With the global video gaming market worth around $175 billion in 2021 – set to hit 300 billion in 2022 – players’ esports earnings have been on the increase through participation in different tournaments, sponsorship deals, merchandising, streaming services, and so on. In this article, we take a look at the top player earnings and prize money. Read on for more!

Esports Earnings 2022 – The Top 24 Best-Earning Esports

RankEsportTotal Esports EarningsNumber Of Professional PlayersTop Earning TournamentHighest-Earning Player
1.Dota 2$290,539,417.104,429The InternationalN0tail
($7,184,163.05)
2.Fortnite$141,092,856.055,490Fortnite World CupBugha
($3,475,645.05)
3.CS:GO$139,914,181.2115,210Majorsdupreeh
($2,014,331.07)
4.League of Legends$ 95,677,405.418,527League of Legends World ChampionshipsFaker
($1,367,521.14)
5.Arena of Valor$58,432,253.121,306Honor of Kings World Champion CupFly
($1,195,988.51)
6.PUBG Mobile$56,304,715.873,145PUBG Mobile
Global
Championship
paraboy
(1,383,001.47)
7.PUBG$48,748,397.303,509PGI.SLoki ($975,717.51)
8.StarCraft II$37,750,017.672,154StarCraft II
World
Championship
Series
Serral
($1,175,763.55)
9.Overwatch$34,278,670.883,819Overwatch Leaguesmurf
($355,350.83)
10.Hearthstone$28,594,844.272,902Hearthstone World
Championship
Thijs
($492,664.66)
11.Rainbow Six$28,250,348.422,462Six InvitationalCanadian
($422,828.57)
12.Rocket League$25,104,577.792,855RLCS - World ChampionshipKaydop
($514,603.15)
13.Heroes of the Storm$18,385,772.651,283HGCKyoCha
($465,268.99)
14.FIFA Esports (17 – 21)$18,307,844,101,833FIFA Global SeriesMo_aubameyang
($383,557.53)
15.Apex Legends$15,115,317.841,794ALGS ChampionshipZer0
($307,421.23)
16.CrossFire$14,322,337.80799CrossFire StarsDBQ
($508,022.28)
17.VALORANT$13,962,020.714,144VALORANT ChampionsCrashies
($153,650.00)
18.Free Fire$11,857,423.431,318Free Fire World SeriesD-Long
($192,998.15)
19.Call of Duty: Warzone$9,435,531.931,163Twitch RivalsTommey
($367,574.30)
20.Magic: The Gathering Arena$9,388,000.00293Magic World ChampionshipPVDDR
($395,300.00)
21.Super Smash Bros. (Melee, Ultimate & Wii U)$7,241,186.935,520Smash SummitHungrybox
($391,198.62)
22.Street Fighter Esports (IV & V)$6,108,253.33937Capcom CupNuckleDu
($297,423.71)
23.Tekken 7$2,078,491.00523Tekken World TourKnee
($216,700.73)
24.F1 Esports (2020 and 2021)$1,518,174.0077F1 Esports SeriesDani Moreno
($93,750.00)

Which Players Have the Highest Esports Earnings From Each Esport?

In this section, we list the top esports players around and how much they earn, as well as the esports games in which they are compete.

Johan ‘N0tail' Sundstein

N0tail from Denmark is easily the highest-earning esports player, beginning his gaming career with Heroes of Newerth. In 2015 he created “OG”, a professional esports organisation based in Europe with teams representing Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), and VALORANT.

The captain of the OG Dota 2 team, N0tail has shown his quality in the past by winning The International 2018 and 2019 tournaments. This feat made him and OG the first back-to-back winners of the competition.

To date, he has earned a whopping $7,184,163.05, making him the highest-earning Dota 2 player as well. However, while achieving decent results in the 2021, he recently announced that he is taking a break in order to focus on coaching.

Peter ‘dupreeh' Rasmussen

A former member of the Astralis team, Denmark native Peter ‘dupreeh’ Rasmussen has played as AWPer, lurker, and recently as an entry fragger. He is also among one of the five players in Astralis who has attended all Majors.

