Top 20 Esports Influencers You Should Know

Brandon Brown

Brandon Brown

Esports, also known as electronic sports, are video game competitions. They are generally comprised of organized multiplayer video games such as real-time strategy, first-person shooter, etc. played by professional gamers.

Esports Events such as the League Of Legends World Championship, and Intel Extreme Masters not only provide live broadcasts but also prize money to the winners.

Esports influencers are highly relevant in the gaming industry because of their gaming expertise and the large number of followers and fans they have. Their reviews can easily make or break the success of a newly released game.

A study by Superdata shows that the global esports business had a revenue of $1.75 billion in 2017. That is likely to grow by 26% by 2020.

Why are ESports so Popular?

The growth of esports has grown exponentially in recent years. This is mainly because of games becoming more sophisticated. Both from gameplay and technological standpoints.

PC variants of games have made video games popular among computer users. People now have the freedom to play their favorite games without having to buy a dedicated console for gaming.

Then there is the internet, which has also helped to make online gaming a popular phenomenon. All of these things have led to the increased popularity of esports.

The Brands Involved

Although brands like Taco Bell and Nissan sponsor specific esport teams and event coverage, the below-mentioned companies have also been involved in the esports scene.

Coca-Cola has been a major sponsor of the League of Legends Championship for the past several years. The Coca-Cola Esports Twitter page is the 2nd largest Twitter account of Coca-Cola, with the largest one being Coca-Cola itself. Coca-Cola Esports even joined hands with IGN to launch the online show, Esports Weekly.

Intel has been running the Intel Extreme Masters Championship since 2016. The tournament specializes in games like the League of Legends, Starcraft, and Counter-Strike. More than a 100,000 people join this mega event, which is in Katowice, Poland.

RedBull is known for sponsoring extreme cultural festivals and sports events. So it's no surprise that RedBull has extended their sponsorships to include esports. RedBull has created a digital hub for esports content, and has been known to sponsor both events and teams. RedBull even has their own gaming team called RedBull OG.

Here are top 20 esports influencers you should know:

#1. KuroKy

Salehi “KuroKy” Takhasomi is an esports influencer from Berlin who specializes in Dota 2. He has around 202,000 followers on Twitter. His team, “TeamLiquid,” has an Instagram following of 19,000 people. He recently became the highest earning esports influencer after earning $2.4 million in 2017.

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Image via Dailymail  

#2. Gorilla                           

Spencer "Gorilla" Ealing is an English FIFA player who is often debated as the best FIFA player in the world. He is currently playing for UNILAD esports and has an active following of 14,800 people on Instagram. He was recently awarded the, “UK Esports Player of the Year 2017” at the Esports Industry Awards.

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Image via FIFA.COM

#3. FormaL

Matthew Piper, who goes by the name "FormaL," is a Call of Duty champion currently playing for Optic Gaming. Having 89,000 active Instagram followers, he earned £212,000 in 2017 for winning the Call of Duty Championship.

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Image Via Instagram

#4. Arteezy

Artour "Arteezy" Babaev is a Canadian professional Dota 2 player. He is currently playing for Evil Geniuses. Artour has a massive Instagram following of 172,000, and a Twitter following of 453,000.

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Image via Instagram

#5. Miracle-

Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barqawi is a professional Dota 2 player also currently associated with TeamLiquid. Amer currently has 152,000 active followers on Twitter, and 47,000 followers on Instagram. He and TeamLiquid collectively earned $125,000 this year by winning the AMD SAPPHIRE Dota PIT League.

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Image Via Instagram

#6. UNiVeRsE

Saahil Arora also known as “UNiVeRsE” is an American professional Dota 2 Player. As of 2017, Saahil is the highest earning esports professional, with combined earnings of $2,937,660.27. He currently has 23,000 followers on Instagram, and 157,000 followers on Twitter.

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Image Via Instagram

#7. N0tail

Johan Sundstein, who goes by the name “N0tail,” is a professional Dota 2 player from Denmark. He is also associated with RedBull OG. Johan currently has a Twitter and Instagram following of 147,000 and 117,000, respectively.

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Image via Instagram

#8. ppd

Peter "ppd" Dager is a professional Dota 2 player who was also the former CEO of Evil Geniuses. He has a combined earnings of $2,645,280.36 from 60 tournaments. Peter has 37,000 active followers on Instagram and 147,000 followers on Twitter.

