Did you know gaming – or esport as it’s often referred to – is the world’s fastest-growing sport? Yep, gaming beats all other sports right now. Today, the global esports market is worth $1.08 billion and it’s projected to be at $1.6 billion by 2024.
The highest earners in gaming are raking in some serious money with the top three worldwide pulling in over $3 million each to-date. Looking at the top 25 gamers – all of them are male and all of them are under 40 with most of them under 30. Female gamers are in there as well but they have some way to go before they’ll catch up to the guys.
Plus, it’s not just the gamers who take part in all of this esport. Similar to most sports, esports players compete against one another in gaming events or tournaments which culminate in regional and international championships. At these major events, there are millions of spectators from around the world. In the US alone, viewership is expected to rise to 48 million between 2020 and 2024.
Women are taking part in esport and here they are…
The men are doing very well at gaming so you’re probably wondering where are all the female gamers? Well, they’re in there and in a deep dive of the highest-earning gamers in the US, by gaming company – Solitaired – put together a list of the Top 10 highest-earning women gamers and you can see them in this diagram above.
When Solitaired put this list together, they found that Katherine ‘Mystik’ Gunn is the highest-earning American female gamer. Her earnings are the result of multi-gaming endeavors showcasing her diverse skillset across a number of games. She is also the only female gamer in the US with six-figure earnings.
Of the Top 10 highest earning females – two stand out as tapping into the fighter game genre and they are Ricki Ortiz (#4) whose game of choice is Street Fighter V, and Marjorie ‘Kasumi Chan’ Bartell (#7) whose game of choice is Dead or Alive 4.
More about the highest earners
It is true, the female gamers have a bit of a way to go to catch up to the highest-earning players in esport. The person who holds the title of the highest-earning player in esport is Pennsylvania native, Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf, who was just 16 when he won the 2019 inaugural Fortnite World Cup, beating out 40 million players to take home the $3 million prize.
Bugha’s love for video games started early – he grew up playing with his dad, first MarioKart Balloon Battles and later Call of Duty and the pre-battle royale iteration of Fortnite, Save the World. But as with any star athlete, it’s not all fun and games. In the months leading up to the 2019 Fortnite World Cup qualifiers, Bugha put in six hours of practice every night after school.
In total, Bugha has earned $3,175,211.72 almost entirely from Fortnite wins. (Note that these earnings are from competition wins only and do not include revenue from sponsorships or other sources.)
What’s the most-played game?
Among the top 100 highest-earning gamers, the most-played game is Fortnite. The average age of the top 25 highest-earners is 24.5 years. The highest-earning male players seem to stick to first-person shooter (FPS) games like Fortnite, Call of Duty, and Counter-Strike – or multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games, namely Dota 2.
The three youngest gamers in the top rankings are Shane ‘EpikWhale’ Cotton (#6), Rocco ‘Saf’ Morales (#11) and Hayden ‘Elevate’ Krueger (#18). They are all just 18 – while the oldest in the top ranking is Clinton ‘Fear’ Loomis at #4.
With the average competitive career of an esports star lasting just four to five years, 25 is also the age at which most pros ‘retire.’ Many simply move away from competitive gaming into the entertainment or content creation, side by live-streaming their gameplay.
About Solitaired: Solitaired has a vision where users can play tournaments for their favorite classic games, whether it be Hearts, Mahjong, or Yahtzee. Solitaired hopes to bring people together in a fun and competitive manner with games they love where they can win prizes. For more on Solitaired, visit here.
For more from Women Love Tech on gaming, visit here.