Fortnite’s Esports revenue explains why there hasn’t been another World Cup

The highest-earning Fortnite players are the same as they were in 2019.

After a rather uneventful year for Fortnite’s competitive scene in 2020, it’s no surprise that the top 20 highest-earning players look very similar to those of 2019. With no 2020 World Cup or millions of dollars worth of prize money up for grabs, there wasn’t a lot that could have affected the current standings.

2020 did see a lot of former Fortnite enthusiasts seemingly leave Fortnite for the foreseeable future. Tyler “Ninja” Blevins was at one time the most popular Fortnite streamer but has since left the game for other competitive shooters.

highest earning fortnite players

Instead, the same top-ranking competitive players such as Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf and Kyle “Mongraal” Jackson have maintained their places on the 20 top highest-earning Fortnite players.

When looking at a player’s earnings this list will only gauge players on how much they have earned by playing Fortnite. While Bugha and other players have earned money through brand deals, merch sales, and partnerships, earnings are defined as what a player has won strictly by playing competitive Fortnite.

It’s also important to note that, while over half of the top 20 have earned over $1 million, none of the players have earned more than $300,000 since September 23, 2019. Others have earned as little as $20,000 over the past year and a half.

This chart was last updated on April 26, 2021.

Position Name Nationality Earnings
1st Bugha USA $3,159,595.05
2nd Aqua Austria $1,926,974.23
3rd psalm USA $1,873,138.80
4th Nyhrox Norway $1,537,945.69
5th EpikWhale USA $1,351,517.32
6th Wolfiez United Kingdom $1,337,778.07
7th Kreo Hong Kong $1,216,159.74
8th Rojo Netherlands $1,214,476.66
9th Zayt Canada $1,199,456.42
10th Saf USA $1,141,587.02
11th Ceice USA $1,112,055.47
12th kinG Argentina $1,021,000
13th Elevate Canada $991,583.20
14th Skite France $856,764.02
15th Mitr0 Netherlands $783,874.02
16th Crue Sweden $717,150
17th Mongraal United Kingdom $682,454.23
18th Bizzle USA $633,726.39
19th Arkham USA $609,916.68
20th Tfue USA $594,850

When comparing the list above to the highest-earning Fortnite players in 2019, the same 20 players are still on the list. Some players have moved up the ranks while others have maintained their position on the list. The biggest reason there haven’t been any new names added to the list is because of the lack of high-paying competitive events.

A large number of competitive Fortnite events were held in 2018 and 2019 including the Fall Skirmish Series, World Cup Finals, and Winter Royale. These events had multi-million dollar prize pools that rewarded first, second, and third-place winners with large cash prizes.

However, due to COVID-19’s impact on the world in 2020, Epic Games was unable to hold similar events. Competitive Fortnite took a back seat during the pandemic while crossover events and story-driven seasons kept players entertained.

With the pandemic still ensuing, Epic Games has stated it has no plans to conduct in-person tournaments throughout the course of 2021. FNCS tournaments are still taking place, but players won’t see the return of massive prize pools anytime soon.

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