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Chess Grandmaster Tops Esports Prize Money Rankings

Chess Grandmaster, Sven Magnus Carlsen has been named the top esports player based on prize winnings for 2020, according to a recent report from The Esports Observer.

With the rise of chess on Twitch through 2020 and the cancellation of several major international esports competitions such as the Dota 2’s The International, Carlsen, who is regarded as the number one chess player in the world, has managed to take the top spot through 2020.

In 2021, Carlsen has an opportunity to continue growing that total as more and more digital chess tournaments rise up – including his own company’s Champions Chess Tour with its USD$1.5 million prize pool.

Next on the list, the Call of Duty League’s first-ever season champions, Dallas Empire, took the next five spots. While none of the Empire roster became overnight millionaires like previous Dota 2 champions, each player picked up USD$300K from the win.

Ranking at seventh place is the only Magic: the Gathering competitor on the list.

Paulo Vitor “PVDDR” Damo da Rosa was the Magic world champion for the 2019 season, which had its finals in February of 2020.

The release of a modern digital client, in Magic Arena, has allowed the decades-old card game to rapidly rise up as an esport, with multiple professionals including da Rosa landing contracts with high level esports organisations.

In eighth place is a second chess Grandmaster, Hikaru Nakamura (who signed with TSM this year).

Nakamura is a world-renowned chess competitor, but the esports world knows him best for his role in creating the summer’s chess craze.

Nakamura is one of the leading chess streamers on Twitch, and it was his time spent playing with top streamer Félix “xQc” Lengyel that kicked off the new wave of online board game streaming.

Finally, closing out the list are two members from the runner-up Call of Duty League squad Atlanta FaZe.

Each player claimed USD$180,000 from the championship match.