Gamers have been playing head to head in video games since 1962, and gaming has seen years of national and internation competitions and tournaments taking place. However, in the 1980s, the competitions took off in a big way and around the world, electronic contests got bigger and better. By the time the new millennium came around eSports was big business and millions of players were flocking to play the most competitive games.
Esports is now a global industry with millions of dollars in revenue. There are sponsors, teams, leagues, fans and of course we can't forget the players. These are professional gamers who compete at the highest level and have made successful and lucrative careers from prize winnings and endorsement deals.
There are a number of players who have really made a name for themselves and we've chosen our top 10. We came up with this list because we consider them to have the greatest skill, star quality and to have had a great influence on the industry and eSports history.
Nicknamed Miracle, Amer is a pro gamer that competes for Team Liquid Dota 2. He takes the mid-laner positions but can also carry in-game. He was the first DOTA player to reach 9,000 MMR and also won the eSports Rookie of the Year in 2016. Amer was 12 when he started playing for fun, but from the beginning he was winning and beating everyone he played. His greatest achievement to date was when he competed for Liquid at The International 7. The squad won the DOTA Championship and claimed a prize of $10.8 million.
Saahil is a 27 year old gamer from Wisconsin, America. He's been playing in the eSports scene for a couple of years now and is a well respected DOTA 2 offlaner. His passion has long been astronomy and where his nickname 'UniVeRsE' came from. Together with his high school friends he started by playing the video game StarCraft. He is part of the team Evil Geniuses and they made their debut at Monster Energy Invitational winning over Cloud 9 in the finals. His best win to date was in the International 2016, when he won 3rd place and walked away with a prize of more than £2 million.
This pro gamer heralds from Bulgaria and he plays for Team Liquid. His best play has been with DOTA 2 heroes such as Dark Seer, Nature's Prophet and Beastmaster. His nickname is MinD_ContRoL, and he is well-know for his smiling face both before and after events. He has been playing computer games from the age of 5, when his grandmother bought him his first computer. He joined his first eSports team in 2014 and played with several more before joining Team Liquid.
Peter Dager, nicknamed PPD, comes from Fort Wayne, Indiana and is captain and support player in the Evil Geniuses roster. The Super Mario game is what spiked his interest in computer games, during his early school days. He became more committed after high school and started his eSport career with Heroes of Newerth. He is known for being a quite outspoken gamer. His best performances have been playing Alchemist. His greatest success was at The International 2015, when he won a total of $1.3 million.
This professional gamer is considered to be the greatest Warcraft 3 player of all time. Ever since Warcraft 3 became a part of the competitive scene Moon has been consistently winning against the best of the best. He also has a place in gaming history books because of the record-breaking contract he received in 2009. Korean team WeMade FOX gave him a $500,000 contract.
This is the most important player that has ever come out of the United States. If success is rated in prize money, he's at the top of the list because he has been the single highest earner in eSports history. He was at the height if his fame in the early 2000s and no-one has been able to match him since. Although his passion and pleasure was gaming, he always considered it more of a job. Practising longer and smarter than any of the competition, his dedication shone through as he won tournament after tournament.
Lee is a League of Legends superstar and possibly the best player ever in the largest and most competitive esports game in history. Lee burst onto the scene in 2013, when he was only 17 years old. He had been scouted by the biggest eSports team in Korea, SK Telecom. He is one of only two League of Legends players who have won 3 World titles.
The highest earner and most dominant Starcraft player of all time is Lee Young Ho (Flash). He has more than $400,00 in tournament wins and hundreds of thousands in contracts and endorsements. He owns a ridiculous 70% win rate against the world's top competition. He also holds the record for the highest rating of all time as well as for the longest tenure as the Number 1 ranked player in the world.
His nickname is KuroKy and he is the captain of Team Liquid. His game is Dota 2 and to date his total earnings have exceeded $3.5 million. Only 24 years of age and coming from Berlin, Germany he is ranked World Number 1. His interest in video games began when he was only 4 years old and he started with Nintendo. He had problems with his legs when he was young, so decided to enter the world of computer gaming. At present Kuroky is with Team Liquid, a European esports organisation. His most outstanding performance was with Team Secret when they competed at The International 2015. They lost to Virtus Pro, finished in 8th place, but still walked away with an amazing $829,000.
Nicknamed Matumbaman, Lasse is a Finnish professional player who competes for Team Liquid. He currently handles the carry role for his DOTA 2 unit and performs best with signature heroes Lone Druid, and Gyrocopter. He says he is intending to save up his winnings to that he can pay for his studies when he retires from gaming. Lasse's older brother introduced him to computer games and the first games he played were Heroes of Might and Magic II. His greatest win with his team mates was at The International 7. They lost to Invictus Gaming in the upper brackets but persevered in the lower brackets and were able to secure a place in the grand finals. They came away with their highest earnings of $10.8 million and the DOTA 2 championship title.