'Dota 2,' 'Fortnite,' 'League of Legends' Among Top Esports Prize Givers

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'Dota 2' streamer and biggest esports earner Johan "N0tail" Sundstein

A new study from public gaming resource Esports Earnings highlights the industry's top earners and prize pools in competitive gaming.

According to information collected by public gaming resource Esports Earnings that analyzed the top-paying games in the global esports industry, battle arena strategy titles such as Valve's Dota 2 and Riot Games' League of Legends are where the big prize money is at.

Leading the largest prize pools for competitive gaming is Dota 2, which has handed out an overall figure of more than $219 million in tournament money. Shooter Counter Strike: Global Offensive follows with $87.1 million, with Epic Games' battle royale Fortnite ($84.4 million), League of Legends ($73 million) and Blizzard's real-time strategy game Starcraft II ($32.1 million) rounding out the top five games awarding prize money in professional tournaments.

The biggest individual earner overall is 26-year-old Danish player Johan Sundstein, better known as his alias N0tail. The Dota 2 player, who is captain of the OG team, boasts total earnings that eclipse $6.8 million. In 2019 alone, he earned over $3 million in winnings.

Fellow Dota 2 player and OG team member Jesse Vainikka, who comes from Finland and goes by the name JerAx, is second on the list of top overall earners with over $6.4 million in total earnings. And 20-year-old Australian Dota 2 player and OG team member Anathan Pham, known simply as ana, is third, with just over $6 million in total earnings.

The fourth and fifth highest earners, French gamer Sebastien Debs (known as Ceb) and Finnish gamer Topias Taavitsainen (Topson), are also Dota 2 players on the OG team. 

Fortnite streamer Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf, 16, emerged as No. 12 on the overall earners list with over $3 million in total winnings. Giersdorf made headlines in July when he won the inaugural Fortnite World Cup tournament. 

In competitive tournaments, the data indicates that more than $700 million in prize money has been paid out to professional gamers, who can earn up to $15,000 an hour broadcasting games on live-streaming platforms.