There was a time when playing video games was considered a waste of time and whoever had a hobby playing games wouldn’t even be taken seriously.
However, times have changed and video games have become a significant part of our lives today. The industry has grown significantly in that you can not only participate in esports tournaments and win millions, but can now study for a degree in esports!
We have different categories of games today from offline titles (The Last of Us, God of War, Star Wars Jedi and other story-driven games) to live service games that are designed to keep people engaged for years such as Fortnite, Dota 2, PUBG, Valorant and many others.
And while it’s not always possible to make money from offline and non-competitive games, some gamers are now getting paid millions to play live service games by representing their respective esports teams and participating in tournaments.
Since it launched in 2013, Valve’s Dota 2 has made a name for itself by setting up grand tournaments that reward gamers with a surreal amount of prize money. The game’s yearly world championship tournament, The International, is popular for putting millions up for grabs as well.
Dota 2 rewards big!
The Steam company has so far hosted 11 annual world championship tournaments (The International) and other events with big prize pools. Fortnite and Counter Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends are other titles that offer hefty pay to gamers but Dota 2 leads by a significant margin.
According to Esports Earnings, Dota 2 takes up 44 slots amongst the top 50 highest-paying esports games currently with the first 21 (out of 50) highest esport earners being Dota 2 players, making the online battle arena game the most profitable game for professionals to compete in.
Johan Sundstein who’s popularly known as N0tail is the richest Dota 2 player. The Danish gamer climbed ahead of every other esports and Dota 2 player to become not only the richest esports player in the world with $7,184,163.05 in tournament earnings but also the most decorated Dota 2 player.
Jesse Vainikka (JerAx) comes second with $6,486,948.78 in Dota 2 earnings while Anathan Pham (ana) is the third highest-earning Dota 2 player with $6,024,411.96 in earnings.
Highest esports earners (Fortnite & CS:GO)
Moving away from Dota 2’s rather long list of dominance in the esports space, we have Kyle Giersdorf (Bugha), the Fortnite player is placed 22nd on the list of highest esports earners after earning $3,489, 245.05 from the popular battle royale game. Other Fortnite earners include 39th-placed David Wang (Aqua) with $2,187,374.23 and 49th-placed Harrison Chang (psalm) who made $1,959,500.00.
Then we have 41st placed Peter Rasmussen (dupreeh) who made $2,038,331.07 from playing Counter Strike: Global Offensive. Alongside 46th placed Andreas Højsleth (Xyp9x) with $1,993,150.13 and in the 50th palace we have Nicolai Reedtz (device) who made $1,932,754.30.
Data from Uswitch shows Dota 2 provided the most winnings last year (£26,915,000). The data also adds that Dota 2 is one of the most difficult games to master and the aforementioned esports players are making hard-earned money.
There’s no better time to get into gaming and participate in esports tournaments. Valve’s real-time strategy game had a lucrative 2022 and although we’re still early on into 2023, Dota 2’s The International tournaments could very well reward players with millions worth of prizes once and surpass its £26.9 million spent on prize pools.