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eSports is the fastest growing sport in the world as of 2017! For years the video game scene has grown to accommodate a wide variety of gamers and eSports athletes which is why it is growing so rapidly. Video games are now an everyday part of a lot of adult’s lives, not just kids. eSports didn’t start out like this though, back in the early 2000’s video games were not more than arcade games you played at the local game room. Now with a 1.8 billion dollar industry, virtual reality, supercomputers, insane graphics, and huge name brand sponsors, eSports has emerged as one of the most popular sports in the 2010s. But, this industry wouldn’t be much without the influencers who have supported it and changed the name of the game, literally. In this blog, we are going to look at the top ten eSports influencers and see who is driving the market today!
Ninja is a professional Fortnite player and Twitch.tv streamer. Ninja gained his fame when Fortnite was released and he invented strategies to increase your chances of winning. He gained a massive following and eventually started to sign sponsorships with massive companies such as Red Bull after he went into professional gaming. He was even famous enough to have Drake on one of his streams in 2018 to play Fortnite. In any case, he is reinventing what it means to be a gamer and attracting nearly 14 million people to his content currently!
KuroKy is a German professional Dota 2 Player who plays for Team Liquid. His is the highest-earning prize winner in eSports history with over 4 million in prize money alone. KuroKy had his start with Team Liquid in 2015 and by 2016 he was winning Major titles for the team. While Team Liquid has struggled in 2018, they are expected to make a comeback with Kuro Ky at the helm. His YouTube channel and Twitch.tv accounts are heavily watched and inspire young players to learn the game and master skills like him.
N0Tail is a Swedish professional Dota 2 player and captain of the OG gaming team. N0tail originally started with the game Heroes of Newerth which eventually fell in popularity and was swiftly replaced by Dota 2. N0Tail is best known for his support playstyle on the OG team as well as his precise micromanagement skills that allow him to catapult his team to victory. N0Tail has played Dota 2 since it was released and was a large part of the reason it became so popular as he championed it as one of the best competitive eSports games in the world.
Gorilla is the first player on our list to play a sports video game professionally. Spencer Ealing, known online as Gorilla, is a British professional FIFA player. He entered the competitive scene in 2015 and has since been hailed as one of the best, if not the best, FIFA player in the world. Over the last two years, Gorilla has dominated the FIFA scene with six separate tournaments wins in FIFA and taking the number two spot in the eSports World Convention. Since then he has solidified his spot as one of the greatest players to play the game of FIFA.
Peter Dager, otherwise more known as PPD, is a professional eSports player and extremely popular influencer. He specializes in Dota 2, an online client-based MOBA game developed by Valve Corporation, as a professional player on the eSports team Ninjas in Pyjamas. PPD started his career in high school where he offered strategies to Dota players who praised him for his ability to take command of the game. Years later he played for Evil Geniuses and eventually became their CEO before leaving the position and going back to influencing and playing professionally. He has taken his claim to fame to social media where he has over 200,000 followers on his various accounts. PPD is a huge name in a budding industry and inspires others to follow in his footsteps.
Rick Fox has done it all. NBA player for the Laker and Celtics turned actor and filmmaker, Rick Fox has found himself as the owner of a popular eSports gaming team called Echo Fox. While he isn’t running the team, he runs a venture capitalist company that focuses on eSports funding and entrepreneurial success. Rick is a leader in the industry as no other Venture Capitalist company specializes in the gaming industry, with over 1,000,000 subscribers on various accounts, Rick is a massive influencer in the community as a leader and manager. While he plays games casually, Rick takes a business approach to the gaming community and has never played professionally.
Matthew Piper, commonly known as FormaL, is largely considered to be the best Call of Duty player in the world. FormaL started playing Halo in his high school years before switching to Call of Duty after the fall of Halo as the most popular online first-person shooter game. FormaL started his professional career in 2013 where he placed 17th in a world championship match. Four years later, FormaL earned 212,000 Euros from an international tournament win in 2017, FormaL has proven that eSports can be a very lucrative sport. FormaL currently plays for LuminosityGaming and has led them to back to back world championships earning MVP in 2017.
Duncan Shields, otherwise known as Thorin, is an esports caster and journalist in the United Kingdom. Thorin has been in the community since the beginning and is commonly refered to as the “eSports Historian” for his specialization in most professionally sponsored games in the gaming community today. Thorin runs his own YouTube channel and writes for Dot esports which is a name brand journalism company in the gaming community. When he isn’t casting, he is making content for his series on YouTube called “Thorin’s Thoughts” which is a series of his thoughts on the current meta and narrative of the gaming community.
Lee “Faker” Sang-Hyeok is considered to be one of the best League of Legends players of all time. He is the mid lane player for SK Telecom T1’s League of Legends professional gaming team and is one of the most influential people in South Korea. He has brought the game to such popularity in South Korea that Coca Cola has Partnered with League fo Legends to create League of Legends themed Coke cans to popularize the sport. From his skill to his generally calm and nice persona, Faker is the gamer that a ton of young fans idolize as the pinnacle of success.
Resolut1on is a Ukrainian professional Dota 2 player playing for the professional team J.Storm. in 2017, Resolut1on lead his team to the ESL One Genting win but ran into some trouble at StarLadder Star Series Season 3. This was the beginning of Resolut1on bouncing from six different teams within a two year period before he found his home at J.Storm. Through it all, he has been a passionate player and always told the fans what the most up-to-date news was. In his climb to the top, he has built a reputation as a fierce competitor and a professional within his craft. Now with a solid team and management, the gaming community is eager to see what the young star will do in the upcoming season.