As a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player, he has garnered approximately $2,014,331.07 in tournaments, with his most recent win at the 2022 ESL Pro League Season 16 with Team Vitality.

Kyle ‘Bugha' Giersdorf

Bugha is an American esports Fortnite player who is currently in the Sentinels team. Having risen to the limelight at 17 years of age, he then emerged as the winner of the 2019 Fortnite World Cup. As the highest-earning Fortnite player, he has pocketed $3,475,645.05 in prize money.

Some other competitions he has taken part in include DreamHack Open and Ninja Battles, making his winnings approximately $3,488,311.72. He is also receiving attention outside the gaming world, recently appearing on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Lee, Sang ‘Faker' Hyeok

Winner of three League of Legends World Championships, Faker is the heart of T1 where he plays as a mid laner. Faker holds the record of being the sole gamer to win over 600 games in the League of Legends Champions Korea.

In his award-filled career, the “unkillable demon king” has succeeded in earning $1,367,521.14 in total. He has also been listed in the Forbes “30 under 30 Asia” list.

Bak, Jeong ‘Loki' Yeong

Also hailing from South Korea, Loki played for Gen.G before switching to his current team, DAMWON Gaming. He was instrumental in Gen.G winning the PUBG Global Championship 2019, which had a prize pool of $2,000,000.

2021 and 2022 also saw him winning several larger prizes with his team, meaning that, altogether, his total, personal earnings added up to $975,717.5.

Joona ‘Serral' Sotala

A StarCraft II player, Serral has played in three different teams and is currently having a second spell at Ence Esports. Although the Finnish star keeps a low public profile overall, his gaming career is admirable.

In 2018, he set the record of being the only player to win every WCS Circuit Tournament within a single year; in 2022, he went on to win the IEM Katowice. He has currently acquired total earnings of $1,175,763.55.

Peng, ‘Fly' Yunfei

One of the top Chinese talents in the esport world, Peng, “Fly” Yunfei currently plays in the Wolves Arena of Valor team as the side lane. He had a major career win in August 2021 whereby the Wolves took home a $3,200,000 prize.

This was followed by several other great results in prominent tournaments, including first place in King Pro League Summer 2022 and second place in King Pro League Spring 2022. In Honor of Kings Professional League, Fly recorded about 1,000 overall kills, and to date has won a grant total of $1,195,988.51.

Yoo, Myeong ‘smurf' Hwan

Another top South Korean player, smurf currently plays as the Tank for the Seoul Dynasty Overwatch esports team, whom he joined in 2021.

His total earnings of $369,517.49 were gained whilst playing for San Francisco Shock (SF), who registered two major wins: the Overwatch League Playoffs in 2019 and 2020, where SF won $1,100,000 and $1,500,000 respectively.

Thijs ‘Thijs' Molendijk

A Hearthstone player, Thijs has been a member of G2 esports since 2015. His major career victory came in 2018 in the CN vs EU Championship, where he defeated XiaoT and won $204,600.17. Having enjoyed more victories throughout 2021 and 2022, he has presently amassed totally winnings of $492,664.66.

Niclas ‘Pengu' Mouritzen

Fans and the esports industry recognise G2 esports as one of the best Rainbow Six teams in the world, and it was them for whom Pengu played the roles of Flex and In-game leader before retiring in 2021.

Over the course of his career, his highest recorded team win was $800,000 at the Six Invitational 2019, where G2 placed first. In total, he has won a tidy sum of about $373,157.39,

Top Esports Earning Games and Tournaments

Having explored the players with the highest esports earnings, let’s check out the top esports earning games and tournaments. If you enjoy esports betting, this will be beneficial to you, as you will know which games and tournaments are the best to wager on:

Dota 2 – The International

One of the top esports earnings Dota 2 tournaments is The International. The competition started in 2011 and is held yearly. The International consists of eighteen teams from different countries that compete with each other. From the Dota Pro Circuit, there are 12, while the teams that are successful in the regional playoffs make up the other 6.

The International 2021 tournament had a $40,018,195 prize pool, with the winner; Team Spirit, taking home $18,000,000. The 2022 edition will take place in Singapore, from October 15 to 30.

