Best Esports Countries
Esports is a titan of industry, and it’s getting bigger with each passing day. It has gone from being a misunderstood and remarkably niche concept to a multi-billion-dollar global phenomenon, and it’s only just getting started. These days, esports can rival traditional sports in terms of overall value, viewership, and fanbase, and there are tens of thousands of competitors desperate to make it to the grandest stages – but what are the best esports countries when it comes to raising the top gamers of the world?
It’s a global activity, and all around the world, young gamers grow up wanting to be the next best thing in esports or content creation. There are university courses and college programmes dedicated to educating children and teenagers in the ways of the world of esports. There are competitors from almost every nation on Earth, but which among them can be called the ‘best esports countries?’
Let’s find out.
If we go by sheer earnings alone, there are some players that stand out from the crowd with the utmost ease. For instance, Denmark’s Johan ‘N0tail’ Sundstein, with more than $7 million in earnings accumulated over his career, easily sits at the top of the earnings table. But does that mean that Denmark fields the best esports gamers? Out of every nation on Earth, what are the countries with the highest esports earnings?
Despite being a country that sometimes operates behind closed doors, China is easily classed as one of the best esports countries on Earth. In fact, owing to the sheer number of high-earning competitors and the number of tournaments that Chinese players have won, it’s certainly the most dominant nation in the space. For the longest time, the Chinese government was opposed to the concept of competitive gaming, but for a few years, it has been gaining popularity across the nation.
There’s a diverse and exciting ecosystem of esports within China that seems to encourage the education and growth of tens of thousands of competitors. Out of every country on Earth, China has pulled in the most prize money, with Dota 2 winnings making up the vast majority of the nation’s earnings. From Arena of Valor to League of Legends and from PUBG to CrossFire, Chinese esports competitors are a mixed bunch, and they’re remarkably good at what they do.
At the time of publishing, there are forty-four Chinese esports players that have won more than $1 million – which is far more than any country on the planet.
- Chunyu ‘Ame’ Wang: $3,912,000
- Ruida ‘Faith_bian’ Zhang: $3,847,000
- Yiping ‘Y” Zhang: $3,780,000
- Yao ‘Somnus’ Lu: $3,272,000
Image Credit: ONE Esports
By sheer nature alone, the USA is a vastly competitive nation. It boasts some of the most highly-valuable sporting organisations, leagues, and tournaments in the world, and it’s fast becoming one of the best esports countries on Earth. When it comes to the esports country rankings, the USA narrowly misses out on securing the first-place position, but it might not be very long until the USA is number one.
From the United States, more esports players have surfaced and made it to the most professional stages than any other country in the world. If we use EsportsEarnings.com’s ranking as an example, we can see that – one record – 7,534 players have emerged from China, the second-most populous country when it comes to esports. From the USA, almost 25,000 players are listed as having earned enough to make the ranking.
But with that being said, only twenty-one players have earned more than $1 million, compared to the forty-four from China.
Even with that fact existing, the USA is still a staple nation in the esports industry. There’s vast investment across the country, and over time, colleges, broadcasting companies, sports organisations, and even the government itself are getting increasingly interested in the power of esports. There’s no doubt that the USA is king when it comes to ‘Western’ games like Fortnite, CSGO, Rocket League, Call of Duty, and Rainbow Six.
The USA also boasts the highest concentration of top-tier, high-earning content creators and streamers, effortlessly dominating that market.
- Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf: $3,533,400
- Saahil ‘UNiVeRsE’ Arora: $3,057,000
- Peter ‘ppd’ Dager: $3,029,300
- Clinton ‘Fear’ Loomis: $2,564,000
Image Credit: Pxfuel
3/ SOUTH KOREA
South Korea is arguably one of the most dominant nations when it comes to discussing the best esports countries. It is one of the ‘founding father’ nations of esports, and it started leading the charge and pioneering the popularisation of esports more than twenty years ago. In South Korea, televised broadcasts of esports tournaments have been commonplace for longer than some countries have been merely hosting said tournaments.
It sits so close to the top of the esports country rankings, and that’s mostly because of the legacy that South Korea boasts. Today, it calls itself home to some of the greatest esports players the world has ever seen, but by 2023, only three players from the nation have earned more than $1 million. Some of the best League of Legends players and some of the greatest StarCraft II competitors of all time have emerged from South Korea over the years.
Like the USA, South Korea’s government and some of its biggest corporations are all too eager to support the next generation of esports gamers. It might not be at the top of the list of countries with the highest esports earnings, but it’s on the way up, and it has been so for two decades.
- Sang Hyeok ‘Faker’ Lee: $1,470,000
- Sung Choo ‘Maru’ Cho: $1,168,000
- Byung Ryul ‘Rogue’ Lee: $1,074,000
- Jung Young ‘Loki’ Park: $999,130
© SKT T1 Faker