If you have followed the competitive gaming scene, you'll likely know that eSports has been a huge hit for video games. eSports has been rapidly growing in just a short period of time. The global eSports economy has been growing by the hundred millions and in just a few years, it could be a billion dollar industry. In addition, there is an estimated 191 million enthusiasts checking in on competitions through various media channels such as Twitch, Youtube Gaming, Yahoo, and multiple cable companies are showing major interest. Arenas that hosted eSports tournaments in different American cities such as Seattle, Columbus, and even world famous venues such as Staples Center in Los Angeles and Madison Square Garden in New York have sold out for eSports events. Basically, if you consider esports a sport, its easily becoming the fastest growing sport in the world.
With such an impressive growth rate, comes a lot of money for the best of the eSports players in the world. There are many games that are featured in tournaments, mostly PC games like League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and the Call of Duty series, but none is as insanely popular in eSports as Dota 2, in fact, Dota 2 accounts for all of the top 40 highest earning eSports players. Here we will give spotlight to 25 eSports players, not necessarily the 25 richest players (they would all be Dota 2 players,) but men and women who have earned a lot of money playing various different games.
25 The Richest eSports Player In The World: "KuroKy"
The richest eSports player in the world is Kuro "KuroKy" Takhasomi, a 25 year old Dota 2 player from Germany. KuroKy is very experienced playing Dota 2 competitively. He would always improve with age and his earnings increased nearly every single year, propelling his overall earnings to more than $3.5 million. KuroKy has successfully won many tournaments, but despite the success he struggled to win the biggest tournament, The International. After placing 2nd in the tournament in 2013, he struggled to get as close for the next four years, placing either 7th or 8th. He couldn't get over the hump until he finally won The International in 2017, earning him more than $2 million.
Many see KuroKy as one of the top 5 Dota players of all time due to his accolades and his skill set.
KuroKy made his debut with Mousesports, playing in just one tournament. Overall, KuroKy has played in 88 tournaments at the time of writing, 40 of those tournaments he has played with Team Liquid where he currently is now. He also played 14 tournaments with Team Secret, and 27 tournaments with Natus Vincere. Before Dota 2, KuroKy was also a very gifted player of the original Defense of the Ancients, playing in just 2 tournaments before his stellar career as a Dota 2 player.
24 The Richest Female Gamer In The World: "Scarlett"
Sasha "Scarlett" Hostyn is the richest female player in the world. The 24-year-old StarCraft II player from Canada is ranked 8th in overall earnings from her country. After starting to play StarCraft II in 2011, Scarlett became a dedicated Zerg player. She started her eSports career by participating in a female only league, The NESL Iron Lady, where she won two tournaments in a row in the fall of 2011. In 2012, she won the Playhem "Sponsor Me!" Tournament. That tournament was dedicated to amateur players who were not part of a team or had any sponsorships. After winning that tournament she was awarded with a trip to Las Vegas to play in IPL 4. It was there where she had a great performance in the open qualifiers, earning more spotlight to herself.
As you can see from her earnings, the amount of the highest earning female player is nowhere near the number of the highest earning male player.
In the Canadian StarCraft II 2012 tournament, she won her way through the winner's bracket, defeating HuK, Ostojiy, Drewbie, and DdoRo to reach the Grand Finals, where she defeated Ostojiy again to become Canada's national champion with a 12-1 record. Her victory would earn her spot in the 2012 WCS North American Championship where she would win that tournament in a similar fashion to the Canadian one with a 12-1 record.
23 The Richest League Of Legends Player In The World: "Faker"
Lee "Faker" Sang Hyeok is a 22-year-old League of Legends player from The Republic of Korea. Faker has earned more than $1.17 million from 40 tournaments, the highest from Korea. He is also the highest paid eSports player that doesn't play Dota 2, however, he is ranked 41st in overall earnings.
Known for his aggressive play style in the mid lane, Faker is considered to be the best League of Legends player of all time, playing as Ahri, Fizz, LeBlanc, Orianna, and Zed.