CS:GO – Majors

The Majors are professional CS:GO tournaments which are held annually, and began at DreamHack Winter in 2013 and are sponsored by Valve. Two Majors are held in a year at several locations, with 24 teams competing in total.

The competition starts with the New Challengers Stage followed by the New Legends Stage and then the New Champions Stage, where the eight remaining teams battle it out for the title of Major Champion.

The PGL Major Antwerp 2022 offered a prize pool of $1,000,000, of which $500,000 was won by Faze Clan who emerged as the victors.

Fortnite – Fortnite World Cup

The Fortnite World Cup has one of the highest prize pools in any esports competition. The inaugural tournament was held in 2019, with over $30 million awarded between its “Solo” and “Duo” events. Nyhrox + aqua won the Duo, while the highest-earning Fortnite player Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf won the “Solo”.

After having been cancelled in 2021 due to the pandemic, 2022 will see the return of the Fortnite World Cup. The FNCS Invitational 2022 will take place on November 12-13, in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.

League of Legends – League of Legends World Championships

The League of Legends World Championships started back in 2011, and features 24 teams from across the globe.

The 2021 League of Legends World Championship (which took place in Reykjavik, Iceland) featured 22 teams, but due to travel restrictions, two teams from Vietnam could not join.

The 2022 edition is currently underway at the time of writing, with the main event set to take place on the 5th of November.

PUBG Mobile – PUBG Mobile Global Championship

With a $4,000,000 total prize pool, the 2022 PUBG Mobile Global Championship will start in November 2022. It will feature a total of 48 teams, though only 16 will make it to the finals in January 2023.

StarCraft II – DH SC 2 Masters

Dreamhack StarCraft 2 (DH SC 2) has one other major event still lined up for 2022.

  • The DH SC2 Masters 2022 Valencia took place from 1 to 3 July 2022, and was won by Korean player Dark, who took home $15,000.
  • DH SC2 Masters 2022 Atlanta will take place from 18 to 20 November 2022 and has the same total prize pool of $100,000.

Arena of Valor – Honor of Kings World Champion Cup

The Honor of Kings World Champion Cup is the annual major competition for Arena of Valor. The competition started in 2016 and has been held every year since.

In 2021, the prize pool of the tournament was $7,680,730. QG Happy, the winners of the tournament, took home a whopping amount worth $3,251,669.00.

The 2022 edition is scheduled for 3 to 30 December, and will have a total prize pool of $10,000,000, of which $3,000,000 will go to the winning team.

Overwatch – Overwatch League

With its inaugural season having made its debut in 2018, a total of 20 teams compete in the Overwatch League. These teams are in two conferences and further grouped into divisions. The format is just like a standard league where each team is scheduled to play the other, with the aim of getting a place in the playoffs.

It contains:

  • A regular season
  • Play-ins
  • Playoffs

In 2021, Overwatch had a prize pool valued at $4,250,000, which was won by Shanghai Dragons. The prize pool for 2022 is set at $2,550,000, and the Play-offs will run from 30 October to 4 November.

Hearthstone – Hearthstone World Championship

One of the top Hearthstone tournaments is the Grandmasters Finale, which, in 2020, had the largest prize pool of $500,000, with first place winning $200,000. The championship brings together two players each from China, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and Americas.

The 2022 edition of the Hearthstone World Championship will take place this year on December 16-18, offering yet again a prize pool of $500,000.

Rainbow Six Siege – Six Invitational

The Major tournament for Rainbow Six Siege esports, the Six Invitational competition comprises 20 teams. It is structured as follows:

  • Group stage (with two groups of 10 teams)
  • Playoffs (the best four from each group proceed to play in the upper segment)

The 2022 Six Invitational had a prize pool of $3,000,000 of which the winner, TSM, took home a whopping $1,000,000.

The next event is scheduled for February 2023.

How Do Esports Players Make Money?

Players from top esports countries get their earnings through several means – and not just from prize money won. Sponsorships, for example, are a major income source, as well as others which we've listed below:

Sponsorships

Sponsorships come in various forms, the most common being jersey sponsorships. This is why you'll see many teams wearing certain brands, such as Team Gullit displaying the Samsung Logo on their shirts. Players then get a cut of the profit gained from these sponsorships deals.

