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How Much Do Esports Gamers Make? Pro Player Statistics in 2024

Last updated: 6 months ago
5 min read

Depending on the player’s performance and the popularity of the game, esports players can earn anywhere from $12,000 to $187,200 a year.

Dive into interesting professional gaming statistics to learn:

  • What is the average global and US salary for esports gamers
  • Who are the highest-earning gamers, and what game offers the highest prizes
  • What country has the most esports players, and which one earned the most money from prizes
How Much Do Esports Gamers Make

How Much Do Gamers Make (Top Stats)

  • Professional esports gamers can earn anywhere from $12,000 to $187,200 per year, excluding extra sponsorships and bonuses.
  • Until now, more than 138 professional gamers earned more than $1 million, with N0tail leading the pack with more than $7 million in earnings.
  • With more than $143 million given in prizes, Fortnite is the game with the highest prizes, whereas Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has awarded the most players and held the most tournaments.
  • Chinese esports gamers earned a total of $217 million in prizes compared to USA’s $210 million, despite China having 3 times more pro players.

How much do esports players make?

How many esports players earn a salary?

The highest-paid esports players

What are the highest-paying esports games?

The highest-paying esports gamers, by game

How Much Do Esports Gamers Make?

  • Depending on the game’s popularity, esports salaries can range from $6,000 to $420,000 per year.
Esports player can earn from $6,000 to $420,000 per year

That’s without the prizes they might earn by winning esports tournaments, money from sponsors, and receiving other kinds of bonuses.

As you can see, salaries range heavily depending on the player’s skill, the game he/she is playing, and the team. Top-ranking professional esports teams from Dota 2 and League of Legends pay their members hefty amounts.

Here’s a table of how salaries can vary depending on how good the players are and which popular esports title they’re playing:

GameAnnual salary for
top-ranking
pro players
Annual salary for
average-ranking
pro players
Annual salary for
low-ranking
pro players
Dota 2$420,000
(maximum in
the league)
$24,000-$180,000$6,000-$12,000
(minimum in
the league)
League of Legends$410,000$105,000
(average in
the league)
$75,000
(minimum
in the US)
Call of Duty$363,000
(average among
best players)
n/a$55,225
(minimum in
the league)
Counter-Strike:
Global Offensive
$480,000$180,000-$240,000$60,000
NBA2Kn/an/a$33,000-$38,000
(minimum in
the league)
Fortnite$77,000
(in the US)
$46,874 (average
in the US)
$27,500
(minimum
in the US)
Rocket League$139,000
(in the US)
$56,445
(in the US)
$18,000
(in the US)
(youRshape, hotspawn, 2k League, ZipRecruiter, ZipRecruiter 2, CoD League, LeagueFeed, Novint, AFK)

Read more about the Rocket League.

But the esports world of competitive gaming is a hard job…

How long do pro gamers spend playing games daily?

  • Professional gamers spend an average of 12 to 18 hours per day playing games.

That can have adverse health effects on players, such as exhaustion, injuries, negative impact on social life, and symptoms of burning out. This is playing with video game addiction.

An average gamer spends less time playing in a week, around 8 hours, than a pro in a day.

(Cyber Athletiks)

How Much Does a Gamer Make a Month?

  • The average salary of a professional esports gamer is between $500 to $35,000 per month.

As seen from the table above, their salary is based on the game they’re playing and how skilled they are.

(AFK)

  • For example, looking at the highest earners in esports, Johan Sundstein (N0tail) earned an average of $598,680 each year, or $49,890 each month, salary and prizes included.

On the other hand, Markus Wallsten (pronax), who sits in the 1000th place among the highest esports earners, earned an average of $23,507 a year, or $1,959 a month.

(Esportsearnings 2)

How Much Do Professional Gamers Make a Year?

The esports earnings of professional gamers vary greatly based on skill level and the game they compete in:

  • A top-tier esports gamer, on average, makes $314,833 per year.
  • An average esports gamer earns an estimated $104,063 per year.
  • A low-ranking esports gamer makes around $40,032 per year.

The number is calculated using the salary data, sponsorship money, and rewards of average-ranking players from the table of salaries above. It’s an estimation, not a precise number.

Here’s the table of average annual salaries based on the gamer rank, using the previous data:

Average annual salary
for a top-ranking
esports player
Average annual salary
for an average-ranking
esports player
Average annual salary
for a low-ranking
esports player
$314,833$104,063$40,032
(youRshape, hotspawn, 2k League, ZipRecruiter, ZipRecruiter 2, CoD League, LeagueFeed, Novint, AFK)
  • Good streamers can pull between $1,500 and $2,000 monthly from streaming.

(Esports Grizzly)

And for streaming you need a top quality gaming headset with a clear gaming microphone that won’t annoy the viewers.

How much do professional gamers make in the US?

  • The average American pro gamer earns $64,168 per year.

Here’s a more detailed range of US esports players’ annual salaries:

Highest
annual
salary
in the US
Average
annual
salary
in the US
Median
annual
salary
in the US
Lowest
annual
salary
in the US
$187,200$64,168$44,680$19,910
(Comparably)
  • Looking at the highest American earners in esports, Kyle Giersdorf (Bugha) earned a total of $3,491,162, salary and prizes included.

Or an average of $698,232 per year.

On the other hand, Nick Costello (mist), who sits in the 995th place among the highest esports earners, earned a total of 238,132 (or $47,626 per year).

