2019 was a groundbreaking year for gamers. Forbes reports that the top ten players earned over $120 million last year.
Sitting atop that list is, unsurprisingly, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins. The Fornite king raked in $17 million during 2019. Notably, Ninja’s earnings came, not from his work as an eSports player, but mostly from endorsements, fees and sponsorships. He signed an unprecedented deal with Mixer, that Forbes estimates is worth upwards of $30 million. He’s got his own Adidas sneaker, a partnership with Red Bull, has appeared on The Tonight Show, and now, has his own character in Fortnite. The professional gaming landscape has grown by leaps and bounds since Ninja’s start with Halo 3 in 2009.
At number two, sits Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg. PewDiePie ranks as the top individual YouTuber with $15 million in earnings. He’s also the most subscribed-to YouTuber with 103 million subscribers. Despite his popularity, he’s routinely lost endorsements for videos and jokes deemed anti-Semitic and racist.
Continuing the trend of influencer rather than competitor, are the third and fourth players on the list, Preston Arsement and Mark “Markiplier” Fischbach. Both brought in $14 million last year (Preston ranks slightly above Markiplier) by bringing their fun personalities to their playthroughs.
Check out the full list of the top ten highest-paid gamers below.
1) Ninja (Tyler Blevins) – $17 million.
2) PewDiePie (Felix Kjellberg) – $15 million.
3) Preston (Preston Arsement) – $14 million.
4) Markiplier (Mark Fischbach) – $14 million.
5) Shroud (Michael Grzesiek) – $12.5 million.
6) DanTDM (Daniel Middleton) – $12 million.
7) VanossGaming (Evan Fong) – $11.5 million.
8) Jacksepticeye (Sean McLoughlin) – $11 million.
9) TimTheTatman (Timothy Betar) – $8 million.
10) Nickmercs (Nick Kolcheff) – $6 million.