Faker was a part of a powerful team called "SK Telecom T1 #2" in 2013, playing in the mid lane. The team qualified for their first OnGameNet tournament where they finished in 3rd place. It was there where Faker made a name for himself by forcing MVP Blue to surrender 20 minutes in. As LeBlanc, he went 10-0-1 in just 18 minutes, leading to MVP Blue giving in. A few seasons later, due to OnGameNet rules, the team had to merge with the StarCraft: Brood War SK Telecom T1 team in 2014. This led to some disappointment among fans hoping to see Faker play every game. Despite winning the SBENU OnGameNet Champions tournament, Faker did not get to play a single game in the Grand Finals match.
22 From Halo To Dead Or Alive, It's Kat!
Katherine "Mystik" Gunn is a 30-year-old gamer from the United States, the highest earning female gamer from the USA, but 118th overall. She earned her money through playing in a couple Dead or Alive 4 tournaments but made the majority of her earnings in the WGC Ultimate Gamer Season 2 where she made $100,000 playing Halo: Reach.
She was the highest earning female gamer in the world until Scarlett recently passed her, but her accomplishments did land her on a spot in the Guinness World Records 2016 Edition.
Originally from California, where Kat's family owned a trading card and comic book shop, Kat became a gamer through her family's background, nearly everyone in her family played video games. Kat is also a cosplayer who has been seen dressing up in a Master Chief suit. As you can see, she has quite the set up of how she plays video games. Kat is also a professional player playing games like Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, H1Z1: Just Survive, and Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo. Kat acknowledges her accomplishments, crediting it to endless hours of practice, dedication, and love for video games. She recognizes her place in the Guinness World Records that she has "done something when it comes to competitive gaming."
21 The Founder Of The Games Academy, "FalleN"
Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo is a 26-year-old from Brazil who plays Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. He has earned over $700,000 playing Counter-Strike games, ranking as the 68th highest earning eSports player and is the highest among players from Brazil. FalleN founded the Brazilian eSports organization Games Academy in 2012 in his native country. He made the transition from playing video games as a hobby to playing video games as a profession in 2009. He was invited by a couple other pro gamers and former teammates to play for Firegamers. They then won the WCG 2009 Brazil Finals, propelling FalleN to further pursue his pro career.
When he founded the Games Academy in 2012, he gave classes teaching people to get better at Counter-Strike. This was due to the game losing a bit of interest, but that soon changed when Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was available. Through his earnings at the Games Academy, he then started funding his own tournaments in Brazil. Initially, the Games Academy started with just 15 students, it has since grown to enroll over 1,500 students. In addition to the Counter-Strike series, FalleN has also played in two CrossFire tournaments where he earned nearly $2,000.
FalleN was commonly known as the greatest influential eSports personality in Brazil in 2015.
20 The Chun-Li Expert, Ricki Ortiz
Ricki Ortiz is a female fighting game professional from the United States. She mainly specializes in Street Fighter games but also has played some of Capcom's other fighting game series. She has earned over $80,000 from 61 tournaments, ranking as 3rd highest earning among female players in the world, and 182nd in highest overall earnings in America. Ortiz would fall in love with fighting games early in life, often visiting the arcades after middle school. Ortiz's first tournament was the Evolution Championship Series in 2003 and she's commonly ranked high in tournaments.
She has played many popular fighting games including Marvel vs Capcom 2, Street Fighter III: Third Strike, Capcom vs SNK 2, Street Fighter IV, and Street Fighter V.
In an interview with Yahoo!, Ortiz stated that she dislikes playing fighting games online due to the occurrence of lag, saying that it is "like I'm playing blind almost, because you're taking my best attributes away." It is something that we gamers know how it feels all too often. In the Street Fighter scene, her character of choice has always been Chun-Li. Chun-Li was a character that she always enjoyed playing and stuck with her for multiple Street Fighter games. However, according to an interview with ESPN, after Capcom made adjustments to Chun-Li in 2017, Ortiz found it difficult to switch to another character.
19 Damon "Karma" Barlow, One Of The Best C.O.D. Players Ever
Damon "Karma" Barlow is a 24-year-old Call of Duty player from Canada. His overall earnings are $686,972.25 from playing in 90 tournaments, giving him the highest overall earning among Call of Duty players, 5th among eSports players from Canada, and 80th worldwide. Karma's first started playing Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: World at War. His first few events were in 2011 with Call of Duty: Black Ops, starting with MLG Columbus where he placed 10th, then shortly later at MLG Anaheim, he placed 6th with the same team. After placing 6th again at MLG Orlando, he earned 5th in MLG Providence.
