Player of The WorldJesse “JerAx” Vainikka is a retired DOTA 2 player from Finland. He started his career in 2013 as part of the Rat in The Dark team. JerAx started as a professional gamer with Swedish QPAD Red Panda. He also used to play as a part of Team Liquid, and in 2016, he joined Team OG.

He won several awards and championships during his gaming career, including The International in 2019 & 2018. Aside from this, he won the Kiev Major (2017), the Boston Major (2016), and the EPICENTER in 2016.

Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka was born on May 7, 1992. According to Statista, his net worth is 6.47 million dollars. Though he is retired, his earnings place him in the top 3 of the highest-paid gamers.

3. Anathan Pham a.k.a ANA

  • Game: DOTA 2
  • Earnings: 6 million USD.
  • Nationality: Australian.

Anathan Pham a.k.a ANA is the third Highest Paid Esports Player of The WorldAnathan Pham, popularly known as Ana, is another player from Team OG. This Australian DOTA 2 player was born on October 26, 1999. He played Dota 2 professionally in 2011. In 2018 Ana first joined Team OG and continued to play as a part of team OG. Anathan Pham announced his retirement from competitive gaming on June 14, 2021. Despite his younger age, Ana has earnings of an estimated $6,008,163.

Anathan Pham is the first-ever Australian to have won a Valve-sponsored event. He also placed first in two consecutive The Internationals, T18 and T19. His other achievements include the Kiev Major (2017), The Boston Major (2016), and National Electronic Arena 2016. He also won the Score esports Awards 2019 for Best Hard Carry.

4. Sebastian Debs

  • Game: DOTA 2
  • Earnings: 5.57 U.S. dollars.
  • Nationality: French.

Sebastian Debs professional Esports PlayerSébastien Debs, known as Ceb, is a French professional Esports player. He was born on May 11, 1992. Ceb plays Dota 2 for Team OG. He was with the team that won the multi-million dollar International 2018 and 2019 tournaments. He won the DreamHack Summer in 2012. Ceb was also the coach of Team OG and helped the team to win four Dota Major Championships. He is still the official coach for Team OG. He is the only French gamer to win The International till 2019.

Debs started his career as a professional gamer in 2011. After that, he switched between different teams and, in 2016, settled with Team OG. As of 2021 Ceb’s approx. The total earnings of this Highest Paid Esports Players is $5,576,256.

5. Topias Taavitsainen (Topson)

  • Game: DOTA 2
  • Earnings: Approx. 5.49 USD.
  • Nationality: Finnish.

Topias Taavitsainen (Topson) Esports Earnings expertTopias Taavitsainen a.k.a Topson is a Finnish professional Esports player with Team OG. He is also a DOTA 2 player, just like the previous gamers on this list. Topson has been playing games professionally since 2017. He was born on April 14, 1998, and started his career with the Russian organization SFT e-sports. After that, he was in some other team and finally joined Team OG in 2018.

Like the previous gamers on this list, Topias Taavitsainen made a lot of money by playing Dota 2 and winning two consecutive TIs (2018 and 2019). He placed in the top 3 in many other tournaments and esports events. This best-paid esports player won the Score esports Awards 2018 for ‘Rookie of the Year’. As of 2021, Topson’s net worth is $5,492,912.

6. Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi

  • Game: DOTA 2
  • Earnings: 5.2 USD.
  • Nationality: German.

Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi Esports Earnings expertKuro Salehi Takhasomi, also known as “KuroKy” is a German Dota 2 player. He was born on October 28, 1992, and grew up in Berlin, Germany. Despite disabilities in his legs, he was determined enough to place in the top 10 of the highest-paid gamers of 2021. He started to play as a professional gamer (DOTA) in 2010. Kuro started playing DOTA 2 in 2011. In 2019, he joined Team Nigma and is currently the captain of the team.

KuroKy won The International 2017 and placed 2nd in 2018. His other achievements are China Dota2 Supermajor, EPICENTER 2017 and 2016, StarLadder i-League StarSeries (2017). He won the GosuAwards 2008 (Best carrier), GosuAwards 2010 (People’s choice), JoinDOTA Awards 2014 (Best carrier), and JoinDOTA Awards 2013 (Best support duo). KuroKy’s approximate total earnings are $5,218,593.

7. Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi

  • Game: DOTA 2
  • Earnings: Around 4.81 U.S. dollars.
  • Nationality: Jodan, Poland.

Amer Miracle- Al-Barkawi digital gamerMiracle- is a Jordanian DOTA 2 player born on June 20, 1997. He was born to a Polish mother and a Jordan Father, so he holds dual citizenship. Miracle- started his gaming career in 2015. He was with Team OG from 2015 to 2016. After that, he was part of Team Liquid. Finally, in November 2019, he joined Team Nigma. According to liquipedia, Miracle’s estimated earnings are $4,810,835.

Al-Barkawi has an outstanding gaming career. He won The International in 2017. His other victories were China Dota2 Supermajor, EPICENTER 2017, StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3, ESL One Frankfurt 2016, The Manila Major 2016, the Frankfurt Major 2015. 

8. MinD_ContRoL

  • Game: DOTA 2
  • Earnings: 4.59 U.S. Dollars.
  • Nationality: Bulgarian.

