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The Highest Paid Esports Gamers

As the Esports industry continues to grow, so does the amount of money available for prize pools and tournaments. Streaming services like Twitch make it possible for gamers to build a following and fan-base, and the number of views and followers has seen massive growth each consecutive year. This is an exciting time for gamers, as top performers have the opportunity to be sponsored and compensated just like professional athletes.

Here are some of the highest paid Esports gamers right now:

# 1 Kuro Takhasomi

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Alias:               KuroKy

Team:              Team Liquid

Game:             DOTA 2

Winnings:       $4.2 Million

Kuro Takhasomi, or Kuroky, is a German DOTA 2 player who has topped the charts in both earnings and tournament wins. He has won an impressive $4,199,926.95 by competing in 96 tournaments and shows no signs of slowing down.

He founded 5Jungz, now called Team Liquid, in 2016 and this led him to win multiple championships including Epicenter 2016, StarLadder, and the China DOTA 2 Supermajor. This success caused his fan base to grow significantly and propelled him into further fame.

In 2017 he won The International, making him the highest earning gamer – not just in DOTA 2, but all of Esports.  He is seen as one of the top 5 DOTA players of all time, and his other accolades include being the first professional DOTA 2 player to win 1,000 games. Takhasomi is also known for playing as 107 different heroes throughout his career, which is the most unique characters to be used in professional gaming.

# 2 Amer Al-Barqawi

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Alias:               Miracle-

Team:              Team Liquid

Game:             DOTA 2

Winnings:       $3.8 Million

Amer Al-Baraqwi, the 21-year-old from Jordan, ranks as the second overall highest earner in Esports. He has earned $3,764,337.28 – a number made more impressive from the fact that this came from just 48 total tournaments.

Al-Baraqwi rose to fame when he was recruited to team OG, where he gained a massive following after becoming the first player in the world to reach 9k MMR. He led OG to victory in the ESL One Frankfurt in 2016 and holds other championship titles including The Frankfurt Major 2015 and Epicenter 2017.

At the end of 2016 he joined Team Liquid, a move that would prove to be very successful for him. A whopping $2.2 of his earnings came from winning The International in 2017 with them, also alongside his teammate Kuro Takhasomi.

 

# 3 Johan Sundstein

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Alias:               n0tail

Team:              OG

Game:             DOTA 2

Winnings:       $3.8 Million

Johan Sundstein is from Denmark and is currently ranked the highest paid gamer in his home country and ranks third in all of Esports. He has earned $3,764,055.59 across 106 tournaments – just a few hundred dollars shy of the second-place spot.

Also known as n0tail, the young Esports star made a name for himself through Heroes of Newerth tournaments that he entered alongside team Fnatic. As that game declined in popularity, he transitioned to their DOTA 2 team in 2012.

Sundstein went on to become one of the founders of OG, a team that was the first to hold four Major titles, including Frankfurt, Manila, Boston, and Kiev. He is currently the captain of OG, and his most recent win was The International 2018, bringing in a $2.4 million prize.

# 4 Ivan Borislavov

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Alias:               MinD_ContRoL

Team:              Team Liquid

Game:             DOTA 2

Winnings:       $3.6 Million

Ivan Borislavov of Bulgaria is currently fourth overall for total Esports earnings, with total winnings of $3,555,411.76 from 58 different tournaments.

Borislavov, known as MinD_ContRoL, struggled to find a stable team and roster at the beginning of his career, so he spent a large portion of his time as a mercenary for other teams. In 2015 he was invited to join Team Liquid as a DOTA 2 player, and this propelled his success even further. With them, he won the Epicenter 2016, Epicenter 2017, The International 2017, and the China DOTA 2 Supermajor.

One of his most notable career performances was during The International 2017, where his playmaker Nature’s Prophet found success and was vital in leading his team to victory. This tournament is where most of his earnings came from, as it awarded him $2.2 million.

# 5 Lasse Urpalainen

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Alias:               Matumbaman

Team:              Team Liquid

Game:             DOTA 2

Winnings:       $3.5 Million

Lasse Urpalainen is a DOTA 2 player from Finland who is the 5th highest earner in Esports. He has been awarded $3,539,116.04 from just 60 tournaments.

His rise to success began when he won the Assembly Summer 2014 LAN tournament where he showed off his extreme mechanical skills. This caught the attention of many DOTA 2 fans and grew his following, so he attempted to try out for Fnatic. Although he did not make that team, he was recruited to 5Jungz by KuroKy which would later become Team Liquid.

His run with Team Liquid has allowed him to earn many titles, including the China DOTA 2 Supermajor, StarLadder i-League Invitational Season 4, and Epicenter 2017. Like most of the other top Esports earners, the majority of his winnings came from The International 2017, which awarded each team member $2.2 million.

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