The 15 Highest Paid Professional Gamers in the World

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These professional gamers train as long as Olympic athletes and often live together in teams. All 15 gamers on our list of the highest paid professional gamers in the world are all Dota2 players. Dota2 (Defense of the Ancients 2) is a free-to-play online battle arena (MOBA). The game is played with 2 teams with 5 players each and team earnings can top $6 million for a single tournament.

The biggest and most lucrative tournament is called “The International” which takes place every August. 14/15 of our richest gamers have received the largest prize from placing at The International.

E-Sports Earnings maintains a roster of gamers with the highest overall earnings, which is where we get our numbers. The top 29 on their list have earned totals over $1 million and the top 75 have earned over $500,000.

#1  Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora (U.S.)

  • Total earned: $2,727,796 from 61 tournaments
  • Born: 11 October 1989
  • Current Team: Evil Geniuses
  • Earned his first $1,000,000 at age: 25
  • Largest Prize from a single Tournament: $1,326,932 from The International 2015
    • UNiVeRsE spent part of 2016 on Team Secret, but returned to Evil Geniuses after less than a year.

#2  Peter “ppd” Dager (U.S.)

  • Total earned: $2,618,120 from 56 tournaments
  • Born: 2 November 1991
  • Current Team: Retired
  • Earned his first $1,000,000 at age: 23
  • Largest Prize from a single Tournament: $1,326,932 from The International 2015
    • “ppd” comes from his original nickname: “peterpandam”
    • Retired from professional play in September 2016 and is now the CEO of Evil Geniuses (since December 2016)

#3  Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan (Pakistan)

  • Total earned: $2,408,632.14 from 30 tournaments
  • Born: 13 February 1999
  • Current Team: Evil Geniuses
  • Earned his first $1,000,000 at age: 16
  • Largest Prize from a single Tournament: $1,326,932 from The International 2015
    • Youngest professional gamer to win $1 million.
    • Started playing Dota in internet cafes in Pakistan

#4  Clinton “Fear” Loomis (U.S.)

  • Total earned: $2,383,156 from 58 tournaments
  • Born: 19 February 1988
  • Current Team: Retired
  • Earned his first $1,000,000 at age: 27
  • Largest Prize from a single Tournament: $1,326,932 from The International 2015
    • Largest Prize from a single Tournament: $1,326,932 from The International 2015

#5  Li “iceice” Peng (China)

  • Total earned: $1,986,058 from 20 tournaments
  • Born: 1996
  • Current Team: Team Random
  • Earned his first $1,000,000 at age: 20
  • Largest Prize from a single Tournament: $1,827,800 from The International 2016
    • Recruited by Zhang Ning (#11)
    • Team Random was known as “Wings Gaming” until April 2017 when all 5 players left that team and rebranded under the name “Team Random”

#6  Zhou “bLink” Yang (China)

  • Total earned: $1,942,509 from 19 tournaments
  • Born: 1992
  • Current Team: Team Random
  • Earned his first $1,000,000 at age: 24
  • Largest Prize from a single Tournament: $1,827,800 from The International 2016

#7  Zhang “y’” Yiping (China)

  • Total earned: $1,942,509 from 19 tournaments
  • Born: 8 August 1998
  • Current Team: Team Random
  • Earned his first $1,000,000 at age: 18
  • Largest Prize from a single Tournament: $1,827,800 from The International 2016
    • y’ was the team captain of Wings Gaming that led them to victory at The International 2016

#8 Zhang “Faith_bian” Ruida (China)

  • Total earned: $1,942,448
  • Born: 21 August 1998
  • Current Team: Team Random
  • Earned his first $1,000,000 at age: 18
  • Largest Prize from a single Tournament: $1,827,800 from The International 2016

#9 Chu “Shadow” Zeyu (China)

  • Total earned: $1,942,348.20 from 18 tournaments
  • Born: 1997
  • Current Team: Team Random
  • Earned his first $1,000,000 at age: 19
  • Largest Prize from a single Tournament: $1,827,800 from The International 2016

#10 Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling (Canada)

  • Total earned: $1,931,859 from 59 tournaments
  • Born: 2 October 1992
  • Current Team: Team NP
  • Earned his first $1,000,000 at age: 22
  • Largest Prize from a single Tournament: $1,326,932 from The International 2015
    • Has been “kicked off” the Evil Geniuses twice.

#11 Zhang “xiao8” Ning (China)

  • Total earned: $1,824,525 from 54 tournaments
  • Born: 14 November 1989
  • Current Team: Retired
  • Earned his first $1,000,000 at age: 24
  • Largest Prize from a single Tournament: $1,005,662 from The International 2014
    •   xiao8 announced his retirement from competitive play in January 2017.

#12 Zhihao “Hao” Chen (China)

  • Total earned: $1,759,847 from 58 tournaments
  • Born: 28 July 1990
  • Current Team: Newbee (substitute)
  • Earned his first $1,000,000 at age: 23
  • Largest Prize from a single Tournament: $1,005,662 from The International 2014
    • Hao announced in August 2016 he would be taking an “extended break” from competitive play saying he had let down his fans.
    • In November 2016, he was listed as a substitute for Newbee.

#13 Zhang “Mu” Pan (China)

  • Total earned: $1,390,712 from 48 tournaments
  • Born: 24 December 1989
  • Current Team: Retired
  • Earned his first $1,000,000 at age: 24
  • Largest Prize from a single Tournament: $1,005,662 from The International 2014
    • Mu retired after The International 2016.

#14 Clement “Puppey” Ivanov (Estonia)

  • Total earned: $1,351,176 from 77 tournaments
  • Born: 3 June 1990
  • Current Team: Team Secret
  • Earned his first $1,000,000 at age: 25
  • Largest Prize from a single Tournament: $222,000 from The Shanghai Major 2016
    • In August 2014, Puppy helped form Team Secret.
    • Puppey has been team captain at Team Secret since its formation and is the only member from the original Team Secret to play for the team.

# 15 Rasmus “MiSeRy” Fillipsen (Denmark)

  • Total earned: $1,337,457 from 54 tournaments
  • Born: 14 July 1991
  • Current Team:
  • Earned his first $1,000,000 at age: 25
  • Largest Prize from a single Tournament: $685,425 from The International 2016
    • Struggled to get his earned winnings from both Team Secret and Digital Chaos
    • In April 2017, MiSeRy and his team announced they had left Digital Chaos and would be competing under a new name, the Thunderbirds.

 

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