Who Are the Biggest Esports Players Out There?

biggest esports players

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Last Updated: June 14, 2023

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The world of esports has experienced huge growth over the past decade in terms of its popularity and the number of professional players.

Esports, or competitive digital gaming, has evolved into a global phenomenon and one of the fastest expanding entertainment industries.

From online casinos like 888 to video multiplayer fantastical adventures, this is an industry that has gained mainstream recognition.

Tournaments and leagues are regularly broadcasted on television, streaming platforms and even stadiums – attracting millions of viewers worldwide.

Esports events, such as the League of Legends World Championship and The International (Dota 2), now rival traditional sports events in terms of audience. This growing audience has led to increased sponsorship, advertising, and investment.

It also means that more players are pursuing esports as a legitimate career path. With the growth of organized tournaments, leagues and team structures, the pathway to becoming a professional esports player has become more established.

Esports teams provide support, coaching, and financial opportunities for players, creating a professional system similar to traditional sports.

Major tournaments, such as those in Dota 2 and Fortnite, offer multi-million dollar prize pools, attracting top talent from around the world.

Esports teams and players also secure sponsorship deals with major brands.

Educational institutions have recognized the growth of esports and have begun courses and scholarships focused on competitive gaming.

Colleges and universities now have esports teams, coaching and facilities, providing a pathway for aspiring players to combine their passion for gaming with academic study.

Take a look at these top players who demonstrate the growth and prominence of esports:

top esports stars

Faker (Lee Sang-hyeok) – League of Legends (LoL)

  • Background: Faker, from South Korea, is widely regarded as the greatest LoL player of all time. He began playing at a young age and quickly rose to prominence in the competitive scene.
  • Achievements: Faker has won multiple World Championships with his team, T1 (formerly SK Telecom T1), and has dominated the mid-lane position. He is known for his exceptional mechanics, game sense, and ability to carry matches.
  • Impact: Faker’s skill and success have contributed to the popularity of LoL globally. He has inspired a generation of players and has become an iconic figure in the esports community.

s1mple (Oleksandr Kostyliev) – Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO)

  • Background: s1mple, from Ukraine, started his professional career in CS:GO at a young age thanks to his exceptional skill and game sense.
  • Achievements: s1mple has consistently been regarded as one of the best CS:GO players. He has achieved numerous individual awards and played for prominent teams like Natus Vincere (Na’Vi).
  • Impact: s1mple’s incredible aim, clutch plays and consistency have made him a fan favorite. He is known for his ability to carry his team in high-pressure situations.

JJoNak (Bang Sung-hyeon) – Overwatch

  • Background: JJoNak, from South Korea, made a name as an exceptional support player and quickly gained recognition for his Zenyatta play.
  • Achievements: JJoNak was the first-ever recipient of the Overwatch League MVP award in 2018. He played for New York Excelsior and was known for his game-changing plays.
  • Impact: JJoNak’s dominance as a support player helped revolutionize the image of support roles in Overwatch. His innovative playstyle made him a revered figure in the Overwatch community.

ZywOo (Mathieu Herbaut) – Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO)

  • Background: ZywOo, from France, burst onto the CS:GO scene as a young promising talent with exceptional aim.
  • Achievements: ZywOo has achieved multiple awards. Playing for Team Vitality, his impact in matches has been instrumental to the team’s success.
  • Impact: ZywOo’s natural talent has made him a rising star in the game.

Faker (Kuro Takhasomi) – Dota 2

  • Background: Faker, originally from Germany, is known as KuroKy in the Dota 2 scene. He has been playing Dota since a young age and started his professional career in Dota 2.
  • Achievements: KuroKy has played for several top Dota 2 teams, including Team Liquid. He achieved significant success with Team Liquid, winning The International 2017 and becoming the first player to surpass $4 million in career earnings.
  • Impact: KuroKy’s leadership has been an inspiration for many players.

The future for esports star players like these looks promising. Their profile, value and status will be likely to continue to rise.

As the industry expands, more investment and media attention will be directed toward esports and its star players. This increased exposure can in turn lead to higher profiles and elevated status for top players.

Major tournaments and leagues will increasingly offer substantial prize pools, providing significant financial opportunities for players.

And above all, Esports organizations and teams are becoming much more established and structured, providing coaching staff, analysts, training facilities, and player welfare programs.

These structures will help players develop in their careers – and will lead to the rise of more star players.

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