Although the COVID-19 has fuelled impressive growth in the number of viewers and engagement with eSports online, it also cut down some of the eSports industry’s key revenue streams.
The pandemic caused considerable disruption to eSports events and tournaments, directly impacting the players’ earnings this year.
According to data presented by Safe Betting Sites, the top five eSports players by overall earnings won just over $132,000 in 2020, down from $15.6 million a year ago.
COVID-19 Delayed Prize Pools Worth Millions
Just like in the sports industry, the coronavirus pandemic caused massive cancellations of events and tournaments in the eSports business. Epic Games is not holding a Fortnite World Cup this year. Call of Duty World Championship has also been canceled.
However, the delay of the DOTA 2’s The International 2020, with its $40 million worth prize pool, had the most significant impact on the leading players’ earnings.
In 2019, Team OG won The International, with each of the five players competing in the tournament winning over $3.1 million. However, the EsportsEarnings data show their earnings significantly dropped this year.
Johan “N0tail” Sundstein, the eSports players with the highest overall earnings, won around $50,000 in online competitions in 2020.
His teammate Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka, as the eSports player with second-highest overall earnings, won a hundred times less than that, only $548.
Statistics show the 21-year old Australian eSports player Anathan “ana” Pham had no earnings this year, while Sébastien “Ceb” Debs and Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen earned $45,000 and $36,500, respectively.
Top Five Team Liquid Players Won $380,000 in 2020
The EsportsEarnings data show that Team Liquid tops the list of the eSports teams with the highest overall earnings. As one of the most respected and successful brands in eSports history, Team Liquid won $35.8 million in total prize money, $1.9 million more than Team OG.
Statistics also show the top five Team Liquid players won around $380,000 in 2020, compared to $4.9 million in 2109. Still, three times more than their OG rivals.
The 22-year old Finnish Dota 2 player Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen, as the fifth highest-paid eSports player globally, won around $36,500 in online competitions in 2020.
His teammate Kuro “KuroKy” Takhasomi won $61,300 this year. Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi, the seventh eSports player by overall earnings, won $100,600 this year. Almost half of that amount came from online tournaments.
The Bulgarian DOTA 2 player, Ivan “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov and Aliwi “w33” Omar follow with $90,600 in 2020 earnings, each.