(Pocket-lint) - Gaming isn't just for those of us who have never grown up, there's also a more serious type of gamer who's in it to make money. These professional gamers can end up making a small fortune through prize money and sponsorship if they're good enough. 

With prize pools regularly running into the millions of dollars, competitive video gaming or eSports has become an extremely lucrative enterprise over the last few years. 

With the help of BroadbandChoices, we've hunted down the details on the biggest earners to bring you the list of the top 10 highest earning eSports players in the world. Interestingly, the biggest earners seem to mostly be involved in playing Dota 2 competitively. Dota 2 is a free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena game developed by Valve Corporation and consistently one of the most popular games on Steam

Johan Sundstein (n0tail)

  • Rank#: 1
  • Country: Denmark
  • DOB: 08 October 1993 (26)
  • Player ID: n0tail
  • Player Name: Johan Sundstein
  • Total Earnings: $6,890,591
  • Game: Dota 2
  • Image credit: Epicenter

Danish gamer, Johan "n0tail" Sundstein, has been playing (and winning) in the eSports arena since 2012.  He currently plays for team OG and has racked up enough wins to be one of the top-earning eSports players of recent years. 

His gaming career hasn't been without controversy though. In 2019 he was banned from Twitch, but then that's a regular occurrence for many professional gamers these days it seems. 

Jesse Vainikka (JerAx)

  • Rank#: 2
  • Country: Finland
  • DOB: 07 May 1992 (27)
  • Player ID: JerAx
  • Player Name: Jesse Vainikka
  • Total Earnings: $6,700,000
  • Game: Dota 2
  • Image credit: ESL

Despite being retired (as of January 2020), Finnish professional Dota 2 player JerAx has managed to clock up a number of wins over the years and enough to be included in the list of top-earning eSports players. He played for various teams over the years of his career, including Team Liquid and OG. He began making a name for himself in the early days with Heroes of Newerth before moving onto Dota 2. He retired in early 2020 to pursue a new career. 

Anathan Pham (Ana)

  • Rank#: 3
  • Country: Australia
  • DOB: 26 October 1999 (20)
  • Player ID: Ana
  • Player Name: Anathan Pham
  • Total Earnings: $6,000,411
  • Game: Dota 2
  • Image credit: Epicenter

Hailing from the sunny shores of Australia, Anathan Pham (aka Ana) is another player for team OG who's high up on the list of top-earning eSports players. He's been playing since 2013 and plays the HardCarry role in Dota 2. Random facts about Ana include him apparently idolising Gordon Ramsay and being the first Ozzie to win a Valve-sponsored gaming event. 

Sébastien Debs (Ceb)

  • Rank#: 4
  • Country: France/Lebanon
  • DOB: 11 May 1992 (27)
  • Player ID: Ceb
  • Player Name: Sébastien Debs
  • Total Earnings: $5,489,233
  • Game: Dota 2
  • Image credit: Epicenter

Sébastien Debs is another OG player who has managed to rack up a number of wins over the years and to, therefore, reach into the ranks of the highest-earning eSports players. He's played as Offlaner and worked as a coach for the team too. 

Topias Taavitsainen (Topson)

  • Rank#: 5
  • Country: Finland
  • DOB: 14 April 1998 (21)
  • Player ID: Topson
  • Player Name: Topias Taavitsainen
  • Total Earnings: $5,414,446
  • Game: Dota 2
  • Image credit: ESL

Topson is a Finnish gamer who plays Dota 2 professionally with team OG. He's one of the top earners on this list, but also has the honour of winning The International twice in a row. Remarkably, Topias Taavitsainen has been playing Dota since he was eight years old. 

