The occasions of 2020 have wreaked havoc on the economy of high-level sports, and in spite of being played in the comparative security of online environments, esports also took a major hit. Nevertheless, that’s not to say the very best and brightest stars of competitive gaming are going starving.

According to research study from Seattle-based esports bookmaker Unikrn, the revenues of esports’ leading 50 players dropped by a huge 80%, falling from $55 million in 2019 to $11 million in 2020. This remained in part due to most video games decreasing their reward handbags, though some were reduced more drastically than others.

The most significant victim of budget plan cuts was Fortnite, which offered almost 90% less prize cash; it put forward just $7,884,451 in 2020, compared to $71,598,129 in 2019. CS: GO offered the biggest sum: $15.8 million, with 34 gamers making over $100,000 each. Call of Task cash assisted two-thirds of the top 15 earn their keep.

And yet, the pen showed mightier than the sword-well, gun-when it concerned the number-one gamer of 2020. Norwegian grandmaster and existing world chess champion Magnus Carlsen (A.K.A. DrNykterstein) was the highest-earning esports gamer worldwide last year; the 31-year-old took house a massive $510,587 for his exceptional ability on Chess24.

The 30-year-old, whose peak classical ranking of 2882 is the greatest in the history of the video game, was joined in the leading 10 by 33-year-old American grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, who won just shy of $325,000. Another 2 Chess 24 players likewise made their method into the top 50.

PVDDR, the 33-year-old Brazilian Magic: The Event Arena player, took house the biggest solo prize of the year: an extraordinary $300,000 at Magic World Championship XXVI, putting him securely in the leading 10.

Maybe unsurprisingly, the U.S. was the highest-earning nation in the world: 4,291 players shared $21.2 million. Young players also continued to control the rankings: the typical age of a top-50 player was 22.7 years of ages, while seven teens made the shortlist, taking home $1.7 million collectively.

A Unikrn representative stated: “When people believe of esports, they probably have the likes of CS: GO, DOTA or League of Legends in mind, however not always chess. Magnus Carlsen is a great champion and has dominated the circuit for a number of years, helping raise the profile of the sport.

” [T] he pandemic has affected esports cash prize, dropping by 76% from 2019 to 2020. That said, it’s encouraging to see gamers still making money from big competitions around the globe, with organizers doing whatever they can to put on the very best programs possible for fans.”