European eSports Players Dominate Top Earner Rankings

September 21, 2022

European players are dominating the current esports rankings of the top earners, with seven of the top ten hailing from the Old Continent. The Danish player Johan Sundstein, known as N0tail, has the highest overall earnings with a total of over £6.1 million, closely followed by Jesse Vainikka, aka JerAx from Finland, who has made over £5.5 million from the sport.

However, European players are facing competition from around the world in the form of the Australian Anathan Pham, better known as ana, who is challenging the domination of the two Scandinavians, posting earnings of over £5.2 million.

These figures underline the massive boom in esports, with global market revenue from the sport now worth £1.3 billion. The latest forecast shows that esports is set to continue to grow exponentially over the next three years, with total revenue predicted to be over £2.5 billion by 2025.

The wide appeal of eSports

Esports is particularly popular in the United States and Australia. In the list of highest earnings by country, the 22,228 players in the US have earned over £183 million, a sum which is bettered only by China.

This is further evidenced by the inclusion of esports betting markets on online gambling sites, such as betting sites in Australia, which offer odds on matches in tournaments such as the CS:GO | ESL Pro League. Esports betting has come a long way in a short period of time. Unibet, for example, provides a variety of markets, such as the most kills in the respective match and the total rounds in a match. Bookmakers also provide live streams to players and in-play betting.

Dedicated eSports venues

The impact of the burgeoning esports industry is resulting in the creation of arenas, particularly gaming venues in North America, with the 2,500-capacity Esports Stadium Arlington, based in Texas, which was opened in 2018. Another ambitious project is the Fusion Arena, which is to be built in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and will have a capacity of 3,500. The original plan was for the stadium, which has a construction cost of around £43 million, to be dedicated solely to esports, but it will now serve as a multi-use arena.

The total number of US players clearly outnumbers other esports nations, emphasizing the growth of the sport in the United States. Australia, with 2,869 players, has attained a respectable 14th place in the highest earnings rankings, with a total of over £20 million. Esports in Australia is popular thanks to the world record set by Okan Kaya in 2012 when he played Call of Duty for over 135 hours. To be precise, his marathon endured for 135 hours, 15 minutes, and 10 seconds. This remains the longest consecutive period anyone has played CoD in the history of the game.

The wide reach of eSports

These developments are increasing the visibility of esports as it continues to grow in popularity around the world. A fact demonstrated by the presence in the top ten earner rankings of the Jordanian Amer Al-Barkawi, known as Miracle-, and Maroun Merhej, aka GH, who is from Lebanon. This underlines the international nature of esports, which is why many are calling for esports as an Olympic sport. Another factor is the value of media rights, which is the second highest contributor to global esports revenue, worth almost £180 million, as the 270 million esports enthusiasts worldwide are supplied with live streams of the sport. Here too, the number of esports fans is predicted to grow over the next three years, with the amount expected to reach over 320 million by 2025.

As esports continues to experience tremendous growth, we are likely to see an increase in the number of players from around the world, forcing their way onto the rankings of the highest earners thanks to increased access to the sport.


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