Dota 2 tournaments have the largest prize money amongst all eSports games. The strategy involved in playing this game makes it challenging enough for the best minds to play and also makes it entertaining enough to capture large audiences. As a result the best eSports players in the world play eSports tournaments and battle it out to prove who the best player is and who takes home the biggest amount of prize money.
Here are the top eSports gamers who have built a reputation for themselves by consistently defeating the rest of the field and amassing a huge amount of prize money.
- Peter “ppd” Dager:
Is the captain of the Team Evil Geniuses. He is an American player from Fort Wayne, Indiana. His career prize earnings to date stand at $2.164 million making him the highest overall winner in eSports games.
He started playing Heroes of Newerth casually while he was a freshman in college in 2010 and committed himself full-time to the game in 2011 when he started to excel in it.
He tasted success by placing second at DreamHoN Winter 2012 and DreamHoN Summer 2013. He transitioned to Dota 2 in 2013. After his transition to Dota 2, he switched multiple teams before eventually forming the team SADBOYS where he was the captain.
After 19 straight wins SADBOYS became part of the team, Evil Geniuses. From 2014, under his leadership, Evil Geniuses began to assert their position as the best team in the world and won multiple tournaments including the 2015 International and the 2015 Dota 2 Asia Championships.
- Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora:
Is an American player from Madison, Wisconsin who currently belongs to Team Secret. He is one of the highest earning eSports players of all time having won around $2.159 million.
As a child he grew up in Wisconsin and was active in sports including tennis and chess. He was the captain of his high school tennis team and considers Marat Safin as one of his favourite players. He turned his attention to eSports and played as an offlaner in Dota 2.
His breakthrough started in The International 2011 when his team placed 7th and it gave him a lot of encouragement although he did not compete.
After the International, he displayed considerable talent in the ‘It’s Gosu’ and Quantic tournaments. He has been a part of team Evil Geniuses from 2013 onwards. The years 2014 and 2015 were very successful for the team, during which they won multiple tournaments including The International 2015 and Dota 2 Asia Championships. He was awarded the Most Valuable Player Award for consistently playing at a high level. He continues to offlane and wants to see himself as being the best offlaner that has ever played.
- Clinton “Fear” Loomis:
Is an American player from Medford, Oregon who takes part in Dota 2 tournaments. He is widely considered the best Dota 2 player of all time and can play exceptionally well at all positions in the game. He started his career in the mid 2000’s with the game DotA: Allstars.
He joined team compLexity Gaming in early 2006 and soon gained fame as the best player in the world.
After team compLexity disbanded, he played with different teams and eventually switched to Dota 2 in 2011.
He was picked up by the team Evil Geniuses in 2011 and has been a part of the team ever since. This team has performed extremely well from 2014 onwards placing in the top 5 in multiple tournaments including winning the International 2015 tournament and the Dota 2 Asia Championships of 2015. He has a total prize earning of $1.7 million. He is known for his stoic expression even when his team is celebrating a victory. His focus is unmatched and he keeps his sights firmly on the next target.
- Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling:
Is a Canadian Dota 2 player who belongs to the team Evil Geniuses.
He began playing casually as a 9 year old and attributes his childhood to just wanting to play video games all day long.
He became seriously involved with eSports during his time as a student in the University of British Columbia in Canada.
Later he dropped out of the university to pursue eSports full time. His parents were initially sceptical of his career move, but have since reconciled after he started winning tournaments. He began his career in 2012 with team PotM Bottom and quickly became famous because of his innovative style. He tasted success in different Dota 2 tournaments with different teams until 2015.
He was then picked up by the team Evil Geniuses. His impact on the team was immediate as he helped his team won the Dota 2 Asia Championships. This was followed with top 2 finishes in multiple tournaments including winning the International 2015 tournament. He has a total prize earning of $1.8 million.
- Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan:
Is a Pakistan born American professional Dota 2 player who also plays for Evil Geniuses.
He lives in Rosemont, Illinois. He is one of the younger eSports players having turned 17 in February 2016. His overall prize money earnings stand at $1.8 million.
He started his career in the North American Elite League and reached the top very quickly.
Noticing his talent, team Evil Geniuses player UNiVeRsE pushed successfully for his inclusion in the team.
SumaiL joined team Evil Geniuses in January 2015. He had a poor performance in the first tournament with the team. But in the next tournament in February, which was the Dota 2 Asia Championships, he bounced back and the team won the tournament.
This was followed by a team victory in the biggest Dota 2 tournament, the International 2015. His style of playing is based on reflexes and aggression. In the game he plays in the Solo Middle and Carry roles. One of his siblings is also a professional Dota player.
- Zhang “xiao8” Ning:
Is a professional eSports player hailing from China, who plays the Dota 2 game. He began his career in 2010 playing in the team Dream but it was only in 2012 when he joined team LGD Gaming that he tasted success, as the team won multiple Dota 2 tournaments.
He briefly joined team Newbee in 2014 and was part of the team which won the International 2014 tournament.
It is reported that the team had paid $81,000 as a transfer fee to bring him onboard.
He presently plays for team LGD.cn mostly in the roles of offlane, support or middle and has tasted considerable success. His total earning till date is more than $1.6 million.
- Chen “Hao” Zhihao:
Is a Chinese professional Dota 2 player who plays for the team Newbee. He is known to be extremely aggressive when playing. Because of his aggression he is nicknamed General Hao by the Chinese media.
His role is that of a carry player. He is known to takes risks while playing which has both positive and negative outcomes for him and his team.
He has been in different teams starting with team TyLoo in 2011 but has tasted much success with team Newbee which won the International 2014. His career prize money earning till date are more than $1.5 million.
- Clement “Puppey” Ivanov:
Is an Estonian eSports player who plays Dota 2. He is regarded as one of the best team captains who plays for Team Secret.
His team roles are that of Jungle, Support and Utility. He is one of those captains who is not afraid to experiment even in important matches. His overall earnings from eSports stands at $1.28 million. His career started with Xero Skill team in 2007. As the team’s performance improved he started earning the respect of other players.
Over the years he has changed a few teams but it was with team Natus Vincere that he tasted success when the team achieved victory in the International 2011. He was also named captain of the team after this victory. He has led his team to victory and high place finishes in multiple tournaments.
After a few bad losses, the team disbanded and he formed Team Secret and took on the role of the captain. Under his leadership, the team won some significant tournaments in 2015 including winning the MLG World Finals and The Shanghai Majors 2016. He has a musical background and also plays multiple instruments.
- Wang “Banana” Jiao:
Is a professional Dota 2 player from China who played with team Newbee to win the International 2014.
He started his career playing DotA with different teams before switching to Dota 2 in 2011.
After the switch, he again played with different teams and tasted initial success in the International 2013 where his team placed 4th.
He then switched to team Newbee and placed first in many tournaments from 2014 to 2015 including winning the International 2014 tournament. He is currently coaching and also acts as a substitute to team LGD Gaming.
- Zhang “Mu” Pan:
Is a Dota 2 professional player from China who plays for team Newbee. He is known to take a high risk-high reward approach while playing. He plays in the mid-lane.
He started his career with DotA after which he switched to Dota 2 and joined team TongFu in 2012. The team gradually improved their performances over time placing in the top 5 in a few tournaments.
He then lost his team mates in a reshuffle but was later reunited with them when he joined team Newbee in 2014.
This team has tasted much success including winning the International 2014, and has been touted as the Chinese Dream Team.