Who are the Top 10 Esports Players in the World?

14th December 2018

Since the days of Pac-Man, Duck Hunt, and Supermario, gaming has come a long way…

Since the days of Pac-Man, Duck Hunt, and Supermario, gaming has come a long way. Today, competing doesn’t just mean getting the top score among your friends and earning some bragging rights, but it also opens up a new profession for anyone to earn some serious money. In fact, sites such as Unibet and Bet365 consider fantasy sports and eSports legitimate games where players can bet real money on.

Here are just some of the top eSports players in the world who proved that being a professional gamer can actually be a lucrative career.

1. Park Jong-ryeol

Also known as Saebyeolbe, the South Korean gamer plays for the New York Excelsior, one of the 12 founding members of the Overwatch League. Saebyeolbe acts as a space-maker for NYXL, and is able to switch between the game’s two heroes, Widowmaker and Tracer, effectively. He has already earned more than $91,000 just from 14 Overwatch tournaments.

2. Andreas Højsleth

Hailing from Denmark, Højsleth is a professional Counter Strike: Global Offensive player, known for his nickname Xyp9x. A member of team Astralis, Højsleth was voted the 13th best CSGO player of 2017 by HLTV.org. He is also the 4th highest-earning player in Denmark, and won $200,000 during the Intel Grand Slam Season 1 on December 9, 2018.

3. Katherine Gunn

Before being surpassed by Sasha Hostyn, Katherine “Mystik” Gunn used to be the highest-earning professional female gamer in the world. Gunn comes from a family who loves video games and own a comic book and trading card business, which is most likely to be what influenced her interest in the field. She plays various video games including H1Z1: Just Survive, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, but she’s best known for her performances in Dead or Alive 4 and Halo: Reach.

4. Sasha Hostyn

The Canadian Starcraft 2 player is considered the richest female esports player in the world, and ranks 8th in her country in terms of total earnings. Raised in Ontario, Hostyn, and better known as Scarlett in the esports betting world, she first started competing in 2011 in The NESL Iron Lady, a females-only tournament, where she won twice in a row. In 2016, she became a member of Team Expert and in 2018 was named by Forbes as one of the most powerful women in international sports.

5. Turner Tenney

Known for his gaming alias Tfue, Tenney is a member of the renowned FaZe clan and is considered to be the best Fortnite player out there. The 21-year-old American eSports player is also a successful YouTuber with over 6.7 million subscribers. The largest prize he has won in a single tournament was $255,000, when he landed first place during the Fortnite Fall Skirmish Series Week 6 on October 28, 2018.

6. Damon Barlow

The Canadian – American professional gamer is best known for playing Call of Duty as Karma. Barlow is the first three-time COD champion, having won championship titles in 2013, 2014, and 2017. Karma plays for OpTic Gaming, and has so far earned over $727,000 from tournaments.

7. Gabriel Toledo

The 26-year-old Brazilian is one of the top players in the world, having earned more than $700,000 playing Counter Strike: Global Offensive. His biggest contribution to the world of eSports and Fantasy Sports came when he founded the Games Academy in Brazil in 2012, helping other CSGO players become better at their craft.

8. Lee Sang Hyeok

Lee Sang Hyeok, or Faker as he is more popularly known, is a South Korean eSports player who has gained popularity in the game League of Legends. Not only is he considered one of the most respected players in his league, but he is also one of the richest gamers from his country, having earned over $1.17 million from 40 tournaments. Best known for his aggressive playing tactics in the mid lane, Faker plays under the team SK Telecom T1 #2, using other nicknames such as LeBlanc, Fizz, Ahri, Zed, and Orianna

9. Amer Al-Barkawi

The Jordanian-Polish DOTA 2 player is the second highest earning eSports player in the world, having earned a total of $3,202,886.88 from 42 tournaments. Miracle, as he is known, first dabbled in the online gaming arena in the mid 2000’s playing Defense of the Ancients. After his short-lived tenure with the Balkan Bears in 2015, he went on to play independently, until he became the first player of Dota 2 to reach an in-game matchmaker rating of 9000 in 2016. Together with Team Liquid, he won first place in The International 2017, where they bagged almost $11 million in prize money – the largest to be given in any eSports tournament.

10. Kuro Takhasomi

Probably the most successful and richest eSports player anywhere in the world, Kuro Takhasomi is a German Dota 2 player. Like Miracle, “KuroKy” plays for Team Liquid, and has earned more than $3,480,788.35 in his entire gaming career. The 25-year-old player suffers from a leg disability, which is what propelled him to become a professional esports player in the first place.

As you can see, there’s nothing wrong with playing video games. As long as you have the passion, discipline, and determination to become better at what you do, you can actually turn what is perceived as a meaningless hobby into a life-changing career.