A few years later he would start to dominate the Call of Duty tournaments.
Karma won back-to-back Call of Duty World Championships in 2013 and 2014, the only player to have done so. He has won a total of 51 tournaments, as well as placing runner-up in 14 tournaments and reached the semi-finals in 6 other tournaments. Most of his success came with OpTic Gaming, winning multiple championships in 2017, including the Call of Duty World Championships that year, placing him and his team as the greatest Call of Duty roster ever, as well as being the only player to have won 3 Call of Duty World Championships.
18 A Dead Or Alive Expert, Marjorie "Kasumi Chan" Bartell
Marjorie "Kasumi Chan" Bartell is a female gamer from the United States. She is a Dead or Alive 4 player. Her nickname is inspired by one of the game's main characters, Kasumi. Bartell has an overall earning of $55,000 playing in just 2 tournaments. She was a runner-up in the CGI 2006 Dead or Alive 4 tournament, winning $5,000. A year later she won CGS 2007 in Dead or Alive 4 as part of a team called Chicago Chimera, with a winning payout of $50,000. Just those two tournaments alone has put her as high as the 4th highest overall earning female in eSports, 247th among players from the United States, and 1270th worldwide.
There is a story from Kotaku in Bartell's first tournament where she faced off against a male gamer who trash talked her during the match. He told her "My friends told me if I came here, I can’t lose to any little kids, or to any girls. So I can’t go home if I lose to any girls.” Of course, he would end up losing to Bartell. I wonder if he honored his bet and never returned home? In her second tournament, one of her opponents was featured in an interview where he jokes about the idea of being beaten by a woman and how he can't bear the thought. Of course, he would go on to lose to her.
17 The Legend Of The Daigo Parry
Umehara Daigo is a 37-year-old fighting game player from Japan. His overall earnings are $193,159.82 from 38 tournaments, ranking him with the 2nd highest earnings among eSports players from Japan. Daigo goes by many nicknames, including "The Beast" out west as well as simply "Ume" in Japan. Daigo is well-known for one of the most famous eSports moments ever in the history of gaming. In EVO 2004, Daigo was facing off in a tournament match against Justin Wong in a game of Street Fighter III: Third Strike. Daigo was playing as Ken while Wong was playing as Chun-Li.
In the final round of the first match Wong had pushed Daigo to near defeat, one more basic hit from Chun-Li would have been enough to seal the victory, after a long stalemate of dodging and playing safe, Chun-Li unleashed her special attack that threw 15 kicks at Ken. If any one of them hit, even through blocking, that would be the end of the match and Wong would have won, but Daigo pulled off one of the greatest plays in history when he would parry all 15 attacks and then finish Wong off with Ken's special attack. It was a play that would transcend eSports and even to this day be one of the most memorable plays in gaming.
16 Zhi Hu, "KaKa" Earning $1,456,430.98 Through Dota 2
Zhi Liang Hu, under the ID of KaKa, is a 25-year-old Dota 2 player from China. KaKa's overall earnings are the 25th highest in the world and 10th among players from China. KaKa has competed in 57 different tournaments. His greatest payout occurred in a Dota 2 tournament, The International 2017, last year where he placed 2nd. The payout was a total of $790,013.90 which actually accounts for just over half of the total prize money he has won.
KaKa started his gaming career with the HyperGloryTeam in 2014, playing in 9 tournaments with them earning over $32,000. One year later he transferred to EHOME, where he played in just 7 tournaments but earned a bit over $100,000. Now he is with the team Newbee, and he has been with them since 2016. He has played in over 40 tournaments representing the team and earned more than $1,300,000 in those tournaments, which accounts for more than 90% of his overall earnings. KaKa has finished in 1st place in 12 different tournaments, while finishing 2nd 13 times, and 3rd 10 times. KaKa's signature heroes are Naga Siren, Sand King, and Earth Spirit. KaKa is most famous for maintaining a high MMR, sometimes completely topping the Chinese leaderboards, he is the first player in China to ever reach 9K MMR.
