Just like professional sports, esports has already become a multimillionaire sphere with lucrative sponsorships and big salaries for professional players. Enormous earnings in esports are certainly not random, and only those players with skill and expertise can boast high incomes in this sphere. In this article, we will examine facts and figures related to the financial side of esports, disclose the names of the biggest “earners,” and take a look at their demographics.


  • In 2023, esports tournaments had an average prize pool of $49,946.33, totaling $181,155,329.71 from 3,627 events.
  • The esports market is expected to grow to $10.9 billion by 2032.
  • Top CS2 players like s1mple and NiKo earn around $50,000 monthly, with Tier-1 players averaging $30,000.
  • Non-Tier-1 esports players earn significantly less, with minor leagues paying around $500 to $1,000 monthly.
  • The largest prize pool of $40,018,400 was at The International 2021.
  • Asia, especially China and the Philippines, leads in global esports viewership.

eSports Financial Stats and Facts

Let’s take a closer look at financial statistics and facts that can make you think about the career in esports! Some of the numbers are truly surprising, while others just confirm that each industry has its financial benefits that are not always obvious. One thing is certain, the esports industry has it all: thrill for spectaculars, adrenaline for gamers, satisfying salaries, and jaw-dropping prize pools for top-tier tournaments!

2023 eSports Financial Digest

In 2023, the prize pool of esports events averaged to $49,946.33. Given that there were 3,627 tournaments held, all prizes totaled to $181 million, so most active and skilled players could get a decent share of it.

eSports Market Expansion

The prognosis for market expansion is certainly positive! By the end of 2024, the esports economy will be over $2.39 billion, with a potential increase to $10.9 billion by 2032.

Tournament Prize Milestones

The International 2021 set a new record with a $40 million pool, allowing it to overcome Dota 2’s dominance in prize pools. The industry is eager to see what esports competition will break the current prize pool record!

Marketing Opportunities in eSports

The esports market presents substantial opportunities for marketers, offering access to a large and engaged audience, diverse advertising and sponsorship possibilities, and significant brand exposure. In 2023, there were around 31.6 million eSports viewers, and the ad revenue increase was close to 10%, equaling around $264.3 million.

Income Disparities in eSports

Unfortunately, the eSports industry is not that lucrative for amateurs and those who are not Tier-1 players. Their earnings are not that staggering, and they receive between $500 to $1,000 monthly.

CS2 Earnings Spectrum

What is the income of top-ranking players? Well, elite CS:GO/CS2 contenders, such as s1mple and NiKo, earn around $50,000 monthly. Gamers from Tier-1 leagues have good motivation to keep competing regularly, as their monthly income is $30,000 on average.

A Glimpse into the Pantheon of eSports Magnates: The Highest Paid Gamers

It is high time to meet the top 5 esports players who are not only skilled and experienced in their business but also ranked as the highest earners. Let’s take a quick look at their success stories!

1 – Johan “N0tail” Sundstein – $7,184,163

Being the unbeatable player on the Dota 2 arena, Johan “N0tail” Sundstein, has reached the top thanks to his extraordinary gameplay and strategic thinking. His esports career began with Heroes of Newerth, but he transitioned to Dota 2 soon and teamed up with Fnatic, Team Secret, and Cloud9, which later led to the legendary OG. Consecutive victories at The International in 2018 and 2019 are just some of his biggest achievements.

2 – Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka – $6,486,623

JerAx is one more legendary Dota 2 player. His esports journey began with Team Liquid and Evil Geniuses and reached its peak with OG’s historic consecutive triumphs at The International 2018 and 2019. Even though he is no longer playing, JerAx transitioned to mentorship and now shares his experience with active gamers. His victories would not have been possible without a tactical mind, which became his best weapon in fierce competitions.

3 – Anathan “ana” Pham – $6,024,411

Another member of the legendary OG team is Anathan “ana” Pham, a masterful Dota 2 player. This Australian gamer has made his early steps in esports together with Invictus Gaming. This team paved the way to OG. It was with OG that  Anathan “ana” Pham gained his biggest victories, including two consecutive triumphs in The International. Later on, he also was a part of Team Liquid and Royal Never Give Up. 

4 – Sebastien “Ceb” Debs – $5,887,342

The French virtuoso, Sébastien “Ceb” Debs was another victorious member of the OG team during its biggest triumphs: The International tournaments in 2018 and 2019. Renowned for his strategic expertise and inspirational leadership, Ceb was one of those who led the OG team through critical points in matches and earned a well-deserved glory in the Dota 2 community.

5 – Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen – $5,722,674

Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen, the Finnish maestro of the mid-lane, triumphed in esports together with OG, and the team’s biggest victories happened soon after his introduction. His unconventional determination and assertive playstyle contributed significantly to OG’s dominion.

Highest Earnings in eSports by Country

We already see that members of the OG team during its best years are currently the most-paid players in esports history. Still, there is so much more to uncover when it comes to the financial part of this business. One of such curious statistical aspects is the highest earnings by country. You can find the top 5 of them listed below. 

China – $447,472.78. Dominating the esports economy, it is no surprise that this country is in first place in the rankings. Players from this country dominate in Dota 2, which tournaments boast some of the highest prize pools.

United States – $333,178.29. US players are experts in different esports, but Fortnite and Call of Duty are the most significant contributors to the total earnings.

Philippines – $160,000.00. With an undeniable passion for Dota 2, the Philippines has excellent results in this game and converts engagement into considerable esports revenue.

South Korea – $104,176.43. Being powerful in League of Legends and StarCraft, South Korea secures its position in the global esports economy.

Denmark – $100,302.04. Denmark’s esports activities are fueled by expertise in CS2 and Dota 2.

These nations not only dominate in their respective favorite games but also elevate the esports financial landscape, presenting a blend of powerful strategy and gaming virtuosity on the world stage.


The esports industry, with its colossal financial gains and worldwide viewership, is flourishing. It also shows steady growth and big prospects for the future. With promising forecasts for the esports economy to comprise  $10.9 billion by 2032, this industry proves that it is one of the powerhouses in the global entertainment sphere. 

Examples of such elite players as Johan “N0tail” Sundstein and Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka show that gaming can be both engaging and financially beneficial. Thus, esports is a vibrant and exciting form of entertainment for many gamers, offering lucrative monetary benefits and widespread popularity.