Esports has definitely become a mainstream sport. It is estimated that 250 million people watch esports and the number of viewers continues to grow. Twitch, a popular platform for viewing esports, reported that 106,232,483 hours of Fortnite were watched during April of 2019 and that is just one game.
Not only have audiences grown, but the prize money has also increased significantly. During 2018 the top 10 highest paying esports awarded around 131 million U.S. dollars in prizes. Compare that to 2019 where just the 5 highest paying esports are handing out prizes totaling more than 460 million U.S. dollars. The 2019 DOTA2 International prize pool of over $33 million was the largest ever for a single esports event. To put this in perspective the total purse for the British Open Golf Tournament was $10,750,000.
Here we are going to take a look at who the top player is in each of the 4 esports with the largest prize pools and what they have earned over their careers as well as in 2019.
Dota2 has a total prize pool of $219,095,635.31 for 2019 with 1284 tournaments being played worldwide. The current number 1 player of Dota2 based on total earnings is Denmark’s Johan “N0tail” Sundstein. He has racked up a total of $6,882,440.18 during his Dota2 career which includes the $3,155,536.20 he has won so far in 2019. Due to his good year Johan, who is captain of OG, became the top prize-winning esport player of all time. Incidentally, his four OG teammates, Jesse Vainikka, Anathan Pham, Sébastien Debs and Topias Taavitsainen, round out the top 5 all-time highest winning esports players list as well as the top 2019 esports prize-winning list.
Johan Sundstein is 26 years old and has been competing in esports tournaments since 2010. He actually started out playing in “Heroes of Newerth” tournaments but switched to Dota2 in 2012. As of now Johan and is OG teammates are at the top of both the esports and Dota2 worlds.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
With a 2019 total prize pool of $86,619,453.26, CS: GO is second for the amount of money that will be awarded this year. Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth of Denmark is the current number one all-time prize winner in CSGO with total career earnings of $1,623,591.80. In 2019 24-year-old Andreas, who is with team Astralis has won $308,100. He is currently ranked 45th among all esports players for career prize winnings and the number 6 highest winning CSGO player of 2019. Andreas has been competing in tournaments since 2012.
The biggest CSGO prize winner this year is 21 year old Jakey “Stewie2K” Yip who has captured $441,200 in prize money during 2019. Jakey currently plays for Team Liquid and is ranked number 83 among all esports players for total prizes won with $986,090. He is from the United States and has been playing CS: GO since 2014. To date 2019 has been his best year.
Anybody of legal age can make a wager on many of the most popular esports. Just make sure you choose the best CS: GO betting sites before placing a wager on your favorite player.
Despite only being released in 2017 Fortnite falls just below CS: GO for total prizes to be awarded in 2019 with a total of $84,420,164.25 available. Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf at the tender age of 16 is the highest prize-winning Fortnite player of all time as well as for 2019. During his not so lengthy career he has taken home $3,062,966.67 in prizes with $3,061,716.67 coming this year. The majority of his winnings come from the $3million dollars he garnered for taking first place in the 2019 Fortnite World Cup for solos. Kyle began competing in 2018 and his career is certainly off to a great start. He is a member of Sentinels and his total earnings have him ranked number 12 among all-time esports prize winners and number one in the United States. This also makes him the only non-Dota2 player on the top 25 all-time prize winners list.
League of Legends
League of Legends has a total prize pool of $73,091, 646.37 in 2019 placing them fourth among all esports. The highest all-time winner of LoL prizes is South Korean Lee “Faker” Sang Hyeok who has collected $1,254,240.23 during the course of his esports career placing him in the number 64 spot for all-time esports winners. He is a member of SK Telecom T1 and is one of only two players who has won the League of Legends World Championships three times, first in 2013 and again in 2015 and 2016. So far in 2019 his prizes totaled 78,313.08. Lee Sang Hyeok is 23 years old and has been competing for 7 years. The 5 members of the FunPlus Phoenix team, Kim Han-saem, Gao Tian-Liang, Kim Tae-sang, Lin Wei-Xiang and Liu Qing-Song are all tied for the biggest winners of 2019 with $226,445 each.