Gone are those days when gaming was for fun and entertainment. The online gaming industry has grown to such an extent that gamers are now earning huge sums of money. Professional gamers earn incredible amounts of prizes which are worth millions of dollars. People are becoming rich by playing their favorite games. Online gaming is as competitive as other sports. Several companies and organizations conduct tournaments, giving away money, medals and awards as prizes. One such famous company is eSports which conducts The International, a Dota 2 competition held every year.
Let’s check out the list of 10 people who became rich by playing video games:
10. Clement “Puppey” Ivanov, Prizes Worth Over US$14 Million
Clement Ivanov from Estonia is a Dota 2 player who has the in-game name “Puppey”. Puppey is often regarded as the best team captains. The professional Dota 2 player has been prolific. Ivanov’s professional career began in 2007, playing for “Xero Skill” (XsK) team. During the initial stages of his career, Puppey wasn’t recognized by the professional world. Puppey has successfully captained several teams to win hefty prize money. Eventually, Ivanov became rich by playing Dota 2 and has become one of the most storied players on Dota 2.
9. Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel, Prizes Worth Over US$450,000
Johnathan Wendel has won over US$450,000 in prizes and cash by playing video games online. Wendel professionalizes in the first person shooting games such as Quake and Painkiller. The highly talented and competitive player is considered as one of the best professional gamers in the world. He has been featured on newspapers and publications such as Time, The New York Times, Forbes, and the BBC World Service. Fatal1ty became a professional player at the age of 18 playing Quake III Arena. Wendel holds a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records and became part of the International Video Game Hall of Fame in August 2010.
8. Clinton “Fear” Loomis, Prizes Worth Over US$23 Million
Clinton Loomis, commonly known as Fear is an American professional Dota 2 player and in 2016 Loomis retired as a player. The extremely skilled Dota 2 player is one of the oldest Dota players, spanning nearly a decade of gaming. Fear started his career in 2006 with PluG Pullers Inc., and ended in 2016 with Evil Geniuses. In 2016, after retiring from Evil Geniuses, he continued with the team as a coach. During his long career, he has been part of several teams winning lots of money. His biggest ever prize money was with Evil Geniuses during The International 2015 when he took away $1 million at one single shot.
7. Sumail “Suma1L” Hassan, Prizes Worth Over US$24 Million
Sumail Hassan, commonly known by his in-game name Suma1L is a Pakistani Dota 2 player. On February 2017, he became the 3rd highest earning eSports professional with total earnings of $2,401,426.34 from 29 tournaments. He became the youngest player to surpass $1 million USD in tournaments winnings which led him to be part of the Guinness Book of World Records. In 2016, the Time magazine named Sumail Hassan as one of ‘the 30 Most Influential Teens’. Hassan began playing Dota at a tender age of seven. After arriving to America, he began playing for the South American Elite League. Soon, his talent was highly recognizable and rated in North America. In 2015, he swiftly became part of the prestigious Evil Geniuses. Thereafter, he went on to win several prize money and tournaments.
6. Lee ‘Jaedong’ Jae Dong, Prizes Worth Over US$600,000
Lee Jae Dong is a professional StarCraft: Brood War player and StarCraft II from South Korea. He retired in 2016 after playing for Evil Geniuses. He became one of the highest earning players in StarCraft games. Simply known by his play name Jaedong, he went on to become one of the most successful StarCraft players of all time. The highly skilled player has nicknames such as The Tyrant and The Legend Killer. His career started in 2006 by playing for a Korean team Hwaseung OZ. He uses the Zerg strategy in StarCraft and is a famous rival of Terran player Lee Young-ho. Lee Jae Dong became rich by just playing his favorite video games online.
5. Matt “NadeShot” Haag, Prizes Worth Over US$20 Million
Matt Haag was a 22-year-old working at McDonald’s when his favorite game made him rich one day. He started to make over $1 million per year by playing video games online. Matt Haag goes by the in-game name NadeShot and is a master of Call of Duty. He became so rich by playing video games online, one day Red Bull sponsored him. NadeShot began his online gaming career with the first-person shooter Halo 2. Later, he switched to third-person tactical shooter series, Gears of War. He made his professional debut as a gamer on Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare at the age of 14. He has won several gaming awards and medals during his career.
4. Katherine “Mystik” Gunn, Prizes Worth Over US$200,000
Kat Gunn became the highest earning female gamer in 2016. She got a place in the Guinness World Records 2016 Gamer’s Edition. The American professional gamer and cosplayer had a yearly income of $30,000 per year during the CGS (Championship Gaming Series). As she grew up, her entire family was playing video games. Gunn grew up primarily in Lancaster and Palmdale, California. Gunn’s family owned a comic book and trading card store in Canoga Park. The store helped Gunn’s interest in video games and trading card games. In the professional arena, her games are Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, H1Z1: Just Survive, Halo and Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo.
3. Carlos “Ocelote” Rodriguez, Prizes Worth Over US$11 Million
In 2013, at the age of 23, Carlos Rodriguez was earning US$1 million per year by playing League of Legends. That is incredible. The Spanish professional gamer is closely associated with the team SK Gaming where he’s been a member since 2010. His playing skills and talents were first noted in the World of Warcraft game. He became the CEO and owner of the team G2 Esports. After his retirement from professional gaming in 2015, he became active on Twitch.tv. Ocelote once candidly spoke about his salary to the Spanish newspaper ABC. During that interview he spoke about how his net worth came. It was a combination of tournament winnings, salary, merchandising income, live streams and sponsors.
2. Peter “ppd” Dager, Prizes Worth Over US$26 Million
In 2015, after winning The International 2015, Peter Dager became the highest earning eSport players in the world. The American Dota 2 player became the CEO of the eSport organization Evil Geniuses and quit in 2016. His official name is ppd in the gaming world. He is known for his powerful strategical drafting in the Dota 2 arena. ppd teamed up with Fear, UNiVeRsE and Artzeey and the team went on a winning streak of 19 games. The successful captain is known for winning several tournaments. His highest single shot earning was $6 million by winning the The International 2015.
1. Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora, Prizes Worth Over US$29 Million
Saahil Arora is an Indian-origin American professional Dota 2 player who is famous for his association with Evil Geniuses. As a member of EG, the team won the The International 2015. He won the large prize money of $1,326,932.14 from the tournament. UNiVeRsE is his official name in the gaming arena. By Jan 2017, Saahil Arora had become the highest earning eSports player in the world. He is one of the consistent offlaners in the world. His first team was Online Kingdom, way back in 2011. According to the Evil Geniuses website, UNiVeRsE chose his tag because of his interest in astronomy and discovering whole new worlds.