Who Are The Highest-paid Esports Players In 2020?

A few days ago we presented you with the biggest earning teams in eSports in 2020, and now’s the time for you to meet the people who have earned the most in the last year individually. If you aren’t very familiar with the vast size of the eSports umbrella, you might be surprised when you see the list of the highest-paid eSports players in 2020, especially when we know TI, the biggest tournament of the industry, is out of the way.

With all of the competitiveness in the world of eSports, across so many successful and popular games, one could expect there would be a bit more variety in the top ten, but it seems as though most of the big money this year lies in the USA (aka in Call of Duty). At least when it comes to individual earnings through tournaments, which is our focus today. But let’s see who also got in and how exactly they’ve earned their money.

A Very Different List Of Highest-paid Esports Players

First of all, it’s important to mention and clarify that it’s hard to calculate how much money one player really earned, since there are various sources they make money from, but the list from eSportsEarnings focuses on the most transparent source: money earned from tournaments. That is why you might be surprised you don’t see any of the names you’ve heard of in the transfer periods on this list: it’s often not disclosed how much money players get from their transfers or from other sources.

Also, as you’ll see, Call of Duty players make most of this list in 2020, since, as we all know, there was no The International in 2020 which left Dota 2 elite without some serious earnings (TI 2019 prize pool was more than 34 million dollars, and TI 2020 was predicted to surpass 40 million) and also left them off this list, where they usually occupy the upper half. With all of that in mind, let’s dig in.

10. Christopher Simp Lehr (USA) – Call of Duty – $250,708.33

9. McArthur Cellium Jovel (USA) – Call of Duty – $256,550.00

8. Paulo PVDDR Damo da Rosa (BRA) – Magic: The Gathering Arena – $300,000.00

7. Hikaru Nakamura (USA) – Chess – $324,644.58

6. Cuyler Huke Garland (SA) – Call of Duty – $347,375.00

5. Anthony Shotzzy Cuevas-Castro (USA) – Call of Duty – $351,625.00

4. Indervir iLLeY Dhaliwal (CAN) – Call of Duty – $358,625.00

3. Ian Crimsix Porter (USA) – Call of Duty – $368,200.00

2. James Clayster Eubanks (USA) – Call of Duty – $383,325.00

1. Magnus Carlsen (NOR) – Chess – $510,586.52

So, as you can see, with Dota 2 out of the way, other than two chess grand masters (one of which is considered the best in the world) and MTG’s superstar Damo da Rosa, COD players left no room for anyone else. Of course, the first five mentioned are all members of Dallas Empire, 2020 champions who also placed at the top on the best paid teams’ list.

Don’t Take It For Granted

As far as the other popular games go, it’s interesting to notice that there is no League of Legends players in top 45, but let’s not forget different variations for payouts across different games: for instance, it’s known that LOL players have salaries (as opposed to, for instance, Dota 2 players, whose earnings come solely through prize money). Also, if you need more of putting-things-in-perspective, there’s a fact that Ninja, probably the most famous (and wealthiest) gamer in the world today, isn’t even in the top 500 of this list, with an annual prize earning of just $12,605.23.

But, as we all know, this whole year was weird, so it isn’t strange that the highest-paid eSports players list accompanies it in sentiment. But, let’s not dwell on the past, let’s look forward to the future: we’ll soon have more free to play Pick6 for you, so stay tuned and don’t miss any opportunities.