15 "Vilga," One Of Counter-Strike's Best Female Players
Ksenia "Vilga" Klyuenkova is a female Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player from Russia. Vilga's overall earnings are $42,864.42 from participation in 22 tournaments. She is the 56th highest earning eSports player from Russia, but 6th among all female gamers. Among Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players, she is the highest earning female gamer. Vilga started her gaming career independent before joining Team Secret. It was with them she earned over $34,000 before she eventually joined Bad Monkey Gaming, where she currently is now. She has joined Bad Monkey Gaming as a replacement for Sonia Garcia who became inactive due to her studies. With her current team, Vilga has won over $3,000 so far.
Vilga has had a very stellar career in playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Out of the 22 tournaments she has played in, she has won 17 championships, with 2 runner-up finishes and 2 semi-final finishes. Her largest winnings were $20,000 from WESG 2017 (CS:GO Female.) That victory has accounted for over 46% of her total prize money won. Recently, within the last few months, Vilga has won over $21,000 from 2 tournaments, including the previously mentioned WESG tournament. The other tournament was a 2nd place finish at Copenhagen Games 2018 where she won $1,400 in a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for female players.
14 A Young, Up And Coming Dota 2 Player, "Zai"
Ludwig Wåhlberg who is also known as "Zai" in his various IDs, is a 20-year-old Dota 2 player from Sweden. Zai ranks 24th overall in total earnings and 2nd among eSports gamers from Sweden. Zai has earned a total of $1,467,681.25 from the 71 tournaments he has participated in. Before he became a Dota 2 player, he used to be a Heroes of Newerth player, but like many of these eSports gamers, the majority of his earnings came from Dota 2 tournaments.
Zai has won many championships in his 71 tournaments. Among his victories, 28 of them he was declared champion, while he was runner-up 10 times, and placed third or reached the semis 13 times. Zai managed to have a successful career very early on; 31.70% of his earnings came before he was 18, he had already won over $465,000 in earnings through 44 tournaments. His greatest earnings were from The International 2016 where he earned more than $436,000 after finishing in 3rd place. As of right now, Zai is a member of the OpTic Gaming team where he has participated in 8 tournaments. Previously, he had multiple tenures with Evil Geniuses, where he participated in a combined 34 tournaments with the team. In between the tenures, he also was a part of Team Secret, where he played in 9 tournaments.
13 "Hungrybox", Beware Of His Jigglypuff
Juan "Hungrybox" Debiedma is a 24-year-old Super Smash Bros player from Orlando, Florida. His overall earnings total $269,973.01 from 245 tournaments, making him number 39 in overall earnings by eSports players from the United States and 2nd among all Super Smash Bros players. Hungrybox is considered one of the "Gods" of Super Smash Bros: Melee with his success against the highest level of competition.
His main character is Jigglypuff, with secondary characters in Fox, Falco, and Ness. Currently playing for Team Liquid, Hungrybox is ranked as the top overall Super Smash Bros: Melee player in 2017. He quickly rose the ranks in the Smash community with his play as Jigglypuff, perfecting his spacing and timing in using the Pokémon's Rest attack. While his fame rests with his skills as Jigglypuff, his secondary characters are also good, but he only uses them in certain situations, but it is rare to see him use any other character.
Out of the 245 tournaments he has participated in, Hungrybox has won 1st place 108 times with 65 2nd place finishes, and 35 appearances in the semi-finals. His greatest earnings come from winning 1st place in singles at the Smash Summit 5, winning a total of $29,315.30. He also won $14,232 from a 1st place finish at EVO 2016.
12 One Of Hearthstone's Best Players, "BaiZe"
Wang "BaiZe" Xinyu is a female Hearthstone player from China. She has earned $30,312.39 from the 6 tournaments she participated in, ranking her as the 9th highest overall earning among all female eSports players. BaiZe is the first ever woman to have competed in a Hearthstone Championship Tour seasonal championship. As a well-known Hearthstone player from China, she started to become more popular out west after advancing through the Hearthstone Wild Open in 2017. Her professional career has gotten off to a quick start, starting with a regional playoffs tournament in March 2017, followed by the Hearthstone Wild Open in June and a summer playoffs tournament in July.
