By Corey Dieteman
August 28, 2018
It wasn’t that long ago where playing video games wasn’t a viable option to make a living, but times have changed. The most successful players have been able to make over millions of dollars, and others have made more than six figures. Listed below are the top ten US esports players of all-time by earnings won at esports competitions:
Saahil Arora is the highest-earning USA esports player of all-time having earned over $3.02 million in his Dota 2 playing career. He ranks No. 3 in the world in winnings. The Madison, Wisconsin, native has competed in all but the initial yearly Dota 2 Championship series, The International. Arora is considered one of the most talented offlaners in the western hemisphere.
Arora’s best year while competing was in 2015 when he and his Evil Geniuses’ teammates earned multiple first-place finishes. The year began for them at the Dota 2 Asia Championships 2015, where they earned a 3-0 victory over Vici Gaming for a $1.2 million prize. Arora and EG’s success continued onto into the International 2015, as they claimed the $6.6 million prize for defeating CDEC gaming.
Arora and Evil Geniuses failed to repeat as champions at the International 2016 but still were successful as they finished third, taking home a prize of $2.1 million.
Arora has since left Evil Geniuses and is now a member of Fnatic in Malaysia.
Peter Dager ranks second on the list with an all-time earning of $2.87 million with 99% of it coming from his time competing in Dota 2. The Fort Wayne, Indiana, native began his esports career with Heroes of Newerth. He joined team compLexity in 2012 and placed second in both the DreamHoN Winter 2012 and DreamHoN Summer 2013.
At the end of 2013, Dager decided to focus on Dota 2 primarily. He first gained recognition at the International 3, and his talents earned him recruitment to Super Strong Dinosaurs. The group didn’t last as they decided to disband, but this allowed Dager to create a group with former teammate “Zai” and new teammates “Fear,” “UNiVeRsE” and “Arteezy” under the name S A D B O Y S.
The group S A D B O Y S later became known as Evil Geniuses. Dager’s most successful season was with EG in 2015. The team won the Dota 2 Asia Championship and later won the International 2015.
In 2016, Dager became the CEO of team Evil Geniuses and retired from competitive play. His retirement was short-lived as he came out of retirement after the International 2017 and signed with OpTic Gaming.
Clinton Loomis is the last American member of the 2015 International Evil Geniuses team. The Medford, Oregon native ranks third with an all-time earing of $2.49 million. Loomis has been competing in esports since 2005-06.
Loomis started out in esports by playing the original Dota before transferring over to Dota 2 upon its release. He bounced around from teams before joining Online Kingdom prior to the International 2011. Loomis’ team was invited to the tournament and finished seventh. A few months after the tournament, he joined Evil Geniuses, where he has been ever since.
In 2015, Loomis and his teammates of Evil Geniuses won the Dota 2 Asia Championship and claimed victory at the International 2015.
Loomis kept competing until after the International 2016, where he decided to become the coach of Evil Geniuses. Although, in 2017, Loomis rejoined the active roster and became captain after the departures of “Zai” and “ppd.”
David Hull is the first esports competitor that isn’t a member of Evil Geniuses on the list. The Ohio native ranks fourth on the all-time earnings list with $751,423. He has been a member of ROOT Gaming, FIRE, Team Archon, Digital Chaos and currently with compLexity Gaming.
Hull was inspired to get into esports by playing Starcraft and watching ROOT Gaming and their players, “Destiny” and “Catz.” He eventually shifted his focus to Heroes of Newerth, but with the decline of the game, he shortly moved to Dota 2.
After making his mark through solo matchmaking and events like Sunday Evening Cup Series and NEL, Hull earned his chance to sign with a pro team. Hull joined ROOT Gaming in May 2015. Hull didn’t stay with the team long as he eventually joined Fire and then Team Archon. After a disappointing 13-16th finish at the Shanghai Major 2016 with Team Archon, Hull left and joined Digital Chaos in 2016.
Hull and Digital Chaos saw immediate success together as they won the Dota 2 Canada Cup -Season 7. Later in 2016, Hull and his teammates fell in the grand finals match at the International 2016 to Wings Gaming to finish second and earn a $3.4 million prize pool.
