Gaming has changed in our lifetime, moving from a hobby and escape from reality to a full-time, lucrative career choice, attracting thousands of new fans every year. Regular readers of our articles know console gaming’s journey better than most. The glory days of the 1980s and early 90s when titles like Sonic and Mario Bros. captivated audiences are long gone. Remember when you’d control one character, lead them through an exciting obstacle, and complete as many levels as possible before losing your three lives? Then you’d reset and repeat.
Today, you can play the best console games at home alone or against friends, family, and fellow gamers online. But there’s another option: if you’re talented enough. Professional esports is fast-growing and lucrative, allowing expert gamers to compete in professional tournaments for vast sums of cash. You can even watch and predict the results by betting online.
The top console games like EA Sports FC, Dota 2, Fortnight, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive allows gamers to compete against players from across the globe. Practice your skills on the soccer training field, learning the basics and improving before unleashing on the gaming world. Play at home on your PS5 or take your favorite games on the move with your laptop. Start Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and settle in for a bumpy ride with games lasting an average of 45 – 60 minutes.
The attractions of gaming for a living are apparent, but where do you start? First, you must be confident you’re good enough, dedicated, and committed to being a professional gamer. If you like the idea of gaming for cash but lack the commitment, the industry will chew you up and spit you out. But if you’re skilled, love gaming, and have a clear dream of reaching the top, you could follow in the footsteps of the legends covered on this page.
Keep reading as we list the most famous and successful esports players of the past. With esports coverage growing as quickly as the prizemoney, we’re confident it will continue to improve. The next generation is faster, more competitive, and better supported by leagues, competitions, and esports promoters. They’ll continue to make and break records, but they’ll never be considered trailblazers like the early kings of esports.
We have organized our article into games, listing the most famous and successful players in each category, from StarCraft and Fortnight to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2. How many top esports players and teams mentioned on this page have you seen in action? Do you fancy yourself as the next star of the show? These gamers could provide timely inspiration if you want to be an esports pro.
Faker – League of Legends
Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok is a name that reverberates through the world of esports. The South Korean player has become synonymous with excellence in League of Legends, a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game developed by Riot Games.
Faker has won the World Championship three times (in 2013, 2015, and 2016), and he’s adored his unmatched in-game mechanics and understanding of the game’s intricacies. His combination of mechanical skill, game knowledge, and composure under pressure has made him one of the most fantastic League of Legends players ever.
Astralis – Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Astralis, a Danish Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) team, earned their place in esports history with their dominance in the game. The group, consisting of players such as Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz and Peter “Dupreeh” Rasmussen, won multiple Majors and maintained their status as the world’s top team for an extended period.
Astralis’ tactical brilliance, teamwork, and consistency have left an indelible mark on the CS: GO scene, making them one of the most successful in the game’s history.
Dota 2 – OG
OG, a European Dota 2 team, etched their names into esports legend with their back-to-back victories at The International in 2018 and 2019. Led by Tal “Fly” Aizik and Johan “N0tail” Sundstein, OG demonstrated exceptional teamwork and adaptability, earning them the reputation as one of the best Dota 2 teams ever.
Their unique ability to innovate and surprise opponents has solidified their place in the annals of esports history.
Faker – StarCraft II
Before Faker conquered League of Legends, he made a name for himself in another iconic esports title: StarCraft II. Faker went by “Gosu” in his early career and achieved remarkable success in the highly competitive Korean StarCraft II scene.
His exceptional APM (actions per minute) and strategic prowess catapulted him to the top ranks of professional StarCraft II players. Though he eventually transitioned to League of Legends, his legacy in StarCraft II is a testament to his exceptional gaming skills.
CSGO – s1mple
Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, a Ukrainian CS: GO player, is renowned for his exceptional aim and clutch plays. Often considered one of the most mechanically gifted players in the game, s1mple has consistently ranked among the world’s best CS: GO players.
His performances have carried teams to victory numerous times, earning him a reputation as one of the most influential CS: GO players ever.
Overwatch League – Sinatraa
Jay “Sinatraa” Won is a standout player in the Overwatch League. As the MVP of the league’s 2019 season, he played a pivotal role in leading the San Francisco Shock to victory in the Overwatch League Grand Finals.
Sinatraa’s versatility, adaptability, and ability to excel on multiple heroes have set a high standard for aspiring Overwatch players, inspiring many.
Fortnite – Bugha
Fortnite, a battle royale sensation, has produced its crop of esports stars. Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, an American player, won the Fortnite World Cup Solo Championship in 2019, earning $3 million in prize money. Wow.
Bugha’s victory catapulted him to fame and demonstrated the potential for esports players to achieve mainstream recognition and financial success.
StarCraft – Flash
Lee “Flash” Young Ho is a South Korean player known as the “God of StarCraft.” Flash’s dominance in the real-time strategy game StarCraft: Brood War is unparalleled.
He won numerous championships and held the position of the world’s top-ranked player for an astounding 22 months. His precision, decision-making, and work ethic made him a role model for aspiring StarCraft players.