BaiZe considers herself a lifelong Blizzard fan. She enjoyed Warcraft III and World of Warcraft prior to playing Hearthstone. In addition to playing Hearthstone professionally, she also has been streaming the game in China. Her reputation as the best female Hearthstone player does put a bit of pressure to her, stating in an interview that "I don't want to go out there and have people say to me that I'm just the best woman they've seen play the game. I don't like that. I want to go out there and prove myself."
11 God Of Destruction, "Jaedong"
Lee "Jaedong' Jae Dong is a 28-year-old StarCraft: Brood War player from Korea. Jaedong's overall earnings account to $628.400.35, ranking as the highest earning StarCraft: Brood War player, and 5th among Korean eSports players, he is also 97th among all eSports players. Jaedong is a Zerg player in both StarCraft: Brood War and StarCraft II and is generally considered to be the greatest Zerg player in the history of professional tournaments. His success has earned him various nicknames, including "The Tyrant," "Legend Killer," and "God of Destruction."
In 2006 he won Korea's Rookie of the Year award in eSports. He would then win his first major tournament in 2007, the Ever OSL. He would then win two more of the same tournaments. Winning three of those have earned him the "Golden Mouse" award, becoming the third player to ever do so. Jaedong has been ranked the top overall player in Korea for 16 months. After a bumpy start in StarCraft II tournaments, he would eventually rise to the top again, taking over the top spot of prize money won, beating Fatal1ty, who had that spot for multiple years. He would then decide to retire at the end of Blizzcon 2016.
10 A Counter-Strike Wonder, "zAAz"
Zainab "zAAz" Turkie is a 26-year-old female Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player who represents both Sweden and Lebanon. She has earned nearly $32,000 from playing in 27 tournaments, ranking her as the 8th highest earning female eSports player, and third among female Counter-Strike players. She is currently playing for RES Gaming, an eSports organization from the United Arab Emirates. Her role on the team is to be the rifler. zAAz was known as a very competitive person at a young age, competing in many sports. When she was 11 years old she watched her brother play Counter-Strike on his computer.
She would play the game whenever her brother wasn't around, to her it was something she fell in love with the first time she saw it.
She qualified for the ESWC 2007 in France at the age of 15, however, she could not participate thanks to her father. Despite that, she did not abandon the passion she had for the game and continued to play, she joined the team Les Seules, and competed in the ESWC Masters of Paris the following year, winning the tournament. Today she has won 16 tournaments, become the runner-up in 6 tournaments, and made it to the semi-finals twice.
9 The Best Halo Player Ever, "Lethul"
Tony "Lethul" Campbell is a 24-year-old Halo player from the United States. His overall earnings are almost $600,000 from 39 tournaments. He currently ranks as the 7th highest overall earnings among American eSports players, and the highest among any Halo player. Lethul is a competitive player from Michigan. He has won 1st place in 22 tournaments, including 2 Halo World Championships. He has the highest earnings among any console gamer that doesn't play Call of Duty.
With his skill set and all of his accomplishments in Halo tournaments, many consider him the best Halo player to ever play.
Lethul has played for six different teams: Vicious Intent, Sicker Than Yo Average, Infamous, Believe The Hype, Evil Geniuses, and Counter Logic Gaming. He has won an event with each of these teams, including exhibitions. Other than his reputation of being the best Halo player ever, he also has been nicknamed by friends and fans as "America's Most Hated Gamer." He has truly captured a villain role in eSports and has had a big impact on his reputation. Among the 4 different Halo games he has participated tournaments in, his greatest earnings have come from Halo 5: Guardians, winning a total of $521,475 which accounts for nearly 90% of his total eSports earnings.
8 A Female StarCraft II Player, "Aphrodite"
Kim "Aphrodite" Ga Young is a 29-year-old female StarCraft II player from Korea. Her overall earnings account to over $9,000 (just enough for Vegeta to go crazy) from 6 tournaments. Aphrodite's earnings have ranked her the third highest StarCraft (of any game) female player. Aphrodite started to become known when she was a guest streamer on RainBOw's (Kim Sung Je) stream. She made her debut in 2011 in Zowie Divina, a female only tournament in China. Even though she lost her first two matches, she would bounce back and make the playoffs. She would then advance through the semifinals and reach the finals where she faced off against flo (Florence Yao.) Aphrodite would take care of business against flo and take home the $5,000 grand prize.
Out of her 6 tournaments, she has won 3 first place finishes, with 1 runner-up and semi-final each.