Ian Porter is the top esports player that doesn’t have a Dota 2 background, as he has earned over $681,000 during his career competing in Call of Duty and Halo. He is the winningest player in Call of Duty history with over 30 major wins. The Chicago native has been a member of Evil Gaming, Quantic Gaming, compLexity Gaming, Evil Geniuses and currently a member of OpTic Gaming.
Porter started competing online through GameBattles and Major League Gaming in Halo. After Halo: Reach was dropped by the Major League Gaming Pro Circuit, Porter decided to focus on Call of Duty. He found immediate success in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, winning Machinima Frag Cup IV with compLexity gaming. He later finished fourth at the MLG Winter Championship 2013, becoming the first ever pro gamer in both Halo and Call of Duty.
Porter earned his first premier title in 2014 as he and his compLexity gaming teammates won the Call of Duty 2014 championships. He became a two-time champion in 2017 by winning the Call of Duty World League Championship with OpTic Gaming.
Jordan Kaplan is one of the most successful Call of Duty players in the world and ranks sixth all-time in earnings with over $642,000 in winnings.
The New Jersey native started competing at a young age, as he started playing the Call of Duty series at 14. His first COD game was Modern Warfare, where he finished second at the MLG Online National Championship and third at the MLG National Championship 2010.
Kaplan put himself into the Call of Duty record books by becoming one of only two players to win back-to-back Call of Duty World Championships. He won the Call of Duty Championship in 2015 with Denial Esports while earning the 2016 Call of Duty World League Championship title in 2016 with Team Envy. Kaplan came close to becoming a three-time champion in 2017 but finished second at the Call of Duty World League Championship.
Kaplan is currently a member of Luminosity Gaming.
Tony Campbell is the winningest player in Halo of all-time and ranks seventh in earnings with over $594,000. The Michigan native started competing in Halo tournaments in 2010 at the MLG Columbus as a member of Fire Breathing Franks.
He has since gone on to win at least one event for seven different teams: Vicious Intent, Sicker Than Yo Average, Infamous, Believe the Hype, Evil Geniuses, Counter Logic Gaming and OpTic Gaming.
Campbell made his real mark in Halo esports when he and his Counter Logic Gaming teammates won the Halo World Championship in 2016 with a $1 million prize pool. Campbell went on to repeat as champion in 2017 with OpTic Gaming while finishing second in the 2018 World Championship as a member of TOX Gaming.
Matthew Piper is eighth on the list, as he has earned over $588,000 during his esports career. He began his competitive gaming career with Halo and won seven events over three different games before switching to Call of Duty.
Piper has won a major tournament in Halo: Reach, Halo 4, Halo 2: Anniversary, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Call of Duty: Black Ops III.
Piper’s most successful year was in 2017 when he and OpTic Gaming captured the 2017 Call of Duty World League Championship and the 2017 CWL Global Pro League Stage 2. The championship awarded them a $600,000 prize pool, while the Global Pro League winning was $212,500.
Piper is currently a member of Luminosity Gaming.
Paul Duarte ranks ninth on the list with an all-time earning of more than $584,000. He is a two-time Halo World Champion and is considered one of the most successful players in the history of the game.
He has been a member of Relapse, Warriors, Status Quo, Believe in Hype, Shoot to Kill, Counter Logic Gaming, OpTic Gaming and currently a part of TOX Gaming.
Duarte teamed up with Tony “Lethul” Campbell and his other Counter Logic Gaming teammates to win the 2016 Halo World Championship and the $1 million prize pool. The duo paired up once again and joined OpTic to win the 2017 Halo World Championships.
Duarte is a frequent teammate of Canadian Mathew “Royal2” Fiorante since 2011. They have only placed outside the top three once together.
Seth Abner is a 2017 Call of Duty World Championship and ranks tenth all-time in esports earnings with over $583,000.
He has played competitively since 2010 and has played for Team FeaR, Team Obey, LeveraGe, Quantic LeveraGe, OpTic Gaming, apex eSports NA and Team Envy. He has been with OpTic Gaming since 2014.
Abner has found success with OpTic Gaming, as he is the second-winningest player in Call of Duty history with over 25 major championships, only behind teammate Crimsix. Abner became a Call of Duty World League Champion in 2017 by taking home the $600,000 prize pool with OpTic Gaming. In 2017, Abner and OpTic also won the 2017 CWL Global Pro League Stage 2, netting a prize of $212,500.
Abner is the only player in all esports to win back-to-back X Games gold medals.