In earlier years, this text has been easy to write down – the successful workforce at Dota 2’s The Worldwide claims the highest 5 spots with principally the identical quantity. As a result of COVID-19 pandemic, there was no TI this 12 months. On account of that cancellation and a few attention-grabbing developments on the planet of historical board video games performed on-line, 2020’s highest incomes gamers take a a lot totally different form than the historic norm.
First place on the listing could also be controversial to some – ought to chess even be thought-about an esport? The actual fact of the matter is that this dialogue is already moot. After the sudden rise of chess on Twitch over the summer season, the worlds of board video games and on-line gaming competitors are actually too carefully linked to separate. A number of esports organizations have signed chess gamers and streamers to their rosters, and massive identify manufacturers like Hennesy are taking word.
That is exemplified in 2020’s high esports participant based mostly on prize winnings – chess Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen. Carlsen is extensively considered the primary chess professional on the planet, and this 12 months he additionally ranks because the esports professional who has gained essentially the most prize cash. Subsequent 12 months, Carlsen has a shot to proceed rising that whole as increasingly more digital chess tournaments stand up – together with his personal firm’s Champions Chess Tour with its $1.5M USD prize pool.
Subsequent on the listing, we see that the Name of Obligation League picked up the place Dota 2 left off as numbers two by way of six are all from the league’s first-ever season champions, Dallas Empire. Whereas not one of the Empire roster turned in a single day millionaires like earlier Dota 2 champions, every participant picked up $300Ok from the win.
Often the Dota 2 crowd have rather more similar totals, however lots of the Empire gamers additionally participated in numerous Name of Obligation: Warzone occasions held by Twitch Rivals and different organizers that gave their last tallies extra of a variance. With Warzone remaining widespread and discovering secure floor within the battle royale house, CDL execs have a singular alternative to take part in vastly totally different esports ecosystems with largely transferable skillsets. It stays to be seen, nevertheless, how a lot of that may proceed to translate with a brand new Name of Obligation sport taking up for the CDL aspect of issues.
In seventh place we have now the only real Magic: the Gathering competitor on the listing. Paulo Vitor “PVDDR” Damo da Rosa was the Magic world champion for the 2019 season, which had its finals in February of this 12 months. The discharge of a contemporary digital shopper in Magic Area has allowed the decades-old card sport to quickly stand up as an esport, with a number of execs together with da Rosa touchdown contracts with excessive degree esports organizations.
Behind da Rosa we see a second chess Grandmaster make the listing. Hikaru Nakamura (who signed with TSM this 12 months) is a world-renowned chess competitor, however the esports world is aware of him greatest for his position in creating the summer season’s chess craze. Nakamura is among the main chess streamers on Twitch, and it was his time spent taking part in with high streamer Félix “xQc” Lengyel that kicked off this new wave of on-line board sport streaming.
Lastly, closing out the listing are two members from the runner-up CDL squad Atlanta FaZe. Once more, the remainder of the roster follows proper behind, however simply shy of the Prime 10, with every participant claiming $180Ok from that championship match.
Assuming the world opens up as soon as extra in direction of the top of 2021, we might by no means once more see this listing with out 5 Dota 2 gamers on the high. The very best incomes gamers of 2020 are an ideal instance of simply how out-of-the-ordinary this 12 months has been for all points of life, together with esports competitors.