In terms of esports, League of Legends is one of the biggest and most-viewed games ever. But just how much prize money have the top players managed to rake in since it was released?
League of Legends is different from other esports when it comes to earnings. With developers Riot controlling the domestic and international events, there’s not much opportunity for players to earn prize money.
The majority of League pro players’ income comes from salaries behind closed doors. However, these earnings are a bit hard to calculate. While we know some of the world’s best, like Faker, have been offered “blank cheques” in the past, there’s nothing like Dota’s TI or a CS:GO Major to fight over.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t impressive prize pools in League though. Some regional leagues, like Korea’s LCK, offer nearly $100,000 to the winners of each split. MSI has hundreds of thousands up for grabs, while Worlds every year is in the millions.
Taking the crown
With this in mind, it will come as no surprise that the most successful player of all-time internationally, Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok, is the game’s highest earner.
In fact, across thousands of pros, Faker was the first player to crack $1 million in prize money earned, and now has nearly $1.5 million to his name.
Many of his ex-teammates rest alongside him at the top. Duke, Bang, Wolf, and Bengi — the next four players on the list — have all played alongside Faker at Worlds.
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The remainder of the top 20 is dominated by Korean and Chinese talent, which makes sense given their success at the international level. However, there are two European names amongst them- Vitality’s Luka ‘Perkz’ Perković and G2 Esports’s Rasmus ‘Caps’ Winther. The pair moved into the top 20 this year, with Caps becoming the most internationally successful European player of all time after appearing in both the 2018 and 2019 World Championship Finals.
The best of the West
Paul ‘sOAZ’ Boyer was previously the highest earner in the Western world of League, pocketing $446,848.
However, after hanging up his mouse and keyboard, he has been overtaken by Perkz ($583,204), who now sits at number 19.
Caps ($562,862) and Martin ‘Rekkles’ Larsson ($475,412) have also crept into the top 30, at 20th and 30th respectively.
Top 20 highest earning League of Legends pros
The full top 20 list, according to liquipedia.net, can be found below.
This will be updated after the conclusion of each major League of Legends competition. The most recent event was the 2021 World Championship.
Check out our other top 20 highest earning pros lists in various esports: