With esports becoming bigger and bigger as the years go on, prize pools are growing exponentially across games. Fortnite and Dota 2 led the way in 2019, with both the Fortnite World Cup and The International 9 having prize pools that eclipsed the $30 million mark, with the winners taking home some of the biggest slices.
Of course, with the newfound riches in their back pocket, esports athletes may consider going on a spending spree – perhaps upgrading their PC, buying a new car, or handing off some of the money to their parents. However, they also have to factor in the fact that they will also have to pay tax on their winnings – and that can set them back a whole heap.
The newest esports star to realize this fact has been the San Francisco Shock’s Sinatraa, who bagged himself a bonus as the Shock took down the Vancouver Titans in the Overwatch League season two grand finals.
“Getting taxed 55% of grand finals earnings,” he tweeted, before following it up with a certain level of sarcasm. “Cool cool :) LETS GO!!!!”
getting taxed 55% of grand finals earnings, cool cool :) LETS GO!!!!
— Jay Won (@sinatraa) December 30, 2019
While plenty of fans weighed in, discussing how he’ll get a certain slice back and wouldn’t pay the full 55%, some took time to make jokes. “Sinatraa paid more taxes this year than Amazon,” commented Redditor DiscountSoOn.
Another Redditor, dpjorgen, noted that the winnings made from events like the OWL finals would count as a bonus and they are “always taxed super high.” What the player would actually pay would depend on his tax rate after total income.
While Sinatraa will certainly lose a portion of his finals winnings, it’s not like he’s losing out on as much as Fortnite World Cup solos winner Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf.
After he claimed the $3 million grand prize, Ryan from RushB Media calculated that the young Fortnite star would have to hand over around $1,182,000 million in tax. With esports prize pools going up and up year-on-year, the tax situation is something that pros might want to get clued up on.