15 Jan

Biggest Money Makers in eSports 2020

Making Money in eSports: Chess Player Scores Highest in 2020

Making Money in eSports – Chess Players Score Highest in 2020After years of slow but steady growth, the eSports industry really began to take off around 2017, and exploded in 2020. Stay home, they said. Find ways to entertain yourself, they said. Need money? Get creative, they said. Competitive video gaming solved all of these problems – at least, for those good enough to play professionally, and finish in a prize worthy position.

Yo might be surprised to learn just how much the biggest money makers in eSports pocketed in 2020. It’s nowhere on the lines of professional athletes. They aren’t pulling in million dollar salaries like the top NBA, NFL and NHL players. In fact, they have to perform extremely well to earn much of anything at all. But those who do are easily banking 6-figures.

According to data collected courtesy of EsportsEarnings.com, the top 132 eSports competitors in the world each hauled in at least US$100,000, scaling up to more than $500,000 tot he richest player of the year.

Who’s Making Money in eSports?

We recognized a lot of the names on the list of Top eSports Earners 2020. They’re the same names found in our reviews of the top Call of Duty, Dota2 and Rainbow 6 teams. What we didn’t expect to see was the name Sven “Magnus” Carlsen, a.k.a. DrNykterstein, topping the list.

‘Why not’, you ask? Because he’s a world-class chess player. And to be honest, when we think ‘eSports’, our minds don’t naturally wander to virtual chess. We may think about nay of a hundred different PC or console video games, but we really don’t think about chess.

Magnus Carlsen thinks about it a lot, though. In 2020, the 30-year-old Norwegian chessmaster thought about it so much, he earned $510,587 in competitive play on Chess24.com. Way to go, Magnus! That 6-figure chunk of change earned you the top spot among this year’s biggest eSports money makers.

Who else is on the list? A couple more Chess24 elites, but mostly traditional eSport-ers. Let’s take a look at the top thirty highest earners in 2020.

Top 30 Biggest Money Makers in eSports 2020
#
Player ID
Real Name
2020 $$$
Game Title
Country
Age
1
DrNykterstein
Magnus Carlsen
$510,587
Chess24
Norway
30
2
James Eubanks
$383,325
USA
28
3
Ian Porter
$368,200
USA
27
4
Indervir Dhaliwal
$358,625
Canada
19
5
Anthony Cuevas-Castro
$351,625
USA
19
6
Cuyler Garland
$347,375
Saudi Arabia
21
7
Hikaru
Hikaru Nakamura
$324,645
Chess24
USA
33
8
PVDDR
Paulo Damo da Rosa
$300,000
Magic: TGA
Brazil
33
9
McArthur Jovel
$256,550
USA
20
10
Christopher Lehr
$250,708
USA
19
11
Preston Greiner
$249,213
USA
22
12
GMWSO
Wesley So
$246,180
Chess24
USA
27
13
paraboy
Zhu, Bojun
$243,186
PUBG
China
18
14
Tyler Pharris
$243,025
USA
21
15
Michael Szymaniak
$228,833
USA
22
16
Canadian
Troy Jaroslawski
$220,000
Canada
24
17
Bosco
Dylan Bosco
$220,000
USA
25
18
Rampy
Nathanial Duvall
$220,000
USA
22
19
Thinkingnade
Javier Escamila
$220,000
USA
21
20
Fultz
Alec Fultz
$220,000
USA
20
21
glory
Sato Kenta
$211,750
Japan
22
Rogue
Lee, Byung Ryul
$207,383
South Korea
26
23
Lasse Urpalainen
$203,588
Finland
25
24
Clement Ivanov
$203,588
Estonia
30
25
Ludwig Wåhlberg
$203,588
Sweden
23
26
Yazied Jaradat
$203,588
Jordan
26
27
Michał Jankowski
$203,588
Poland
20
28
TaySon
Tai Starčič
$192,900
Slovenia
16
29
Seth Abner
$174,125
USA
25
30
Bubzkji
Lucas Andersen
$174,100
Denmark
22
See the complete list (1-500) of Top Players of 2020, courtesy EsportsEarnings.

CS:GO the Most Rewarding eSport in 2020

CS:GO the Most Rewarding eSport in 2020You wouldn’t know it by looking at the data above, which appears to mark Call of Duty as the most rewarding eSports competition of the year. After all, ten of its most esteemed pro players appear in the top 30 earners list. In reality, Call of Duty – between its Modern Warfare, Warzone, Black Ops Cold War, and Black Ops 4 editions – paid out a combined $9.37 million across 102 tournaments. That puts COD in second place, just above Dota 2 ($9.32m). If you separate the COD editions, Modern Warfare comes in 5th place with just $6.27m, Warzone in 12th at $2.83m.

The number one spot, by a landslide, goes to Counter Strike: Global Offensive, paying out $15.85 million across a staggering 574 events.

Top 10 Most Lucrative eSports Games 2020
#
Game Title
Cash Awarded
Events
1
CS:GO
$15,847,404.77
574
2
Dota 2
$9,323,852.73
148
3
League of Legends
$8,004,592.46
66
4
Fortnite
$7,884,451.40
104
5
COD: Modern Warfare
$6,268,672.00
35
6
PUBG Mobile
$5,420,371.60
14
7
Rainbow 6 Seige
$5,015,764.30
40
8
PUBG
$4,807,526.07
58
9
Overwatch
$4,358,996.00
11
10
Hearthstone
$4,232,600.00
40

Canada Makes 2020 Top 10 eSports Country List

Canada Makes 2020 Top 10 eSports Country ListCarlsen’s half-million haul was impressive, but it was only enough to push Norwegians into the 19th spot among highest earning countries in eSports. Canadians, on the other hand, performed just well enough to slip into the Top 10 position overall, and – among those top ten – the 5th spot when taking into account average cash per player.

Top 10 eSports Earning Countries 2020
#
Country
Earnings
Players
Avg$/Player
1
United Sates
$21,227,238.28
4305
(9) $4,931
2
China
$9,577,826.64
700
(1) $13,683
3
Korea
$8,854,431.31
837
(3) $10,579
4
France
$4,289,975.17
828
(7) $5,181
5
Russia
$4,265,414.82
780
(6) $5,468
6
Brazil
$4,215,849.12
842
(8) $5,007
7
United Kingdom
$3,756,099.45
669
(4) $5,614
8
Denmark
$3,730,786.51
326
(2) $11,444
9
Germany
$3,320,665.12
961
(10) $3,455
10
Canada
$3,217,909.01
575
(5) $5,596