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The Highest Paid Esports Players in Past Year


Competitive video gaming, or esports, has exploded into a billion-dollar industry in recent years. Top players can earn millions per year in tournaments, sponsorships, and streaming revenue. Here is a look at the highest-paid esports players of 2022 based on total earnings:

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1. Johan “N0tail” Sundstein – $7.2 million

Danish Dota 2 player N0tail is the top-earning esports athlete for 2022. He plays the carry role for OG, one of the most dominant Dota 2 teams. N0tail has won The International tournament four times, with earnings of over $7 million just from this event. He also earns from team contracts, streaming, and sponsorships with brands like Red Bull.

2. Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka – $6.9 million

Another Dota 2 professional, JerAx, won The International with OG in 2018 and 2019 as their support player. This Finnish gamer retired after the 2019 win but still ranks among the highest-paid due to his TI earnings and income from streaming and sponsorships.

3. Anathan “Ana” Pham – $6.7 million

Ana is an Australian carry player and two-time International champion with OG, earning over $6.5 million. He took a break from competitive play in 2020 but remains one of the highest-paid players from his TI winnings and lucrative contract with OG.

4. Topson – $6.4 million

Topson is a mid-laner for esports club OG. This Finnish player helped OG win The International 2018 and 2019, scoring over $6 million from just those two tournaments. He also earns from Red Bull and other sponsorships.

5. Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi – $6.3 million

As captain of Team Liquid, German Dota 2 player KuroKy was the first pro gamer to earn over $1 million in tournament prizes back in 2017.


His total career earnings from numerous Dota tournaments now exceed $6 million.

6. Lasse Urpalainen – $5.4 million

Also known as Matumbaman, this Finnish Dota 2 player won The International 2017 with Team Liquid, earning over $1.9 million. He remains among the paid players from tournament winnings and his role as a carry player for Team Secret.

7. Ivan Ivanov – $5.0 million

Russian esports athlete MinD_ContRoL is the offlaner for OG, winning four Internationals with the team. His earnings from these TI trophies combine with income from OG, Red Bull, and other deals.

8. Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi – $4.7 million

Jordanian-Polish mid-laner Miracle- won TI7 and earned over $2.1 million with Team Liquid. He remains among the paid players as the carrier for Nigma Galaxy and through partnerships with Monster Energy, Thermaltake, and others.

9. Maroun Merhej – $4.5 million

Lebanese Dota 2 player GH plays for OG as their offlaner. He won two Valve Majors along with four TI championships with OG since 2018, earning over $4.5 million in total esports prize money.

10. Clement Ivanov – $4.1 million

French Dota 2 support player Ceb took a break from esports in 2018 but returned to play with OG, winning TI8 and TI9. His $4 million in earnings from these two tournaments cemented his status as one of the highest-paid esports athletes.


The massive prize pools in events like Dota 2’s The International have allowed top players to earn life-changing money from competitive gaming. But earning esports income often requires winning multiple world championships. Long-term success also requires expanding into streaming, sponsorships, and other business deals.