Who are the Most Popular Esports Players in 2020?

Last Updated On June 23, 2024


most popular esports players

Esports is becoming increasingly popular throughout the globe for its competitive nature. Professional esports gamers are earning more than you can imagine.

In terms of revenue, the gaming industry is bigger than ever. Its revenue is more than the worldwide box office, music industry, the NFL, the NBA, MLB, and the NHL combined.

Who are the most popular esports players in 2020? Athletes like Faker, Xyp9x, and MATUMBAMAN are among the most popular esports athletes. Their popularity is measured not only by their wins but also by their viewership and reputation on social media platforms.

What's In This Guide?

      In this article, we will talk about the most popular esports players in 2020. If your favorite esports player is not on this list, don’t be mad.

      We are only discussing the best esports players in 2020 based on their popularity.

      League of Legends

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      League of Legends (LoL) is undoubtedly one of the biggest esports titles ever created. Over 27 million gamers play LoL on a daily basis.

      In fact, LoL is the major source of income for many professional players.

      Here are the 3 most popular LoL players of 2020.

      #1 Faker

      One of the most successful esports athletes known to date is Lee Sang-hyeok (aka Faker). His awesome skills and keen strategy earned him approximately $1,228,000 dollars in 2020.

      most popular esports players

      He was also the top earner of League of Legends for nearly 3 years in a row. There is only one gamer who earns millions of dollars every yearly.

      That position is proudly achieved by Faker.

      Being a part of South Korean Telecom, Faker has won 3 world titles. In one competition, he did not lose a single game in the whole tournament. He was the only player to accomplish this achievement.

      Faker is known for his fantastic mechanical strategy in LoL and his vast champion pool.

      The total earnings of Faker are unknown and hard to guess, due to his variety of work. But we know he won around $1,228,281 dollars from a competition in March 2020.

      It is also rumored that he gets around $1 to $2 million dollars from South Korean Telecom.

      Recently, Faker was offered a partnership from SK Telecom, which he happily accepted.

      He also earns by streaming his playthroughs on Twitch TV.

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      #2 Rookie

      Song Eui-Jin (aka Rookie) is considered to be the best League of Legends player after Faker.

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      At 16, this talented esports athlete joined a team for the first time, KT Rolster Arrows. And at 17 his team finished first in the Champions Summer 2014. Although he was disqualified from the WORLDS for his young age.

      In 2014, Rookie was transferred to Invictus Gaming and for the first time qualified for the World Championship.

      His team was almost unbeatable on the group stages and after many nail-biting matches, his team won the 2018 World Championship.

      Invictus Gaming is thought to be one of the best LoL teams ever. And most of that credit goes to Rookie.

      In Rift Rivals 2018, he placed first and crossed the margin of $100,000 dollars prize money for the first time.

      Rookie’s net worth is approximately $559,519 dollars, which is obviously a dream income for many LoL players.

      So far in 2020, he’s taken part in many tournaments, but aside from his salary, his earnings are unknown.

      Rookie is undoubtedly the best Chinese League of Legends player of all time.

      #3 UZI

      If there is a conversation about who’s an elite League of Legends player, Jian Zi-Hao’s (aka Uzi) name will definitely come up.

      most popular esports players

      Most consider his skills and mechanical strategy unmatched. His team claims it was his support that mainly brought them tremendous success in various tournaments.

      Whenever Royal Never Give Up (RNG) puts him on the field of LoL, you’re guaranteed to see a top tier League of Legends match.

      This fantastic LoL player started his journey by joining the Royal club in 2012 and only after one year, placed 2nd on the world champions.

      UZI is the only player who played the final two years in a row, but again placed 2nd by a slight margin.

      He was transferred to the Royal Never Give Up team and in 2017 placed 2nd. Though his team put up one hell of a fight in the finals.

      This strategic LoL player took part in almost 41 different tournaments and earned $545,447 dollars.

      He’s earned approximately $393,934 dollars since playing for the Royal Never Give Up team. From the Star Home Royal Club team, he earned $139,506 dollars.

      UZI is definitively one of the most successful League of Legends players in China and the RNG club.

      Counter-Strike: Global offensive

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      The second most popular game in the esports world is Counter-Strike Global Offensive (CS:GO).

      CS:GO is the brainchild of legendary gaming company Valve and released 2012.

      The 2019 CS:GO World Championship had a viewership over 195 million and a total prize pool of $1 million… wow!

      Here are 3 of the most popular CS:GO players in 2020.

      #1 Xyp9x

      As one of the elite members of the Astralis team, Andreas Højsleth (aka Xyp9x) has been playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive professionally for a long time.

      most popular esports players

      He is undoubtedly one of the greatest CS:GO players of 2020 and is known as the minister of the clutch.

