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. 

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.

Kuro Takhasomi (KuroKy)

  • Rank#: 1
  • Country: Germany
  • DOB: 28 October 1992 (25)
  • Player ID: KuroKy
  • Player Name: Kuro Takhasomi
  • Total Earnings: $3,480,788.35
  • Game: Dota 2
  • Image credit: Epicenter

Kuro Takhasomi who goes by the gaming handle "KuroKy" is the current highest earner in the eSports arena, with a total earnings of over $3,480,788.35. 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: #2
  • Country: Jordan
  • DOB: 20 June 1997 (20)
  • Player ID: Miracle-
  • Player Name: Amer Barqaw
  • Total Earnings: $3,061,076.48
  • Game: Dota 2
  • Image credit: Epicenter

The second 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 $3,061,076.48.

Saahil Arora (UNiVeRsE)

  • Rank: #3
  • Country: United States
  • DOB: 11 October 1989 (28)
  • Player ID: UNiVeRsE
  • Player Name: Saahil Arora
  • Total Earnings: $2,937,660.27
  • Game: Dota 2
  • Image credit: Epicenter

Saahil Arora, aka UNiVeRsE is an American gamer who professionally plays Dota 2 with team Evil Genius. He has finished in the top 10 of various major competitions as part of the team and is one of the highest earning players with over 60 tournaments under his belt. 

Ivan Ivanov (MinD_ContRoL)

  • Rank: #4
  • Country: Bulgaria
  • DOB: 20 January 1995 (22)
  • Player ID: MinD_ContRoL
  • Player Name: Ivan Ivanov
  • Total Earnings: $2,821,271.96
  • 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 $2,821,271.96 and is the fourth highest earner on our list. 

Lasse Urpalainen (Matumbaman)

  • Rank: #5
  • Country: Finland
  • DOB: 3 March 1995 (22)
  • Player ID: Matumbaman
  • Player Name: Lasse Urpalainen
  • Total Earnings: $2,820,976.24
  • Game: Dota 2
  • Image credit: Epicenter

Lasse Urpalainen, aka Matumbaman comes in at fifth on our list of top-earning professional gamers with over $2,820,976.24 in total earnings to date. 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. 

Peter Dager (ppd)

  • Rank: #6
  • Country: United States
  • DOB: 2 November 1991 (26)
  • Player ID: ppd
  • Player Name: Peter Dager
  • Total Earnings: $2,645,280.36
  • Game: Dota 2
  • Image credit: Epicenter

American gamer, Peter Dager began his gaming career with Heroes of Newerth under the handle peterpandam (later shortened to ppd) around 2012. He went through a number of teams before becoming the team captain and CEO of Evil Geniuses and making the transition to Dota 2. During his time as captain, the team won the first place prize at The International 2015 making him one of the highest earning eSports players worldwide.  

Sumail Hassan (SumaiL)

  • Rank: #7
  • Country: Pakistan
  • DOB: 13 February 1999 (18)
  • Player ID: SumaiL
  • Player Name: Sumail Hassan
  • Total Earnings: $2,639,495.94
  • Game: Dota 2
  • Image credit: Epicenter

At just 18 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. He is currently a member of team Evil Geniuses and was a member of that team when they won The International 2015. His total earnings have come from just 29 tournaments. 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". 

Maroun Merhej (GH)

  • Rank: #8
  • Country: Lebanon
  • DOB: Unknown
  • Player ID: GH
  • Player Name: Maroun Merhej
  • Total Earnings: $2,440,653.78
  • 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. 

Clinton Loomis (Fear)

  • Rank: #9
  • Country: United States
  • DOB: 19 February 1988 (29)
  • Player ID: Fear
  • Player Name: Clinton Loomis
  • Total Earnings: $2,419,855.64
  • Game: Dota 2
  • Image credit: Epicenter

Clinton Loomis is an American Dota 2 player, coach and one of the oldest Dota gamers on the scene. He started his career with PluG Pullers Inc playing the original Dota back in 2005. Since then he's played for various teams and been through several competitions including winning first place at the Dota 2 The International 2015. He comes in ninth position on our list of highest paid gamers with a total of over $2,419,855.64 earned so far. 

Li Peng (iceice)

Wings Gaming/Facebook
  • Rank: #10
  • Country: China
  • DOB: 19 February 1988 (29)
  • Player ID: iceice
  • Player Name: Li Peng
  • Total Earnings: $1,998,858.23
  • Game: Dota 2

Not to be mistaken for the Premier of the People's Republic of China, Li Peng (pictured centre), also known as iceice is the 10th and final high-earning gamer on our list. In 2016 with his team he achieved a spate of successes including winning ESL One Manila 2016, The Summit 5 and The International 2016. These wins have led to approximate total earnings of just under two million dollars.