Join gaming leaders, alongside GamesBeat and Facebook Gaming, for their 2nd Annual GamesBeat & Facebook Gaming Summit | GamesBeat: Into the Metaverse 2 this upcoming January 25-27, 2022. Learn more about the event. 


Among all the professional franchises in esports, Evil Geniuses is No. 1. To date, its teams have won $15.4 million from 632 tournaments.

The Oakland, California-based operation has its Dota 2 team to thank for this. The popular multiplayer online battle arena game accounts for nearly 90 percent of Evil Geniuses’s total earnings. The second highest-grossing team is the China-based Wings Gaming, which has $9.7 million from 21 tournaments. These rankings come from the Champions of Esports report, a new study from gambling platform Unibet.

These findings reflect the exponential growth of esports in recent years. According to intelligence firm Newzoo, it’s a business that will generate $696 million in revenues in 2017, a number which includes marketing budgets, sponsorships, media rights, tickets, and merchandise.

Due to Evil Geniuses’s dominance in Dota 2, almost all of its players occupy the top slots in Unibet’s list of the most successful players in the world. They’re also some of the highest-earning male players in the business.

Event

The 2nd Annual GamesBeat and Facebook Gaming Summit and GamesBeat: Into the Metaverse 2

January 25 – 27, 2022

Learn More

Above: The top earning players graph from Unibet’s study.

In contrast, the highest-earning woman — Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn — earned $171,000 from playing sci-fi strategy game StarCraft II. The huge difference from No. 1 male player Saahil “Universe” Arora isn’t a surprise. Winnings fluctuate wildly depending on the game, and Dota 2 tournaments are known for their lucrative prize pools (The International championship alone awarded over $20 million to teams in 2016, a combination of funds from developer Valve and from the community via in-game transactions).

For both sexes, however, Unibet concluded that 25 is the “most lucrative age” in esports. Profits sharply decline for players in their 30s.

Above: Esports is a young person’s game.

Image Credit: Unibet

And of all the countries in the world, the U.S. has the most active players with 2,891, with China (1,001 competitors) in second place. However, China beats the U.S. when it comes to overall winnings. Chinese teams earned $19.4 million, while American teams top out at $14.7 million.

Unibet gathered the data from statistics site Statista, the TeamLiquid esports wiki, Esportsearnings, Newzoo, and streaming platform Twitch. You can check out the rest of the study here.

GamesBeat

GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:
  • Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
  • The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Special members-only interviews, chats, and "open office" events with GamesBeat staff
  • Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
  • And maybe even a fun prize or two
  • Introductions to like-minded parties
Become a member