Playing video games and getting paid good money to do so is probably high up on the list of dream jobs for many of us, and it’s become a newly lucrative reality for some talented gaming enthusiasts. Nowadays, electronic sports – or eSports – have truly exploded worldwide and have created a subculture of full-time gamers making comfortable livings playing the games they love.
For more than 60 gamers the world over, prize money has topped $100,000 and for the elite serious gamers, prize money has extended well beyond this. Keep in mind that the calculated earnings here don’t include any and all sponsorship deals, team salaries or even income that many players get for streaming their practice games. The list compiled below is based purely on tournament winnings – and the numbers are huge. These professional gamers have invested serious money in state of the art technology to make sure they’re quite literally at the top of their game.
10 Top Earning Professional Gamers in the World 2016
Lee “Jaedong” Jae Dong :-
Lee Jae-Dong, alias n.Die_Jaedong, nicknamed The Tyrant and The Legend Killer, is a South Korean professional StarCraft: Brood War and StarCraft 2 player for the American team Evil Geniuses.At age 25, Lee “Jaedong” Jae Dong is the top dog in gaming, having earned over half a million dollars in a total of 47 tournaments. He is a Zerg player in StarCraft: Brood War and has been regarded as the greatest Zerg player in the history of professional gameplay. He’s also been able to achieve incredible success playing StarCraft” Brood War’s sequel: StarCraft II. However, before he moved on to StarCraft: II, Jaedong made massive earning playing Brood War. If he does just as well with the sequel, Jaedong will be sure to go down in gaming history as one of the all time greats.
- Earning :- $504,486.72
- Born: January 9, 1990 (age 24)
Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel :-
Johnathan Wendel, also known by the pseudonym Fatal1ty, is a professional electronic sports player and entrepreneur. Johnathan is considered the world’s first prominent and accomplished professional gamer.Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel has developed into a legendary game player, and has held one of the top earning gamer spots for the past few years. He has played in 35 tournaments to date, and at 35-years-old he is a little more seasoned than most other players on this list. Fatal1ty has been most successful playing first-person shooters, and has earned massive cash prizes doing so. In 2005 alone, when he played in 10 tournaments, this gamer earned over $230,000.
- Earning :- $454,544.98
- Born: February 26, 1981 (age 32), Kansas City, Kansas, United States
- TV shows: Championship Gaming Series
- Nominations: eSports Player of the Year
Lee “Flash” Young Ho :-
Lee Young-Ho is a South Korean professional StarCraft player who plays under the alias By. FlaSh or simply Flash. Lee Young-Ho currently plays for the Korean pro-gaming team KT Rolster. Lee joined KT Rolster in 2007 at the age of 14. Lee “Flash” Young Ho is a Terran player in StarCraft: Brood War. At 21 (23 Korean) he is the youngest top earner on the list. Just as his gamer name Flash indicated, this wunderkind is quick. His career started strong, as he rapidly amassed a winning record playing Proleague games in both the MSL (MBCGame StarCraft League) and OSL (OnGameNet StarLeague).
- Earning :- $446,371.91
- Born: July 5, 1992 (age 21), Daejeon, South Korea
Danylo “Dendi” Ishutin :-
Danylo Ishutin ( born December 12, 1989), more commonly known by the pseudonym Dendi, is a professional Dota 2 player from Lviv, Ukraine.Danylo “Dendi” Ishutin is 24 and has already played in a total of 38 tournaments. In 2008, he started his professional gaming career by playing the original Defence of the Ancients. However, shortly thereafter he was hired by a professional gaming team, Natus Vincere, whose members feature heavily on this list. Dendi originally played the first “Defense of the Ancients” in 2008 for a living, until hired by professional gaming team – Natus Vincere – in 2011 after a DotA 2 tournament with million dollar prize was announced.
- Earning :- $438,142.93
- Status: Active
- Date of birth: December 30, 1989 (age 24)
- Hometown: Lviv, Ukraine
- Nationality: Ukraine
Oleksandr “XBOCT” Dashkevych :-
Oleksandr “XBOCT” Dashkevych (pronounced “HVOST”) is a carry player currently playing for Natus Vincere.Oleksandr Dashkevych, or XBOCT, is 29 and has played in a total of 36 tournaments. He is part of the Ukrainian team Natus Vincere, and he plays DotA 2 professionally. He is known for his talent as a Carry, and esports.com reports that he maintains ‘fast and steady farm’ in gameplay. This pro gamer helped his team to victory in several high-profile tournaments. XBOCT didn’t really earn big money until The International in 2011, but it certainly seems he has got the hang of it now.
