Remember, when mom and dad said playing video games is a waste of time and would amount to nothing? Forbes released its list of highest-paid gamers, and these guys are seriously getting paid.
According to Forbes, 2019 was a great year to be a white, problematic (in some cases) male gamer. While the list lacks melanin — except for one who is of Asian descent — and women, these professional gamers brought in some serious cheddar, over a whopping $120 million to be exact.
Topping the list, of course, is none other than Tyler “Ninja” Blevins. The blue-haired gamer helped put Fortnite on the map with some assistance from Drake hopping on his stream. In 2019 alone, Blevins raked in $17 million, with most of his money coming in from endorsement deals, fees, and sponsorships. According to Forbes, only $100,000 of his earnings came from competitive gaming, he didn’t even qualify for the first-ever Fortnite World Cup which was held in New York at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Last year, Ninja turned the streaming world upside down by ditching Twitch and inking an eyebrow-raising deal with Microsoft’s streaming platform Mixer that the financial publication estimates could be worth up to $30 million. We can’t forget his groundbreaking deal with adidas that landed him his own apparel and sneakers, as well as his Red Bull sponsorship. We would be remiss if we didn’t point out the controversies involving him. There was that time he said the N-word “accidentally” during a stream and also boldly stating he would never stream with women because he feared relationship rumors would start.
Speaking of controversy, Felix Kjellberg, who is better known as PewDiePie, earned the second spot on Forbes list bringing in $15 million. Who knows, that number might have been higher if he didn’t lose several partnerships following anti-Semitic and racist videos he dropped. He also got caught saying the N-word as well, go figure. Despite all of that, fans still stuck with the Swedish gamer, and he remains the most-subscribed-to content creator on YouTube and even managed to pull in 4.5 billion views last year. Sounds about white.
The other gamers rounding out the list include:
3) Preston (Preston Arsement) – $14 million.
4) Markiplier (Mark Fischbach) – $14 million.
5) Shroud (Michael Grzesiek) – $12.5 million.
6) DanTDM (Daniel Middleton) – $12 million.
7) VanossGaming (Evan Fong) – $11.5 million.
8) Jacksepticeye (Sean McLoughlin) – $11 million.
9) TimTheTatman (Timothy Betar) – $8 million.
10) Nickmercs (Nick Kolcheff) – $6 million.
With professional gaming increasingly on the rise, we expect this list to be more diverse in the future. Professional gamers like Dominique “SonicFox” McLean, Chen “GLHuiHui” YuYan, and the “LeBron James” of the Overwatch League, Jay “Sinatraa” Won dominating, that list will be shaken up in no time.
Photo: Quinn Harris / Getty