When it comes to esports, the industry has seen unprecedented growth in recent years. Whether you look at it in terms of players, competitive play, or even stream viewers, esports and gaming has seen an explosion in popularity.
With this increase in popularity of competitive esports, the industry has seen increases in competitions, tournaments, and as a result, prize money. Top competitive esports players are making money that rivals that of traditional sports stars - and many of them aren’t even 20 years of age.
More specifically, Australia is home to a growing esports scene that is producing world class esports champions across a range of games. Whether you look at Dota 2, CS:GO or even Call of Duty, Aussies are up at the top of the leaderboards with the best of the best - here are some of the Aussie esports players who are ahead of the competition.
Anathan ‘ana’ Pham
This list couldn’t be started without anyone other than ana - as one of the top Dota 2 players in the world, he is only 21 years old. Ana has played with a number of teams in various tournaments within Australia and across the world - his commitment saw him make a permanent move to Shanghai when he was just 16.
Since then, ana solidified his position within the competitive scene, and has played a total of 24 esports tournaments. In the process, he has won over $6 million USD in prize money alone, putting him at number three worldwide - moreover, this list of biggest earners in Australian esports puts him at number one. Clearly, as a top esports champion, we had to give ana the number one spot here too.
On top of the fact that he is one of the top earners worldwide, ana is one of the more entertaining players around. Known for his aggressive playstyle, he has dominated a significant number of top level competition. Today, ana is on hiatus, enjoying a well earned break from esports - while we are hoping he makes a return soon, ana could retire right now and still have made more than the average person will in their entire life. Not bad for a 21 year old.
Next, let's shift our focus from competitive gaming and look at one of the most popular gaming YouTubers around. Lannan Eacott, better known as LazarBeam, has been involved in professional esports over the years, however his main gig is as a streamer and YouTuber. His rise to popularity came as he began playing the game Fortnite - today, his estimated yearly earnings range anywhere between $500,000 USD and $8.5 million USD.
Wherever he sits in this range, Lazarbeam is clearly making a serious profit thanks to the gaming industry. He now has over 17 million subscribers, is set to appear in the upcoming movie ‘Free Guy’(starring Ryan Reynolds), and is playing a wide range of games, from Call of Duty to Minecraft.
In 2020, Lazarbeam was the sixth most viewed gaming creator on YouTube, and the ninth top creator as a whole. It looks as if he is still on the upward trend, with no signs of slowing down.
Justin ‘JKS’ Savage
Getting back onto the topic of competitive esports gamers, another Australian top earner is JKS - unlike ana, who plays Dota 2, JKS is one of the top CS: Global Offensive (CS:GO) players. While he is a bit older than ana, JKS has been playing since he was only 14.
He has played across a number of teams, with his always increasing experience meaning that he has also shown huge improvement in his skill levels over the years - in 2019, JKS even earned a spot in the Top 20 Players of the Year list, which was compiled by HLTV. He was the first Australian to do so.
With winnings of over $300,000 AUD in prize money, JKS might be somewhat behind ana, however he still holds a place within the top 5 competitive esports earners, and is only getting better.
To wrap up this list of Aussie gaming champions and top earners, LoserFruit (Kathleen Belsten) is another player who has dabbled in the competitive scene, but spends most of her time streaming to an audience of over two million Twitch followers.
As a female gamer on Twitch, LoserFruit has the second most followed channel on the platform - moreover, she boasts an impressive 1.2 million Instagram followers, and almost three million subscribers on YouTube. Not to mention, Fornite even previously implemented a LoserFruit skin into the game. With stats like these, she definitely takes a spot at the top of the Australian gaming scene.
According to online reports, LoserFruit has a net worth somewhere around $1.1 million USD. This figure would come from a range of places - Twitch subscriptions, YouTube ad revenue, sponsorships and donations.