      Side note, he got that weird name by typing randomly on the keyboard 😉

      This magical clutch master took part in ELEAGUE Major Atlanta 2017 and placed 1st by dominating the tournament.

      In the 7th season of ESL Pro League, Xyp9x again placed first by a ratio of 3:1 and took 1st place in season 8.

      In 2018, Xyp9x took part in 6 tournaments and in 2019-2020 his played in 3 tournaments, taking first in all of them.

      From the earning perspective, Xyp9x is the most successful CS:GO player of all time.

      In 2020, his net worth is around $1,771,621 dollars. His team earned $500,000 dollars from the ELEAGUE Major Atlanta 2017.

      In 2018, he earned around $2 million dollars from 6 different tournaments. And again in 2019 and 2020, he earned around $1.35 million dollars.

      #2 dupreeh

      One of the most skilled and successful players of CS:GO is undoubtedly Peter Rothmann Rasmussen (aka dupreeh).

      most popular esports players

      This esports athlete is also a part of the Astralis team alongside Xyp9x.

      Dupreeh has won a countless number of tournaments and earned an enormous amount of cash along with his buddy Xyp9x.

      This talented gamer was titled MVP in Season 7 of the ESL Pro League. And ranked 5th on the list of best CS:GO players in 2018.

      On Thorin’s top 10 list, dupreeh placed 8th in 2018.

      Dupreeh was ranked 16th by HLTV in 2019 and won the final of the Blast Pro tournament.

      He is one of those few CS:GO players who has played every championship tournament and won most of them.

      This guy has earned $1,770,422 dollars playing CS:GO.

      He team also earned $500,000 dollars in prize money for landing 1st place in the ELEAGUE Major Atlanta 2017.

      Just like his buddy Xyp9x, he’s earned $2 million dollars from several tournaments in 2018 and he has the 3rd highest revenue from CS:GO right behind Xyp9x.

      #3 dev1ce

      Another high-level CS:GO players is undoubtedly Nicolai Reedtz (aka dev1ce).

      most popular esports players

      He is an important member of the Team Astralis and takes part in most major tournaments.

      Professionally, dev1ce is one of the most successful players of all time. His fascinating skills in CS:GO is a joy to watch.

      He had the honor to being titled MVP in ten different tournaments.

      On 2nd January 2016, dev1ce attempted to change his name to devee, but was unable as Valve does not allow nickname changes in the Major circuit. Once you take part of a Major with a certain nickname, you cannot change it.

      HLTV ranked dev1ce second in the world in 2018, one of his biggest achievements in his gaming career.

      In the same year, Thorin ranked him 3rd for his fantastic performance in the 8th season of the ESL League.

      Dev1ce has earned the highest amount of money by performing and winning various CS:GO tournaments for several years.

      He has a net worth of $1,734,923 dollars, which is highest among all the players.

      Dev1ce plays CS:GO more than any other player, has reached the highest level, and has mastered every sector of this game… and his bank balance reflects that fact.

      Dota 2

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      Dota 2 is another masterpiece from Valve.

      This game is one of the most strategic games ever created.

      Dota 2‘s The International 2019 had a viewership over 1 million, with the biggest prize pool in the history of competitive gaming around $34.4 million!

      Here are 3 of the most popular Dota 2 players in 2020.


      Lasse Aukusti Urpalainen (aka MATUMBAMAN) is a fantastic Dota 2 player who came to light after winning the Assembly 2014 by defeating team Trixi in finals.

      most popular esports players

      MATUMBAMAN has an awesome skill set with heroes like Ember and Tinker, which caught the attention of many Dota 2 players.

      He was a member of Team Liquid since 2015, but was released in June 2019. On the 4th of November of 2019, he joined Team Secret.

      After winning the Assembly in 2014, this legendary player went quiet for almost a year and then placed second in Shanghai 2016.

      He won the Epicenter tournament in the same year (2016) and won 3 out of 4 tournaments in 2017. This was really the beginning his gaming carrier, and success has continued having won the DreamLeague in Jan 2020.

      MATUMBAMAN is one of the richest esports gamers with a total income from Dota 2 around $3,700,194 dollars.

      His first major income came from the 2016 Shanghai Major tournament where he won $405,000 dollars.

      In 2016 alone, he earned more than a $1 million dollars and in the following year, his income from Dota 2 almost doubled.

      This guy is rocking the Dota 2 world and isn’t looking back.

      #2 Puppey

      The biggest risk-taker of Dota 2 is undoubtedly Clement Ivanov (aka Puppey).

      most popular esports players

      This player never fears taking risks and performs experiments, even during important matches like tournament finals.