Merchandising

Selling merchandise is a big part of every esports organisation's source of income. Everything from apparel, coffee mugs, and keychains to partnerships with computer hardware manufacturers is there to generate revenue. One good example of this is 100 Thieves, who raised $500,000 within 5 minutes in one of its merch sales.

Competitions

By competing in tournaments, the players earn prize money. Most tournaments reward esports organisations who take part, with the winning team receiving a huge chunk of the prize money. The rest is shared amongst the other competitors. For instance, in Dota 2, The International 2021 tournament had a $40,018,195 prize pool, of which $18,000,000 went to the team who placed first.

Broadcasting and Streaming

Esports streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube have provided other means of earning for esports players, as broadcasting is a perfect money-making venture. Millions of subscribers tune in to watch their favourite player as he streams a game, all the while being treated to hilarious commentary or even giveaways!

The History and Future of Esports Earnings

The period during which gaming tournaments were limited to offline play or arcades are over. With the number of esports games, players and fans increasing, the industry is currently booming. And things have only just got started!

If you'd like to join in the fun as a punter, we at Esports-betting.pro have got everything you need to know in order to start placing real-money bets. Check out our betting academy, our esports betting predictions, and best esports bonuses available to learn more!

Top 3 Esports Betting Sites

If you'd like to start betting on esports, there's no time like the present!

We've got a list of the best  around and where to get. In our list below, we have compiled the best sites for esports punters:

1. 1xBet

1xBet tops our list for obvious reasons. The sportsbook boasts a variety of markets for several esports games, such as DOTA 2, League of Legends, StarCraft II, and even FIFA and VALORANT, amongst others. Our in-depth review of 1xBet delves into all of this in more detail.

 BonusPros
1xBet LogoUp to €100• Multiple payment methods
• Various esports games
• Many betting markets

2. bet365

Apart from their highly user-friendly interface, bet365 are your best bet (pun intended!) for esports, with their cashout options and their outstanding customer support, available 24/7. Markets for prominent esports like CS:GO, DOTA 2, and CoD are supported here, as well as many others. For more information on this operator, do head over to our complete bet365 review.

 BonusPros
bet365 LogoUp to £100 in bet credit• Many betting markets
• Live esports betting
• Multiple payment options

3. Pinnacle

Pinnacle is home to several esports markets, including for games such as DOTA 2, League of Legends, StarCraft II, and even Warzone. If you want to know more about this bookmaker and the fantastic odds it has to offer, our detailed review of Pinnacle has everything you should know and more.

 BonusPros
Pinnacle LogoNone• Multiple payment means
• Various esports games
• Attractive betting odds

Summary

From Rainbow Six Siege and Overwatch, to PUBG, Dota 2, and now Arena of Valor (which has the highest prize pool for 2022) esports earnings have never been higher. We're sure that this factor will keep a steady flow of young players drawn towards a career in esports.

Fancy getting started with esports betting? Simply choose one of the bookies we mentioned above, sign up, and join in the fun! Don't forget to explore our site further for more useful tips and pointers that can help up your game.


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FAQ

Esports Earnings FAQs

The esports industry makes over $100,000,000 yearly, with the profits for 2022 currently standing at $136,453,424. As there are still plenty of events scheduled for the end of the year, we can expect this figure to increase even more drastically.

So far in 2022, Arena of Valor has surpassed both PUBG Mobile and DOTA 2 in terms of total prize money. This year alone it has paid out the sum of $21,592,632.92 to 521 players in 117 Tournaments – and the year is not even over yet!

The players who are ranked as having earned highest from esports gaming include Dota 2’s “N0tail” ($7,184,163.05 ), Fortnite gamer “Bugha” ($3,475,645.05), and CS:GO player “dupreeh” ($2,014,331.07).

In general, most professional players in the top tiers will make between $3,000-5,000 USD per month on average. Furthermore, through prize money, streaming, and sponsorship deals, some even manage to make millions of dollars.

Yes – this is evident from the huge earnings esports players all over the world make. Other career paths even include coaching, producing, media strategy, and more!

Through our in-depth guides and reviews, we are focused on providing the best insights into esports betting.

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