Self-played Millionaires – when teens make it big with games
Who hasn’t dreamed about making it big in one way or another? Picking up a wallet on a train and returning it for half a million in reward money, winning the lottery or maybe having a rich but distant uncle die… well, there’s plenty of ways to get rich quick, and almost none of them work. If they did, everyone would be rich after all – generally, the way to get there is through skill, clever business decisions and so on.
Now, what sort of skill and decisions these are differs from person to person, but generally speaking, they take time. It is rare for someone to get rich at a young age – with the possible exception of athletes and their sponsorship contracts. Well, gamers are another such group – with millions in prize money up for grabs in tournaments, skilled gamers can make a fortune regardless of their age. In fact, it’s not unusual to find 16+ year olds making thousands or even tens of thousands in one long afternoon.
Teen-gamers that are doing it very well
One such example is the 16-year old Mohammad Shami that recently won a remarkable £25.000 pounds in an Estars Fortnite tournament. That’s an impressive sum of money, but it pales in comparison to 19-year old Austin Etue – the winner of a Fortnite tournament with a prize money of $250.000 dollars. The Tennessee teenager was an underdog in the tournament and managed to survive past 99 other players to win the big prize.
Another example would be Dominique “SonicFox” McLean who, in 2016, went on to win every major Mortal Kombat X tournament that year – he dominated both seasons of ESL’s Mortal Kombat X Pro League, and went on to take over half a million USD in prize money – good for him!
17-year old Anathan “ana” Pham is a pro Dota 2 player, and he is one of the youngest players in esports history – he has pocketed over $600.000 USD from over 15 tournaments. His first prize was in 2016, when he was just 16 years old.
Significantly lower earnings, but still spectacular skills are what allowed Benedict “MrKCool” Ward to win several Vainglory tournaments – he has won over $2000 dollars and joined a pro gaming team called Mousesports… all the while being only 14 years old! What were you doing when you were 14?
Another 14-year old that played for big money is Jang “Creator“ Hyun Woo – he started playing StarCraft 2 professionally at age 14 and has since won over $100.000! Fellow Korean countryman Cho “Maru” Sung Choo started even younger – at the tender age of 13, he went pro and also earned well over $100.000!
Not by tournament winnings but via contract signing, 17-year-old Jay “sinatraa” Won made over $150.000 in one fell swoop. This means he is now earning $100.000 dollars more than the minimum player salary in the League… and he’s also one of the best paid Overwatch players ever. That salary itself isn’t the limit of his earning potential either – as a matter of fact, if his team wins the OWL, there are another $4 million dollars up for grabs… though he’d have to share with the rest of his team!