(Esportsearnings 2)

How Many Esports Players Earn a Salary?

  • 36% of Finnish esports organizations paid their esports players a salary in 2020.

18% of organizations used result-based compensation and bonuses, with the other 18% giving some players a salary. 64% of players received other kinds of compensation.

The survey contained 11 organizations.

(KAMK)

How Much Top Gamers Make: The Highest-Paid Esports Players

  • Esports player N0tail (real name Johan Sundstein from Denmark) is the highest-paid professional gamer, he’s earned more than $7 million.
Highest-earning esports players

Here’s the breakdown of the highest-earning esports players, total earnings throughout their careers, and what game made them the most money:

Gamer nameReal nameTotal earningsGame
N0tailJohan Sundstein$7,184,163Dota 2
JerAxJesse Vainnikka$6,486,948Dota 2
anaAnathan Pham$6,024,411Dota 2
CebSebastien Debs$5,823,909Dota 2
TopsonTopias Taavitsainen$5,690,417Dota 2
KuroKyKuro Takhasomi$5,276,347Dota 2
Miracle-Amer Al-Barkawi$4,877,285Dota 2
MinD_ContRoLIvan Ivanov$4,660,359Dota 2
MatumbamanLasse Urpalainen$4,532,649Dota 2
GHMaroun Merhej$4,274,654Dota 2
(Esportsearnings 2)
  • At least 138 professional gamers earned more than $1 million.

Furthermore, more than 1000 gamers earned more than $100,000.

(Esportsearnings)

What are The Highest-Paying Esports Games?

  • Dota 2 is the highest-paying game in terms of the prize pool, already awarding $310,338,833 to 4508 players across 1707 esports competitions.
GameTotal prize pools
paid to winners
Number of
awarded players
Number of
tournaments
Dota 2$310,338,8334508 players1707 tournaments
Fortnite$143,578,3815764 players969 tournaments
Counter-Strike:
Global Offensive
$140,677,04715,276 players6423 tournaments
League of
Legends
$98,171,0958534 players2746 tournaments
Arena of Valor$58,682,3191406 players123 tournaments
PUBG Mobile$58,615,6553223 players218 tournaments
PUBG$48,748,3973509 players548 tournaments
StarCraft II$38,193,3322157 players6680 tournaments
Rainbow Six Siege$30,450,7612479 players466 tournaments
(Esportsearnings 3)
  • China is the largest esports earner in the world, with 6387 esports athletes earning $217,718,754 combined.
Highest-earning countries in esports

Here’s the breakdown:

CountryTotal earnings
from all gamers
Number of gamers
that earned money
China$217,718,7546387 players
USA$210,666,37422417 players
South
Korea
$119,515,8694813 players
Russia$59,185,7374524 players
Denmark$47,498,8951843 players
Sweden$45,132,7212902 players
France$42,291,7974981 players
Brazil$40,180,7253885 players
Canada$37,763,8953432 players
Germany$36,762,7365371 players
(Esportsearnings 5)
  • Global esports revenue is expected to reach $1.38 billion in 2022.

That’s more than $200 million compared to 2021.

YearGlobal esports
revenue
2025
(estimation)
$1.866 billion
2022$1.384 billion
2021$1.136 billion
2020$996 million
(SBJ)

The highest-paid esports gamers by the game

  • N0tail is also the highest earner in Dota 2, collecting approximately $7,172,436 in prizes.

Earnings in Dota 2 represent 99.84% of all N0tail’s earnings.

Player
nickname
Game where a
player earned
money
Total earnings
from that game
Percentage of player’s
earnings from the game
compared to his overall
total earnings
N0tailDota 2$7,172,43699.84%
BughaFortnite$3,477,09599.64%
DupreehCounter-Strike:
Global Offensive
$2,015,831100%
FakerLeague of Legends$1,434,271100%
paraboyPUBG Mobile$1,383,046100%
kakipShadowverse$1,228,551100%
FlyArena of Valor$1,195,988100%
SerralStarCraft II$1,182,963100%
LokiPUBG$975,717100%
DrNyktersteinchess24$838,24280.85%
(Esportsearnings 4)

How Do Professional Gamers Make Money?

Professional gamers earn money from various sources:

  • Tournament prize money
  • Salary
  • Sponsors: Just to stream playthroughs, sponsors can pay anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 per hour, depending on how “big” the streamer is (Quora)
  • Bonuses: Gamers can receive a bonus worth up to $20,000 per tournament if they win (allTop9)
  • Streaming (Twitch’s cut is usually 50/50, but some streamers were able to negotiate a 30/70 cut to retain more earnings)
  • Online videos (like posting videos on YouTube or other platforms where they can be monetized)

Read more:

Conclusion

This is a little glimpse of how much do esports players make by playing video games at a high level.

You have to keep in mind that while working in the esports industry sounds like a dream job, in reality, it’s extremely physically exhausting. So those high paychecks are well deserved.

Have you ever played professionally? What video game did you play and did you earn any money? We’d be curious to know, so leave a comment below.

Sources: Esports Grizzly, CNBC, Weplay Esports, Comparably, Esportsearnings, Esportsearnings 2, Esportsearnings 3, Esportsearnings 4, Esportsearnings 5, Quora, allTop9, Teknos, KAMK, SBJ, Cyber Athletiks, youRshape, hotspawn, ZipRecruiter, ZipRecruiter 2, 2k League, CoD League, LeagueFeed, Novint, AFK

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