Chess has been on a steady rise in this coronavirus-stricken era and an excellent proof of that is the addition of Grandmaster Wesley So along with other world’s leading chess gamers in the list of top esports earners in 2020.

So, the No. 1 player of the Philippines prior to he changed allegiance to the U.S.A. in 2014, pocketed an overall of $246,180 (over P11.8 million) to become the 12th greatest esports earner in 2015, according to a current research study done by the US-based esports bookmaker Unikrn.

The bulk of the Cavite-born woodpusher’s earnings originated from restoring the United States Chess Championships trophy ($40,000), winning the Clutch Chess Champions Face-off ($40,000) and the Skilling Open ($30,000), and sharing the top spot with Magnus Carlsen in the Saint Louis Rapid Blitz Championship ($45,000).

Remarkably, Carlsen topped the list with $510,587 (over P24.5 million), eclipsing the gamers of Dallas Empire who won the Call of Responsibility League Champion 2020 with a $1.5 million prize.

Aside from tournament rewards, Carlsen, the ruling world classical, fast and blitz champion, has actually been generating money through his livestream in chess24.com, an Oslo-based company backed by the 30-year-old Norwegian himself.

So’s fellow United States standout Hikaru Nakamura is at No. 7 with $324,645 (over P15.5 million).

Same with Carlsen, Nakamura is also making through his active online existence especially in the popular live streaming platform Twitch.

The three chess gamers were participated in the list by expert players in Dota 2, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), Starcraft 2, Hearthstone and Rainbow 6 Siege.

The COVID-19 pandemic has actually put over-the-board chess tournaments on an indefinite time out and forced the world’s top gamers to contend online.