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.
Taking the crown
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.
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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 is the only player to crack $1 million in prize money earned, with nearly $1.3 million to his name.
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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. The remainder of the top 20 is dominated by Korean and Chinese talent, which makes sense given their success at the international level.
In fact, you have to go down to #24 to finally reach a Western player on the list. Paul ‘sOAZ’ Boyer was previously the highest earner in the Western world of League, pocketing $422,314.79.
Earnings and leaderboards
However, after hanging up his mouse and keyboard, he has been overtaken by the likes of Luka ‘Perkz’ Perković ($411,900), who now sits at #24. Soon following this at spot #28 is Swedish star Martin ‘Rekkles’ Larsson ($438,830.14).
2018s World Champions, FunPlus Phoenix, also don’t appear anywhere near the top 20 despite previously taking home $1 million as a team for winning the event. Mid-laner Kim ‘Doinb’ Tae-sang is the highest earner from the team in 41st, at $330,849.
In 2020, DamWon Gaming blasted through and dominated the league, snatching the prize over previous winner FPX. Walking away with around $850,000 for their win over Suning Gaming, many of their players may eventually make this list. Players like Heo ‘Showmaker’ Su and Kim ‘Canyon’ Geon-bu represent future LoL superstars.
The full top 20 list, according to esportsearnings.com, can be found below.
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This article will be updated after the conclusion of each major League of Legends competition. (updated December 2020)
Top 20 highest earning League of Legends pros
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