Kuro Takhasomi (KuroKy)

  • Rank#: 6
  • Country: Germany
  • DOB: 28 October 1992 (25)
  • Player ID: KuroKy
  • Player Name: Kuro Takhasomi
  • Total Earnings: $5,128,788
  • Game: Dota 2
  • Image credit: Epicenter

Kuro Takhasomi who goes by the gaming handle "KuroKy" was one of the highest earners in the eSports arena when we wrote this article in 2018. Now he's earned around $2 million more but not enough to top out the list. KuroKy plays for Team Liquid and is a professional Dota 2 player. Kuro Takhasomi suffers from a disability with his legs that makes movement difficult and he says that this disability led him into gaming and essentially started his career.  

Amer Barqawi (Miracle)

  • Rank: #7
  • Country: Jordan
  • DOB: 20 June 1997 (20)
  • Player ID: Miracle-
  • Player Name: Amer Barqaw
  • Total Earnings: $4,692,418
  • Game: Dota 2
  • Image credit: Epicenter

The seventh highest-earning gamer is another Dota 2 player who also plays for Team Liquid. Amer Barqaw, also known as "Miracle-", is also one of the youngest gamers on our list and holds a dual citizenship with Poland and Jordan. Miracle- won numerous tournaments under his own steam and made a name for himself by smashing his way through the European leaderboard before joining Team Liquid in 2016. 

As part of the team, Miracle- has won several high-profile gaming tournaments and netted an approximate income of over $4,692,418.

Ivan Ivanov (MinD_ContRoL)

  • Rank: #8
  • Country: Bulgaria
  • DOB: 20 January 1995 (25)
  • Player ID: MinD_ContRoL
  • Player Name: Ivan Ivanov
  • Total Earnings: $4,483,493
  • Game: Dota 2
  • Image Credit: GamePedia

Bulgarian gamer MinD_ContRoL started his professional gaming career in 2014 by competing in various small online gaming cups. He played for various teams making a name for himself across various competitions before being picked up by Team Liquid in 2015. To date, he has earned over $4,483,493 and is the eigth highest earner on our list. 

Maroun Merhej (GH)

  • Rank: #9
  • Country: Lebanon
  • DOB: 17 June 1995 (24)
  • Player ID: GH
  • Player Name: Maroun Merhej
  • Total Earnings: $4,086,426
  • Game: Dota 2
  • Image credit: Epicenter

Maroun Merhej plays Dota 2 for Team Liquid and joined the team after gaining notoriety winning various qualifiers and matchmaking competitions. It is said that his joining the team helped to greatly improve their results and lead them to win multiple competitions including The International 2017. It was this recent win which netted him a share of the 10 million dollar prize money and put him on this list of the highest earning gamers in history. 

Sumail Hassan (SumaiL)

  • Rank: #10
  • Country: Pakistan
  • DOB: 13 February 1999 (21)
  • Player ID: SumaiL
  • Player Name: Sumail Hassan
  • Total Earnings: $3,591,225
  • Game: Dota 2
  • Image credit: Epicenter

At just 21 years old, Sumail Hassan is likely one of the youngest eSports players on our list of high-earners and has racked up a total earning of over $2,639,495.94 by 2018. He is currently a member of team OG but was playing with Evil Geniuses when they won The International 2015. In 2017 he was named by Guinness World Records as "the youngest gamer to surpass $1 million in eSports earnings" and in 2016 Time magazine name him as one of "the 30 most influential teens". 

Lasse Urpalainen (Matumbaman)

  • Rank: #11
  • Country: Finland
  • DOB: 3 March 1995 (24)
  • Player ID: Matumbaman
  • Player Name: Lasse Urpalainen
  • Total Earnings: $3,557,781
  • Game: Dota 2
  • Image credit: Epicenter

Lasse Urpalainen, aka Matumbaman comes in at 11th on our list of top-earning professional gamers. Matumbaman originally made a name for himself in 2014 by winning the Assembly Summer tournament while demonstrating extreme mechanical skill and gaming talent. In 2015 he was snatched up by Team Liquid and dominated the Dota scene throughout 2016 consistently placing high in the competitions. He was also a big part of the team's victory at The International 2017. 

Writing by Adrian Willings.