Fornite winner Bugha doesn't even make the top 10, while Dota 2 dominates all

19:00, 12 Jan 2020

The esports industry today is an industry with one of the fastest growth rates in history. Its growth, especially in the last few years, has been fascinating; with its popularity breaking new records then and now - it seems unstoppable.

According to a study conducted by Newzoo in 2018, the total audience of Esports Tournaments was around 380M and is speculated to rise a total of 557M by 2021, which is an increase of 46.5% in just two years.

Eyeing the current esports scene and the increased frequency of tournaments, it is certain that most of the money in the esports industry is through Tournaments and their magnanimous prize pools.

The statistics of the top earners in the Esports Industry were compiled and released, in a report, by a company named by Broadband Choices. This article highlights the key takeaways from that report.


Each tournament is specific to a game, and recently many games have surfaced which bring alongside their tournament offering cash prizes to those who perform extraordinarily during the tournament. Let's take a look at the top paying games.

  1. Dota 2: It is a combination of RTS including perspective and a heavy requirement of tactics and team co-ordination and RPG including itemization and levelling up. The game has contributed approximately $219.1M, with the largest tournament, The International, itself having a prize pool of $34,330,068. 
  2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive: It is a multiplayer first-person shooting game and the fourth game in the Counter-Strike series. It has been a contributor of $87.1M. 
  3. FortniteNot far behind is Fortnite. The #1 grossing Battle Royale game, which, in its short tenure of only three years was able to shapeshift the entire esports industry and revolutionize it. Fortnite contributed one of the largest, and the most viewed Tournaments in esports history: Fortnite World Cup. It has contributed a total of $84.1M which includes Fortnite World Cup’s huge prize pool of $30,000,000 and several other in-game events.
  4. League of LegendsIt is a multiplayer online battle arena video game and has contributed $73.1M.
  5. Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty: It is a science fiction real-time strategy, and is one the major contributors in the esports industry with a value of approximately $32M in contributions.


Now a look at the 10 players who earned the most through participating in esports tournaments.

  1. N0tail: Johan Sundstein is a Danish professional Dota 2 player and captain for OG. He played seven tournaments in The International, winning two world championship with OG, in 2018 and 2019. He has earned $6,890,591 in 109 tournaments.
  2. JerAx: Jesse "JerAx" Vainikka is a Finnish professional Dota 2 player currently playing for OG. He has earned $6,700,00 in 64 tournaments.
  3. Ana: Anathan Pham is an Australian Professional Dota 2 player for OG and has managed to earn $6,000,412 in 24 tournaments.
  4. CEB: Sébastien Debs, better known as Ceb, is a French professional Dota 2 player for OG. He has been a player, as well as a coach for the team. His earnings total to $5,489,223 in 51 tournaments.
  5. Topson: Topias Miikka "Topson" Taavitsainen is a Finnish professional Dota 2 player who is currently playing for OG. He has earned $5,414,446 in 20 tournaments.
  6. Kuroky: Kurosh Salehi Takhasomi, better known by his alias KuroKy, is a German-Iranian professional Dota 2 player, playing for Nigma. He was a member of Team Liquid that won The International 2017. He earned $5,128,788 in 104 tournaments.
  7. Miracle: Amer al-Barkawi, better known by his alias Miracle-, is a professional Jordanian–Polish Dota 2 player for Nigma. He was a member of Team Liquid that won The International 2017, which had the largest esports prize pool of any tournament in history at the time. Earning: $4,692,419 in 51 tournament.
  8. Mind_Control: Ivan Borislavov "MinD_ContRoL" Ivanov is a Bulgarian professional Dota 2 player who is playing for Nigma. Earnings: $4,483,493 in 61 tournaments.
  9. GH: Maroun "GH" Merhej is a professional Dota 2 player who is playing for Nigma. Total Earnings: $4,086,426 in 38 Tournaments. 
  10. Sumail: Syed Sumail Hassan, better known simply as Sumail, is a Pakistani professional Dota 2 player. Sumail was a member of the Evil Geniuses team that won The International 2015. He was born in Karachi, Pakistan. Earning: $3,591,225 in 65 tournaments.
Top Earning Esports Players
The Top Earning Esports Players

Given the fact that Dota 2 contributes the most towards esports tournaments, it is no surprise that all of them are Dota 2 Players. The same trend continues down the list; however, at number 12 is Bugha – a Fortnite Player.

Bugha Fortnite Winner
Bugha Earnings, Image via Broadband Choices

Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf is an American player who currently plays for Sentinels. He is the youngest player in the top 25 most earning gamers. At only 16 he has managed to achieve such a feat by subduing his opponents in the Fortnite Solo World Cup earning himself $3,000,000.

One honourable mention must be made, and it is none other than Tyler Blevins (Ninja). One of the most popular Fortnite Streamers, who has amassed a huge following and, despite having low Tournament earnings, has earned himself a net worth of $15 Million through sponsorships and partnerships.

Ninja Lifetime Esports Earnings
Ninja Esports Earnings, Image via Broadband Choices

According to the report $700M was distributed as prizes, and the following are only the major contributors. Nowadays, each game is trying to introduce their own tournaments to give the players a reason to continue playing that game and improve at it so they can earn rewards in these tournaments. Based on the analytics, it can be predicted that in the coming years the figure of $700M will increase to an even greater sum.

To conclude, it is worth noting that most of the players are young and still have a great path ahead of them. If the esports industry continues to grow, these players will find themselves with more earnings, as well as the players who are further down the list have a chance of coming up the list suddenly when provided with the opportunity; as in the case of Bugha.

Main image via Valve

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