      This fantastic esports athlete can play as any character, but he is a master Jungler of Dota 2. Watching his games are crazy entertaining.

      He is only the second player who took part in all the international tournaments.

      Puppey also won The International 2011 by playing for Natus Vincere and The Shanghai Major by playing for Team Secret, making him the first gamer to win two Valve events. One of the biggest achievements for a Dota 2 gamer.

      Puppey was awarded $1 million dollars after becoming the champion of the International 2011. What a fantastic start of his professional Dota 2 journey.

      In 2013, he won $632,368 dollars for placing 2nd in the International 2013. Since then Puppey has played in many big leagues and tournaments and has earned over $2,799,899 dollars.

      #3 Zai

      Ludwig Wåhlberg (aka Zai) is another elite member of Team Secret and one of the most successful players of Dota 2.

      most popular esports players

      He won the DreamHoN 2012 at 14 and has played for a variety Dota 2 groups at his early age, finally joining Team Elite in 2015. Ignoring a few slight hiccups, his gaming career has been fairly smooth.

      Prior to 2015, and partly because of his gaming strategy, his team placed 3rd in the International 2013.

      In 2015, Zai’s team performed well in two different tournaments, and thanks to his contribution, they won both. In 2016, they placed 3rd.

      From 2017 to 2019, Team Secret performed in 3 tournaments and won all. In 2020 they dominated the DreamLeague, taking 1st place.

      Zai’s first big revenue achievement was in 2014, earning him more than a $1 million dollars by placing 3rd in the Internationals 2014.

      After his big win in 2014, Zai’s team won 2 tournaments back-to-back and earned around $1.2 million dollars.

      In 2019, Team Secret took 4th place in The International 2019 winning $2,059,804 dollars in prize money.

      Zai’s net worth is thought to be around $2,459,054 US dollars.


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      Last, you have Overwatch. A mega release by the company Blizzard.

      Overwatch is unique because it is one of the more recent games to join the esports scene and has a very different league setup compared to other games.

      Blizzard reported the Overwatch Grand Finals 2019 drew 1.12 million average viewers up 16% from last year.

      And on Feb 8, 2020 Blizzard kicked off their Overwatch League 2020 season with a total prize pool coming in around $4.8 million dollars!

      Here are 2 of the most popular Overwatch players in 2020.

      #1 Gesture

      Jae-hee Hong (aka Gesture) is the most successful South Korean player in terms of earnings.

      most popular esports players

      He has earned more money than anyone else playing Overwatch, with his preference playing as a tank.

      He has mastered almost every character, but his specialty is going out loud. Currently, he is with team Seoul Dynasty, one of the strongest Overwatch teams.

      Gesture’s career took off in 2017 when he took part in 3 different tournaments and won all 3.

      In 2020, Gesture placed 2nd in the Overwatch League of May Melee and 3rd – 4th in the Summer Showdown.

      Gesture has earned more money than anyone else playing the game. Since 2017, he has consistently taken part in all Overwatch tournaments and has earned $219,730 dollars.

      But his biggest success was winning the Overwatch League – Inaugural Season Playoffs in 2018. Where he dominated the league and won by a 2:0 margin with a prize pool of $1 million dollars.


      If you look at the rankings, Sung-Hyun Bang (aka JJoNak) is the most successful Overwatch player.

      most popular esports players

      He has played and won countless tournaments and leagues and is one of the best esports athletes of 2020.

      According to DOT Esports, JJoNak is one of the best Overwatch players to watch in 2020.

      Although his money earnings are not as high as others, his pure skill and game-show put him on a different level.

      In 2018, his team, New York Excelsior, took 1st place in the Overwatch League – Inaugural Season with a  prize pool of $300,000 dollars.

      Later in the season, JJoNak took 1st place in the Overwatch World Cup 2018.

      In 2020, JJoNak placed 3rd – 4th in both the Overwatch League of May Melee and the Summer Showdown.

      JJoNak’s biggest win so far was placing 3rd in the Overwatch League – 2019 Playoffs with a prize pool of $450,000 dollars.


      We’ve talked about the most popular esports players in 2020 and hopefully shown these esports athletes are incredibly successful in their careers.

      Most of these gaming athletes had to face many difficulties before they became massively successful in their careers.

      And if esports is your thing, you just might do the same! There is no reason you cannot be as successful as these amazing players.

      Work hard, have faith, and believe in yourself!

      I hope this article inspires the esports athletes of tomorrow… aka YOU!

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      Our team is passionate about all things Esports, and love sharing what's happening in the sport!

      We hope you enjoy Ready Esports!

      About Ready Esports

      We write about all things Esports helping you navigate common questions, where to watch, famous players, popular games, and latest trends.