Many of you are perhaps asking ‘What exactly are eSports?’
eSports involve elite online video game players being treated just like any other professional athletes or performers.
Players are drafted, bought and sold between teams and millions of fans pay to watch the usually young experts play in professional leagues and compete against their rivals.
Here in Canada, crowds fill Toronto’s Air Canada Centre and gone online to watch tournaments via live stream as gamers look to bring down their opponents in the toughest virtual environments of their favorite video game titles.
With multiple teams in multiple games across the world, winning has become crucial in an eSports world market that will reach 385 million people by the end of 2018.
According to independent sources, eSports revenue is expected grow to CAD $696 million this year and top CAD $1 billion worldwide by 2020. Online Gambling revenue is already in the hundreds of millions of dollars per annum and growing year-on-year.
With that much money in eSports, of course, there are many young Canadians involved and they’re becoming quite wealthy from eSports.
Let’s take a quick look at Canada’s Top 10 leading eSports athletes;
Kurtis Ling (AKA Aui_2000)
Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling, commonly referred to by his tag “Aui”, is a Canadian professional Dota 2 player who last played for professional team, Digital Chaos. His career has also included stints playing for teams Cloud9, Digital Chaos, Evil Geniuses and Team NP. He is now currently coaching Fnatic.
Professional eSports Earnings to 17 June 2018; CAD$1.98 million
Artour Babaev (AKA Arteezy)
Artour is also a pro Dota 2 player and hails from Vancouver, British Columbia. Before playing Dota 2 professionally, Artour was widely known as one of the best players going around in Starcraft II.
Artour’s live stream is very popular where he keeps his many followers entertained through his very original and left of centre tastes in music.
Professional eSports Earnings to 17 June 2018; CAD $1.282 million
Jacky Mao (AKA EternaLEnVy)
Jacky Mao is currently playing professionally for the Kurtis Ling coached Fnatic team and has been playing Dota 2 professionally since 2012 when he put his University education on hold to play professional eSports full-time.
It seems like the move has paid off so far.
Professional eSports Earnings to 17 June 2018; CAD $909 868
David Tan (AKA MoonMeander)
David Tan, aka “MoonMeander”, has won millions of fans worldwide with his signature Dota 2 aggression and his ‘go big or go home’ style of play continues to fuel and add to his continually ever-growing fan base.
His fans regularly chant his favorite sayings during tournaments including; “NEVA EVA”, “Get on my level”, “Big Play/s”, “Small Son” and “What kind of steak do you want to be?”
Professional eSports Earnings to 17 June 2018; CAD $811 953
Damon Barlow (AKA Karma)
Damon is the first professional Call of Duty players in the Top 10 list of Canadian eSports earners. He plays professionally for the Optic Gaming team and is perhaps best known for winning back-to-back Call of Duty Championships in 2013 and 2014. He is the most successful Call of Duty worldwide player of all time.
Professional eSports Earnings to 17 June 2018; CAD $686 973
Mathew Fiorante (AKA Royal 2)
The pride of Regina, Saskatchewan, Mathew Fiorante is quite simply the best competitive Halo 2 player in Canada and already by the tender age of 22 has won two Halo World Championships, the second of which came in 2017 and was watched in a live stream online by up to 100 000 people.
Professional eSports Earnings to 17 June 2018; CAD $564 213
Keith Markovich (AKA NAF)
Professional CS:GO player who plays for the Optic Gaming team.
Professional eSports Earnings to 17 June 2018; CAD $296 916
Sasha Hostyn (AKA Scarlett)
The first women to appear on our list of the Top 10 earners in Canadian eSports history, Sasha ‘Scarlett’ Hostyn recently proudly beat the South Koreans at what they consider to be their own game.
In February 2018, playing Starcraft II, Sasha won the pre-Pyeongchang Winter Olympic eSports tournament that provided a glimpse of what Olympic esports might look like in the near future.
Professional eSports Earnings to 17 June 2018; CAD $274 310
Peter Stanislaw (AKA Stanislaw)
Professional CS:GO player who plays for the Optic Gaming team, ranked number 9 in Canada and with a world raking of 315.
Professional eSports Earnings to 17 June 2018; CAD $239 138
Mike Grzesiek (AKA Shroud)
Mike Grzesiek turned professional in CS:GO in 2014 and enjoyed a successful 3 years as a professional player playing for the Cloud9 team until stepping down in 2017 to take a hiatus and concentrate on his live stream activities. Meanwhile, he is officially listed as a ‘reserve’ for the Cloud 9 team.
Professional eSports Earnings to 17 June 2018; CAD $216 231
Where to bet on eSports?
Whilst many sports books carry markets on eSports, few are as dedicated to the eSports leagues or have as much experience in offering eSports betting as Betway.
Betway was originally established in 2005 primarily as a sports betting platform, however, Betway rapidly grew to embrace many other exciting features such as a Casino, Poker room, a Live Dealer Casino, and of course now, eSports.
In 2017, Betway became without a doubt the leading global brand in eSports betting, with a series of sponsorships instituted in the professional eSports leagues including the CS:GO Pro League, and ESL One Cologne. Betway’s proudest moments in Esports have come in sponsoring with winners of the 2016 DreamHack Masters, the Sweden-based ‘Ninjas in Pyjamas’ professional outfit.
Naturally, you can even bet on regular sports at Betway too, with a full range of North American sports betting options for Canadians available such as NHL, CFL, NFL, MLB, PGA Golf tournaments, NCAA and NBA.