Top Earning Video Gamers: The Ten Highest-Paid Players In The World

The world of gaming, particularly Esports, can allow expert players to earn more than $1 million per year. These earnings come from advertising revenue, merchandise sales, and sponsorship deals. 

Top Earning Video Gamers The Ten Highest-Paid Players In The World

Dota 2 is the most popular esport game. As a multiplayer online battle arena (or MOBA), other streams of revenue can be found in creating how-to guides, selling skins (character costumes/color patterns), and even creating mods for the wider community. 

But without further ado, here is our list for the top ten highest paid gamers in the world. 

10. Lasse “Matumbaman” Urpalainen

  • Overall Earnings: $3,789,507
  • Team: Team Secret

Lasse “Matumbaman” Urpalainen has been playing competitive DotA since 2005 when he was still in high school. He first started with Warcraft 3 before moving on to DotA 1 and then DotA 2.

He became famous after winning The International 2017 tournament where he earned $3,000,000. This made him the second person ever to win such a large prize.

In 2019, Matumbaman was named one of the Top 50 Most Influential People in Gaming by Forbes Magazine.

9. Maroun “GH” Merhej

  • Overall Earnings: $4,205,344
  • Team: Nigma

GH’s career began in 2012. 

At that time, he played for Gambit Gaming, but after his contract expired, he became the star player of Nigma eSports Club, a French team based in Paris. 

Since 2016, the team has received a total of $2,500,000 from sponsorships, merchandising, and prize pools.

8. Ivan “MinD_Control” Ivanov

  • Overall Earnings: $4,599,516.16
  • Team: Nigma

Ivan “MinD_control” Ivanov has been playing competitive Dot A since 2006. He was part of the Russian national team.

MinD_control was the captain of Nigma Esports Club, and in 2014, he helped them qualify for the European regional finals of the League of Legends Champions League, which allowed them to participate in the EU LCS Summer Split.

After achieving victory at the Summer Split, his team eventually went on to become champions of Europe, an achievement which earned them €1,400,000.00 ($1,600,000).

7. Amer “Miracle” Barqawi

  • Overall Earnings: $5,492,912
  • Team: Nigma

Amer “Miracle“ Barqawi has been playing competitive Dota since 2009. He was a member of the Syrian national team, where he remained until 2013, after which he moved to France. 

After moving to France, and going by the name “Miracle”, he joined Nigma Esports Club at the end of 2014. 

In 2016, Miracle won the first edition of the Dota 2 Asia Championships. This tournament had a total prize pool of $3,000,000.

In 2018, he was selected as the best player of the world by The International 8.

6. Kuro “KuroKy” Takhasomi

  • Overall Earnings: $5,218,593
  • Team: DK

Kuro “KuroKy” Takhasomi is a former professional Dota sportsman, known for being one of the most successful Chinese players.

Ranking first in the world in 2004, and becoming the captain of the Chinese national team from 2005 to 2008, he eventually became the MVP of the Asian Games in 2007

In 2011, he was ranked number 5 in the world, after which DK won the TI3 championship, and the DOTA Summit 4 championship.

For these achievements, they received a total prize pool of over $10,000,000.00.

5. Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen

  • Overall Earnings: $5,492,912
  • Team: OG

Based in Helsinki, Finland, Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen is an esports athlete who plays for the team OG.

Taavitsainen started playing Dota in 2012, where he played with the Finnish national team, becoming the captain in 2015, after which his team qualified for the World Cup. 

As of 2017, he was ranked number 7 in the world. 

Top Earning Video Gamers The Ten Highest-Paid Players In The World

4. Sebastien “Ceb” Debs

  • Overall Earnings: $5,576,256
  • Team: OG

Sebastien “Ceb” Debs is a professional Dota sportsman who plays for OG. He started playing Dotatournaments in 2012.

Hailing from France, Ceb moved to Germany when he was ten years old, deviating from sports to esports against his parents wishes.

After a brief retirement from esports, where he sat at number 14 in the world in 2014 (making him the second best French player), Ceb later returned, joining team OG, and standing at number 16 in the world, as of 2018. 

3. Anatham “ana” Pham

  • Overall Earnings: $6,000,000
  • Team: OG

Anathan “ana” Pham is a professional Dota sportsman, playing as part of Team OG. 

Originally from Vietnam, his family moved to Sweden for work when he was eight years old, and he began playing Dota 2 in 2013. 

Quickly becoming captain of the Swedish national team by 2015, where he was ranked number 18 in the world, Pham became the first player of Vietnamese descent to be ranked in the top 20 worldwide. 

2. Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka

  • Overall Earnings: $6,470,680
  • Team: OG (Retired)

Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka is a professional Dota sportsman, originally from Finland. 

In 2014, JerAx was ranked number 23 in the world after just three years, becoming the captain of the Finnish national team shortly after. 

Frequently lauded as one of the best European players, with a consistent ranking in the top 30 worldwide, JerAx eventually retired from esports following the disbansion of OG in late 2018. 

1. Johan “N0tail” Sundstein

  • Overall Earnings: $6,976,271
  • Team: OG

Johan “N0tail” Sundstein is a professional Dota player, who has been with OG since 2013.

After a top 30 ranking in 2014, he rose to become the captain of the Danish national team, and was named Danish player of the year in 2017. 

Becoming the coach of Team OG until its disbansion in 2018, N0tail still holds the rank of number 30 worldwide, as of 2019. 


Calling players from all across the globe, it seems the esports industry is in no risk of stopping whilever competent contenders continue to rise through the ranks, claiming fame, fortune, and reverie in the process. 

Ashley Newby