MinD_ContRoL online gamerIvan Borislavov “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov was born on January 20, 1995. He came to the row of Highest Paid Esports Players in recent years. He is a Bulgarian gamer with Team Nigma. This amazing gamer plays the role of Offlaner for the team. MinD_ContRoL started his gaming career in 2014 with Vast Cast. After that, he switched back to some other teams and finally settled with Team Nigma in 2019. His estimated net earnings are $4,600,488.

MinD_ContRoL plays DOTA 2 and has won many tournaments and championships. He placed at the top in ‘The International 2017’. Moreover, some of his other achievements are China Dota2 Supermajor, EPICENTER 2017, EPICENTER 2016.

9. GH (Maroun Merhej)

  • Game: DOTA 2
  • Earnings: Approx. 4.2 USD.
  • Nationality: Lebanese.

GH (Maroun Merhej) Esports Player of The WorldMaroun “GH” Merhej is a Lebanese professional DOTA 2 gamer. He was born on 1995 June 17. On the other hand, GH is part of Team Nigma and fills the Support role. He was the first Lebanese esports player to participate in The International. GH helped the team to win The International 2017. He had the highest average assist per game in the Season 2 of the 2021 DPC WEU Upper Division. GH’s estimated earnings are USD 4,205,34, placing him in the top 10 wealthiest gamers of 2021.

10. Lasse Aukusti “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen

  • Game: DOTA 2
  • Earnings: Around 3.78 US dollars.
  • Nationality: Finnish

Lasse Aukusti MATUMBAMAN UrpalainenLasse Aukusti Urpalainen a.k.a “MATUMBAMAN,” made their name after winning the Assembly Summer 2014 LAN tournament. This 26-year-old Finnish Esports gamer was born on March 3, 1995. MATUMBAMAN plays DOTA 2 for Team Secret and plays the role of Carry and Solo Middle. His professional career as a DOTA 2 gamer started with Veni, Vidi, Vici. Since then, he was with many other teams, including Team Liquid. In 2019 he came aboard with Team Secret.

It is estimated that MATUMBAMAN’s approximate earnings are $3,789,507. He has lots of wins under his name, including The International 2017. He had the highest average kill per game in the Season 1 of the 2021 DPC WEU Upper Division. 

His other victories are OMEGA League: Europe Immortal Division, DreamLeague Season 13, China Dota2 Supermajor, EPICENTER 2017, and 2016.

Top 10 Players of 2021 (By Prize Money)

Previously we listed the top 10 Highest Earning Players of All Time. Now we will present a list of the top 10 Highest Paid Esports Players of 2021 only. (The following list was created on July 22, 2021.) the amount of prize money was won in 2021 by these players.

Sr. Name Country Game Prize Money won in 2021 (in USD)
1 James “TGLTN” Giezen Australia PUBG 355,297.25
2 Hunter “hwinn” Winn USA PUBG 347,547.25
3 Tristan “Shrimzy” Nowicky USA PUBG 347,547.25
4 Austin “M1ME” Scherff USA PUBG 347,547.25
5 Matt “Kickstart” Smith  USA PUBG 260,768.00
6 Nolan “Shinboi” Burdick  Canada PUBG 259,455.50
7 Brent “Poonage” Mullany  USA PUBG 259,455.50
8 Dylan “Roth” Short USA PUBG 255,768.00
9 Ceng “Order” Zehai China PUBG Mobile 244,546.23
10 Valeriy “B1t” Vakhovskiy Ukraine CS: GO 240,887.50

Top 10 Highest Earning Countries in 2021 (By Prize Money)

Below is the list of the top 10 countries with the highest prize money won in 2021. 

Sr. Country Prize Money won in 2021 (in USD)
1 United States  11,327,940.90
2 China  9,592,975.84
3 Russia 4,239,635.63
4 Brazil 3,762,829.10
5 Republic of Korea 3,249,106.83
6 United Kingdom 2,492,869.18
7 Denmark 2,328,877.83
8 Canada 2,310,298.11
9 France 2,244,341.45
10 Thailand 1,883,306.10

Top 5 Teams of 2021 (By Prize Money)

Sr. Team Name Tournaments played in 2021 Prize Money won in 2021 (in USD)
1 Natus Vincere 25 Tournaments 1,663,809.23
2 Susquehanna Soniqs 16 Tournaments 1,420,439.00
3 Team Liquid 70 Tournaments 1,330,310.21
4 Gambit Esports 32 Tournaments 1,241,085.38
5 Ninjas in Pyjamas 25 Tournaments 1,211,658.72

Top Games of 2021 for esports events

Sr. Game Name Prize money won playing the game

(in USD)

Number of Players Played the game
1 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive 9,640,342.18 2273 players
2 PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS 7,804,153.00 276 players
3 Fortnite 6,120,128.30 603 players
4 PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS Mobile 5,733,245.00 163 players
5 DOTA 2 5,421,750.51 712 players

*All the stats are taken from and do not include salaries, bonuses, or sponsorships.

Final Thoughts

Esports players are the champions of digital sports. They take a large amount of prize money from different events, securing them a safe future. In this list, we tried to cover all the earnings of Highest Paid Esports Players and statistics related to 2021 esports. We hope you will find this helpful article. Please share this article with your friends and lets us know what you think about the profession.