Aphrodite would eventually join StarTale, becoming the second female to ever join a South Korean pro gaming team. Aphrodite is also ranked in the South Korean Grandmaster League. She is one of three female players to have won a StarCraft match that was broadcasted on Korean TV. Aphrodite also appeared in a commercial for the MSI GS70 Stealth laptop.
7 The Richest Super Smash Bros Player, "Armada"
Adam "Armada" Lindgren is a 25-year-old Super Smash Bros: Melee player from Sweden. His overall earnings account to almost $300,000 from 177 tournaments, the highest earnings from any kind of Super Smash Bros player. Among the many tournaments he has competed in, he has won 113 times, placed runner-up 30 times, and reached the semi-finals 15 times. Armada was ranked as the top overall Super Smash Bros: Melee player for 2 years, 2015 and 2016. Currently, he ranks 2nd overall behind Hungrybox.
Armada's success has him regarded by many as one of, if not, the best Super Smash Bros player of all time.
Armada is known as a Peach and Fox user. He was known to take a character like Peach to new levels, revolutionizing how many would play as her. He would then turn to pick up Fox, and using him against the best Fox users in the world. Eventually, Fox started to become more of his primary character, while saving Peach for certain matchups. Armada has earned the nickname "The Swedish Sniper" due to his fantastic accuracy with projectile attacks. Through some lengthy times between appearances, Armada would lose his number one overall position as Hungrybox would go on quite a run, but when Armada does get involved in a Smash Bros tournament, he usually places very high in the standings.
6 The Richest Player Representing The U.S.A. "UNiVeRsE"
Saahil "UNiVeRsE" Arora is a 28-year-old Dota 2 player from the United States. His overall earnings are just under $3,000,000, playing in 80 tournaments. He is currently the 3rd richest eSports player in the world and the richest among gamers from the United States. Coming from Madison Wisconsin, Arora has competed in nearly all of the yearly Dota 2 championship series, The International. He is the only player to have participated in all events sponsored by Valve. However, he was listed as a sub in the very first International. Arora is currently tied with three other gamers for most active appearances at Valve events. Additionally, he is one of only 8 players to have played in more than 1,000 pro Dota 2 games for a single franchise. He has a very decorated career, best known for his Faceless Void and Dark Seer.
From his 80 tournaments, Arora has won 21 of them, with 15 2nd place finishes, as well as 19 3rd or semi-finals finishes. He has played for a total of 8 different teams, including Fnatic (Current), Evil Geniuses (three separate times), Team Secret, Team Dignitas, Quantic Gaming, and Online Kingdom. The highest prize money that Arora has ever won was $1,326,932.14 from winning The International tournament in 2015.
5 The Chill Furry Fighter, "SonicFox"
Dominique "SonicFox" Mclean is a 20-year-old gamer from the United States. He is primarily a fighting gamer who plays various fighting games, but his main success has come from Mortal Kombat X. SonicFox has an overall earning of nearly $450,000 from 60 tournaments, currently ranking him as the highest paid fighting game eSports player in the world. He is also ranked 13th among American gamers. SonicFox is a three-time EVO Champion, winning his first with Injustice in 2014, and then winning back-to-back with Mortal Kombat X in 2015 and 2016. In addition to Injustice and Mortal Kombat, he is also skilled at playing Skullgirls. He has also seen some success with Dead or Alive, Under Night In-Birth, Marvel vs Capcom, and DragonBall FighterZ.
He can basically pick up just about any kind of fighting game and quickly become an expert.
In addition to his fighting game talents, SonicFox is a well-known furry enthusiast. You can often catch him at tournaments displaying some kind of furry clothing. SonicFox is one of the well-liked gamers in the community, always having a carefree attitude at tournaments. He always enjoys the competitions and doesn't let losses bother him, in fact, he knows how to bounce back and become stronger.