- Earning :- $435,838.84
- Full Name : Oleksandr Dashkevych
- Status : Active
- Date of birth : December 29, 1987 (age 26)
Clement “Puppey” Ivanov :-
Clement “Puppey” Ivanov is the current team captain for Natus Vincere (Na`Vi).Estonian Clement “Puppey” Ivanov is pretty impressive. Having played in less than half of the tournaments MC has played in, Puppey has still earned more. At 23, Puppey finds himself as team captain of Natus Vincere – a Ukranian eSports team – and in this position he’s lead his team to victory in both the ESWC and The International. A significant amount of his earnings have been won playing DotA 2.
- Earning :- $433,638.84
- Full Name: Clement Ivanov
- Status: Active
- Date of birth: June 3, 1990 (age 23)
Jang “MC” Min Chul :-
Jang Min Chul, nicknamed MC/BossToss/President Toss/ObamaToss, is a Korean professional player of the computer game StarCraft II, currently playing as Protoss.Jang “MC” Min Chul has earned his place in the gamer world after playing in 75 tournaments, and earning almost half a million dollars doing so. MC is still very young at 22 and has a lot of time to move up on this list. He’s one of the best Protoss players out there, and consistently performs at a seemingly unbeatable level. MC is known for his pregame and postgame ceremonies – one of his most outlandish moments was when he dressed as Murloc for the 2011 MLG Providence Pro-Circuit, and not only that, but he performed an elaborate victory ceremony after he won against fellow gamer Mvp.
- Earning :- $426,526.25
- Born: June 17, 1991 (age 22)
Jang “Moon” Jae Ho :-
Jang “Moon” Jae Ho is a South Korean professional gamer of the popular Blizzard real-time strategy games Warcraft III and StarCraft II. He is seen by many as the best Night Elf player in the world.Jang “Moon” Jae Ho has played in a total of 78 tournaments. He is 27-years-old and his gaming career included playing as Night Elf in Warcraft III (Night Elf), and a Zerg in StarCraft II. He’s won over ten high-profile games including five championship tournaments as a player of Warcraft III, four seasons of MBCGame’s World War, and three nationally televised South-Korean leagues.
- Earning :- $424,757.00
- Born: December 14, 1986 (age 27)
- Nominations: eSports Player of the Year
Jung “Mvp” Jong Hyun :-
Jung „Mvp“ Jong-hyun (12. Februar 1991) ist ein professioneller südkoreanischer E-Sportler in dem Computerspiel StarCraft 2. Jung Jong-hyun ist neben NesTea einer der 5 Mitbegründer des Teams Incredible Miracle, welches von funf ehemaligen Starcraft-Broodwar-Spielern gegrundet wurde. Jung “Mvp” Jong Hyun has played in 49 tournaments thus far. He has become a legendary player in the GOMTV Global StarCraft II League. It’s a league hosted by Blizzard Entertainment and GomTV in South Korea – although it’s an international tournament, and there’s an English stream available as well. Hyun is not only a professional player of StarCraft II, but of StarCraft: Brood War and is a four time Global StarCraft II champion.
- Earning :- $390,116.38
Dmitriy “LighTofHeaveN” Kupriyanov :-
Dmitriy Kupriyanov, more famously known as LighTofHeaveN, is one of the most versatile DotA players in the world who played for Natus Vincere. He has the most tournament wins of any player in Dota history. He’s also the most successful ASUS (LAN event held in Russia/Ukraine, four times a year 2007-2011) attender with his 12 (from 20 possible) first placements with many different teams, proving himself to be one of the best players in the world of Dota, especially in the LAN environment.Russia’s Dmitriy “LighTofHeaveN” Kupriyanov takes the number ten spot. His total earnings are compiled from 23 tournaments. At 26, LighTofHeaveN has set himself up financially. In most of the tournaments he’s played in he has placed 1st or 2nd at international level.
- Earning :- $270,156
- Full Name: Dmitriy Kupriyanov
- Alternate IDs: Light, Lost, LostMySelf
- Status: Active
- Date of birth: January 4, 1988 (age 26)