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The eSports market has evolved from a leisure-time activity for geeks and nerds, to almost half a billion dollar industry. According to Statista, the global eSports market size was $493 million in 2017 and is expected to reach $1.6 billion by 2020.

The industry started with gamers streaming their game performances on Twitch and YouTube and was earlier limited to a niche audience. It is now becoming mainstream, with large networks airing gaming events and large brands getting involved in sponsoring such events.

American video game maker, Valve, hosts one of the biggest eSports tournaments called “The International.” The Electronic Sports League’s whole business model is based around organizing eSports events and hosting eSports website content. Even consumer products brands like Red Bull and Mountain Dew are getting involved in this industry by sponsoring teams and players.

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With the industry getting more attention from brands and marketers, the role of eSports influencers has also evolved. A lot of popular eSports players use their public profiles to promote their brand sponsors and partners. In light of this, we have curated a list of the top eSports influencers in 2018. And of these are the eSports influencers that brands should watch out for in 2019:

#1. Jesse Vainikka

He is a Dota 2 player and the highest earning eSports influencer in 2018, with total earnings of $2.29 million from 10 tournaments. He has 75.2k followers on Twitter and another 49.5k on Instagram. His popularity skyrocketed in 2018, after his team, OG, won “The International 2018” DOTA 2 championship. He is sponsored by Red Bull and he promotes the brand in his social media posts.

Jesse Vainikka eSports Influencers

Image via Instagram

#2.  Johan Sundstein (n0tail)

He is a Dota 2 player, who earned $2.28 million in 2018 and was the second-highest earning eSports influencer for 2018. He has a massive following of 172k on Twitter and 52.1k on Instagram and is one of the most popular eSports influencers. He plays for team OG, which is sponsored by Red Bull.

Johan Sundstein eSports Influencers

Image via Twitter

#3. Sébastien Debs

He is a French eSports influencer who plays Dota 2 for Team OG, which was the number one eSports team in 2018. He has 71.4k followers on Twitter and 14.2k on Instagram. He earned $2.7 million in 2018 from several tournaments. He is also a part of team OG, sponsored by Red Bull.

Sébastien Debs eSports Influencers

Image via Twitter
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#4. Topias Taavitsainen

He is a Finnish eSports influencer, who specializes in Dota 2 and plays for team OG. His total earnings for 2018 were $2.2 million. He has 16.4k followers on Twitter.

Topias Taavitsainen eSports Influencers

Image via Twitter

#5. Anathan Pham

He is an Australian Dota 2 player, who also plays for team OG. He has 28.6k followers on Twitter.

Anathan Pham eSports Influencers

Image via Instagram

#6. Peter Dager

He is a popular DOTA 2 player and one of the top eSports influencers. The fact that he did not win any of the major tournaments in 2018 has not dampened his popularity.  He has 162k followers on Twitter and 40.9k followers on Instagram.

He has multiple brand collaborations, which he promotes on his Twitch profile.

Peter Dager eSports Influencers

Image via Twitter

#7. Xu Linsen

Xu is another Chinese Dota 2 player who is a member of LGD Gaming, which came in second in “The International 2018” DOTA 2 tournament.

Xu Linsen eSports Influencers

Image via Twitter

#8. Alexei Berezein

He is a Russian Dota 2 player, who plays for team RoX. His team won two ESL tournaments in 2018—at Birmingham and Hamburg.
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#9. Roman Kushnarev

He is a Russian Dota 2 player, playing for team Virtus.pro. He has 63.8k followers on Twitter and 147k on Instagram. He has several brand collaborations, with companies like Head & Shoulders, FRAGSTORE, and G2A, that he promotes on his Twitch profile.

Roman Kushnarev eSports Influencers

Image via Twitter

#10. Artour Babaev

Popularly known as “Arteezy,” he is a Dota 2 player for team Evil Geniuses and one of the most popular eSports influencers. He has a massive follower base of  670k on Twitter and 191k on Instagram. He has several brand collaborations that he showcases on his Twitch and Twitter profiles.

Artour Babaev eSports Influencers

Image via Twitter

#11. Kuro Takhasomi

He is a German Dota 2 player, who plays for the number one global eSports team, Team Liquid. He was the highest earning eSports influencer in 2017, after his team won The International 2017 tournament. He is also one of the more popular eSports influencers with 221k followers on Twitter.

He showcases his sponsorships and brand collaborations on his Twitter and Twitch profiles.

Kuro Takhasomi eSports Influencers

Image via Twitter

#12. Gabriel Toledo

He is a Brazilian Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player and owner of the eSports company, Games Academy. His massive follower base of 838k on Twitter, 603k on Instagram, and 929k on YouTube makes him one of the top eSports influencers. He has brand partnerships with Mountain Dew, Tinder, and several other brands.

Gabriel Toledo eSports Influencers

Image via Twitter

#13. Turner Tenney

He is an American Fortnite player and was the highest earning Fortnite player in 2018, globally. He streams his gaming videos on both Twitch and YouTube and has a YouTube subscriber base of 6.6M. He has 857k followers on Twitter and 3.5M on Instagram. One of his key brand partnerships is with GFUEL.

Turner Tenney eSports Influencers

Image via Twitter

#14. Sasha Hostyn

She is the highest-earning female eSports influencer with total earnings of $0.29 million in 2018. This Canadian player, popularly known as Scarlett, is known for her performances in the game StarCraft II. She has 38.9k followers on Twitter and 49k on Twitch.

Sasha Hostyn eSports Influencers

Image via Twitter

#15. Katherine Gunn

She was the second-highest earning female eSports player in 2018, with total earnings of $0.12 million. She has 27.5k followers on Twitter, 43.2k on Instagram, and 40k on YouTube.

Katherine Gunn eSports Influencers

Image via Twitter

Conclusion

These up and coming eSports influencers are at the peak of their gaming careers and among the top eSports influencers. They have engaged follower bases and are usually present across various social media platforms. This makes these eSports influencers a good choice for brands to collaborate with, especially if the intended target audience is that of gamers.

Which top eSports influencers do you like the most? Let us know in the comments below.
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