4 The G.O.A.T. Of Smash 4, "ZeRo"
Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios is a 23-year-old Super Smash Bros player from Chile. ZeRo's overall earnings are $181,291 from 164 tournaments, ranking him as the highest earning player from Chile. Also, he is the first Smash Bros player who makes over $100,000 and whose main game is not Super Smash Bros: Melee. ZeRo has been a fan of the Super Smash Bros series since the beginning with Super Smash Bros 64. In Super Smash Bros for Wii U, ZeRo has many characters he can go to. He plays Sheik, Lucina, Cloud, Captain Falcon, and Fox, but his best character is his Diddy Kong. ZeRo has had a very decorated career in the Super Smash Bros series. Out of ZeRo's 164 tournaments across multiple games, he has won 1st place in 93 tournaments. In addition, he also has had 35 2nd place finishes and 25 semi-final appearances.
ZeRo was also the winner of the Nintendo Super Smash Bros Invitational at E3 2014 where he won in Super Smash Bros for Wii U before the game was released. In 2018 he announced his retirement from professional gaming. However with the new Super Smash Bros in development for Nintendo Switch, he has expressed interest in creating video content for the game. He will also play in the Nintendo Super Smash Bros Invitational at E3 2018 but has expressed that he will only come out of retirement just for this event only.
3 The Tom Brady Of Madden, "Problem"
Eric "Problem" Wright is a 29-year-old Madden player from West Covina, California. His overall earnings are $370,000 from 6 tournaments, ranking as the 22nd highest earnings among eSports players from the United StateB. Problem has won more prize money than any other eSports player playing a sports game.
According to EA Sports' website: "Problem is one of the biggest names in competitive Madden. Much of the community considers him to be the G.O.A.T. While some of Madden’s newest competitors might want to argue that statement, Problem’s approach to defense is unmatched. A win in the Ultimate League would cement his status as the greatest in the game."
While Problem is a fan of the Los Angeles Chargers, he used the San Francisco 49ners when he won the EA Challenge Series in 2013. Typically, teams with fast quarterbacks are favorable choices in the Madden community for offensive reasons, so you may not see the teams you usually would expect in real life NFL. Ironically what made Problem great was his ability to play great defense, going along with the popular sports phrase that defense wins championships. His skill set is the reason why many consider Problem as the greatest of all time, however as time moves on and he got older, it is increasingly difficult to continue his success due to time commitment, his glory days could be coming to an end in the next few years as the younger generation of gamers emerge.
2 Earning More Than $3 Million, "Miracle"
Amer "Miracle" Al-Barkawi is a 20-year-old Dota 2 player from Jordan, although he does hold dual citizenship to Poland with a Jordanian father and Polish mother. Miracle's overall earnings are $3,202886.88 from 42 tournaments, he is the 2nd highest earning player in the world behind only KuroKy. Miracle's role on teams is mainly playing in the middle solo while also being a carry player at times. Miracle first joined the Balkan Bears team in 2015, but the tenure lasted only 4 months. He would then continue as an independent player and gain attention by climbing the matchmaking rating leaderboards in pub games. He would end up becoming the number one ranked player by MMR in the European division as well as the world.
He would then be invited to join (monkey) Business, which would eventually be reformed as OG once they were sponsored. In the team's first major, they would pull off multiple upsets to win the tournament, partially thanks to Miracle's strong performances on Shadow Fiend. In 2016, Miracle left OG to join Team Liquid and after a bit of a slow start, he would go on to have a stellar career. Miracle would win 17 tournaments and be the runner up in 7, with 8 semifinal appearances.
1 The Original Super Smash Bros: Melee King, "Mew2King"
Jason "Mew2King" Zimmerman is a 29-year-old Super Smash Bros player from the United States. His overall earnings amount to $261,027.94 ranking him as the 4th highest earning eSports player in the United States and 3rd among Super Smash Bros players. His main game in the series is Super Smash Bros: Melee, although he does have professional experience in all of the other Super Smash Bros games as well. He is strongly considered as one of the best Smash Bros players of all time due to his knowledge of the characters and the mechanics of the game. He was the one that made discoveries about the game by testing game mechanics such as character weight, fall speed, knock back, priorities, and physics.
In Super Smash Bros: Melee, his main characters were Sheik, Marth, and Fox, all three of them being the fastest characters the game had to offer, and in Melee, speed was a huge factor. Mew2King started playing in competitive Smash Bros tournaments in 2005, by 2008 he was already considered the best Melee and Brawl player ever. After a lengthy decline, he would eventually go on quite a tear in 2013 marking the streak of winning by many as "The Return of the King."
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