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Image via Instagram

#9. MinD_ContRoL

Ivan Ivanov, also known as “MinD_ContRoL,” is a Bulgarian Professional Dota 2 player associated with TeamLiquid. He has a total earning of $2,821,271.96 from 42 tournaments. Ivan currently has around 40,000 Twitter followers.

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Image via Twitter

#10. MATUMBAMAN

Lasse Aukusti "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen is a Finnish professional Dota 2 players currently playing for TeamLiquid. He has 25,000 followers on Instagram and 66,000 on Twitter.

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Image via Instagram

#11. GH

Maroun "GH" Merhej, from Lebanon, plays for TeamLiquid. He has earned approximately $2,440,000 from 18 tournaments. He has a Twitter fan following of 32,000.

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Image via Instagram

#12. Fear

Clinton Loomis is American. He’s also a professional Dota 2 player, known as “Fear.” Fear is regarded as the best North American player in the last decade is also among the oldest Dota players. He is also part owner and captain of Evil Geniuses.  

Fear has total earnings of $2,419,855.64 from 63 tournaments. He has 47,000 active followers on Instagram and 186,000 on Twitter.

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Image via Instagram

#13. Aui_2000

Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling is a Canadian professional Dota 2 player and a former member of Evil Geniuses. Curtis currently has 141,000 Twitter followers.

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Image via Liquia

#14. Puppey

Clement "Puppey" Ivanov is a professional Dota 2 player from Estonia. He is currently the captain of Team Secret. He has earned a total of $1,610,640.16 from 89 tournaments. Clement currently has 251,000 Twitter followers and 65,000 Instagram followers.

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Image via Instagram

#15. S4

S4 also known as Gustav Magnusson is a professional Dota 2 player from Sweden. He is currently associated with RedBull OG. He currently has 48,000 Instagram followers and 174,000 Twitter followers.

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Image via Instagram

#16. Zai

Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg is a professional Dota 2 player from Sweden. Zai currently plays for Optic Gaming. He has a massive Twitter following of 132,000.

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Image via Twitter

#17. Fly

Tal "Fly" Aizik is a professional Dota 2 player from Israel. He is the co-founder and current captain of RedBull OG. He has a following of 103,000 followers on Twitter and 48,000 on Instagram.

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Image via Instagram

#18. FAKER

Lee "FAKER" Sang-hyeok is a South-Korean professional League Of Legends player. He currently plays for SK Telecom T1. FAKER has a Twitter fan following of 120,000.

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Image via Instagram

#19. Resolut1on

Roman "Resolut1on" Fominok is a professional Dota 2 from Ukraine. He is currently playing for RedBull OG. Roman has an Instagram following of 83,000 and a Twitter following of 107,000.

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Image via Instagram

#20. KezBrown

Kerian Brown, also known as KezBrown, is a FIFA player from Manchester City. He is a YouTuber and currently has a fan following of 23,000 subscribers. He also has a Twitter following of 8,000.

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Image via Instagram

Choosing The Right Influencers

Esports influencers are often hard-to-get. Their increasing popularity makes it difficult for marketers to get in touch with them. Another challenge marketers face with these influencers is the cutthroat pricing they come with because of their popularity.

Most esports influencers are also lacking in terms of pricing transparency. Which leaves many marketers unable to justify those crazy influencer marketing budgets.

Because they are often hard-to-reach, esports influencers can also be difficult to work with due to communication issues. Marketers often have to work through many layers of brokers in order to make a deal with an esports influencer. This often complicates communication, and skyrockets budgets.

Keep in mind that there is no exact formula for choosing the best influencers for your campaigns. The most common method followed by marketers is choosing an influencer who’s niche aligns with their brand and industry. Once you have an idea of the type of esports influencers you need, you can concentrate on connecting and communicating with them.

Conclusion

The esports scene is only getting bigger, booming with innovative technology and new players in the industry. The above-mentioned people are best at what they do. They are major esports influencers who can easily increase a brand’s visibility with the help of their massive followings.

Do you know of any more top esports influencers who should be added to this list? Or do you have any tips or strategies for connecting or working with them? Feel free to comment below.


Brandon Brown

Brandon Brown

Brandon Brown is the CEO of Grin, an influencer marketing software solution for brands. Grin’s software helps customers identify, recruit & activate the world’s most engaging influencers. Prior to Grin Brandon led marketing for the #1 energy drink market in the world, Los Angeles & Orange County, at Red Bull North America. He is an expert in consumer marketing and has extensive experience working with with the worlds largest brands to reach consumers through influencers, athletes, musicians and artists.

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