If you can travel back in time to the 1980s and beyond, almost nobody you talk to would think that you can make money out of playing video games. Nowadays, you’ve probably heard of the term “Esports”, an acronym for “electronic sports” which is the expression for any kind of video game competition. Some people are able to make a huge sum of money by participating in Esport events.
Another way to make a career out of playing video games is by uploading ‘Let’s Play’ videos or recording gameplay live streaming. These two activities involve recording yourself while playing games, whilst often also making entertaining remarks to please your audience. The people that make money by doing these kinds of activities can also fall into the category of “internet celebrities”.
Most of Esport players and internet gaming celebrities are males. But don’t be mistaken, there are still female gamers who can do the same, and they are not in a small amount either. In fact, the number of pro ‘gamer girls’ around is quickly increasing and we can expect to see them more and more of them in the future.
For now, here are 10 of the current highest earning ‘gamer girls’ in the world, taken from various sources.
10. Ricki Ortiz
Ricki Sophie Ortiz is a long-standing fighting games player. The 37 years old began her career in 2003 through a Tekken competition. Afterward, she jumped into multiple fighting game championship playing Street Fighter: III, Marve vs Capcom 2, Street Fighter IV, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, and lastly Street Fighter V.
Before focusing on Street Fighter V, Ricki managed to win several tournaments, occasionally placing first and second in a couple of competitions. Although it wasn’t until she enters Street Fighter V tournament in 2016 that she made some notable performances.
For instance, during a Tier 1 Tournament of Capcom Cup in 2016, she surprised everybody in the scene by reaching the Grand Final after defeating one of the world’s most prominent players in fighting game scenes, Kazunoko. Back then, she only has just enough points to enter the tournament and nobody would’ve thought that she would go so far.
She eventually loses to NuckleDU at the final, earning $60,000 for finishing the tournament as the runner-up.
Loeya is a prominent Fortnite streamer on Twitch, the most popular streaming platform. In two years, the 21 years old Swedish gained popularity by garnering 1 million followers to this date. Initially playing Counter-Strike, she began playing Fortnite in March 2018, harnessing a lot of views because of it.
Loeya grew up playing video games. When she discovered Twitch in high school through her friend, she was amazed. That was the moment that triggered her dream to make a career out of the platform.
Upon graduating high school, she began streaming on Twitch in July 2017. Initially not doing well, she switched to Fortnite a few months later and managed to grow her popularity from there. At the start of her career, the singing hobbyist claimed that her parents were against the idea. However, as Loeya becomes more successful, in the end, they gradually agree.
Loeya is also known for doing YouTube on the side. She has 245,000 subscribers and uploads videos regularly.
Admittedly, Attack on Titan Tribute Game is not a relatively well-known game in the Esport scene compared to other games. However, the free online browser-game still has its own tournaments with decent prize pools—the last World Championship in 2019 has the prize money of $100,000.
From the start of tournaments in 2014 until now, there’s one female player who frequently stole the scenes, Siobhan “HaganeNoTema” Bielamowicz. The Australian is not only the best female player but also one of the top players. She is the second most successful player on the scene, collecting more than $120,000 total prize money, trailing only behind fellow Aussie, Zechten.
HaganeNoTema has won seven tournaments throughout her career. Her biggest wins came from 1v1 Damage Duel Championship 2018 and Akina World Championship III, amassing $20,000 from each competition.
Kathleen “Loserfruit” Belsten made herself famous by regularly uploading Overwatch and Fortnite videos on YouTube. Living in Australia, she is also a part of an Australian YouTube group named “Click”, whilst being the only female in the group.
Apart from YouTube, she builds her online presence through Twitch. Her streaming content including gameplay live streams, vlogs, and cooking streams. Kathleen is one of the most popular female YouTubers and Twitch streamers around, garnering more than one million followers on both platforms.
Her journey to stardom isn’t without obstacles. Kathleen admitted that she sometimes become a victim of harassment.
According to Kathleen, a few of her audiences have been saying mean things to her simply because she’s female.
Not only that, but she further mentions that one of her fellow streamers had experiences having a stalker in real life. Despite that, she still asserted that people who say and do such things are only minorities, “It’s the one percent, if that”.
Loserfruit doesn’t exclusively make revenue through ads, but also donations. She had received a few large donations from time to time, ranging from $1000 to $5000. She believes that the streaming industry is growing, at a rapid pace.
Born on April 20, 1988, Katherine “Mystik” Gunn was the most successful and highest-earning female gamer before being overtaken by a fellow female gamer (Scarlett) in 2016. Nonetheless, she still has the record for the largest prize won from a single tournament by a female by winning the WCGUltimate Gamer reality show in 2010 with $100,000, playing multiple games such as Halo: Reach, Mario Kart, and Tekken 6.
Mystik began her venture into competitive gaming by entering a Dead or Alive competition in 2006, winning the second place a year later with her team, Carolina Core, at Championship Gaming Series in California.
After winning WCGUltimate, Mystik made appearances at the IGN Pro League (IPL) in Las Vegas, while broadening her connections. Thanks to that, she managed to land an opportunity to commentate for a Dead or Alive tournament in the 2012 edition of Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).
Nowadays, Gunn mostly occupies herself by doing daily streams on Twitch, where she managed to amass more than 260,000 followers. She plays various games on Twitch such as Apex Legends, Overwatch, and single-player games like Resident Evil 2 and Sekiro.
Gunn is also a brand ambassador for Newegg, Gigabyte, and other companies.
LDShadowLady, familiarly known as Lizzie, is a UK-born female named Elizabeth. Lizzie initially started her YouTube channel with the intention to be a Call of Duty YouTube gaming channel. She uploaded her first video in 2010 which is a short 12-seconds Call of Duty video. However, in 2011, she changed her direction by filming Minecraft ‘Let’s Play’ instead.
Lizzie became fascinated with Minecraft after watching other Minecraft YouTubers. After discovering the big fanbase of Minecraft, she soon began to frequently upload Minecraft videos and managed to gain a lot of subscribers with the help of her own Minecraft gamers team.
Currently, LDShadowLady enjoys the growth of her YouTube channel with over 4.8 million subscribers, not to mention her total views of over 2.1 billion views, proving her popularity.
Before 2019, the name Li “Liooon” Xiaomeng is rarely ever heard before in the competition scene of Hearthstone. However, in November 2019, she suddenly made a huge uproar by placing 1st at the Hearth Grandmasters Global Finals after defeating Brian “bloodyface” Eason at the final by 3-0.
For that achievement, Liooon broke multiple records for being the first woman to win the tournament since its inception in 2014, the first woman to win a BlizzCon Global Championship, and also the first Hearthstone Global Champion coming from mainland China. As a 23 years old female, she already succeeds in emphasizing herself as one of the best and most successful female pro gamers of all time.
After winning the championship, Lioon took a moment to share her difficult journey. In 2017, while going to her first Hearthstone tournament, she claimed that she has been looked down upon because of her gender. While waiting in line, a male player said, “If you are a girl, you should not wait in line here. It’s not for you.”
Lioon also took the opportunity to give an encouragement speech for all women in Esports, “I want to say for all the girls out there who have a dream for Esports competition, for glory, if you want to do it and you believe in yourself, you should just forget your gender and go for it.”
Alia Marie “Lia” Shelesh, better known from her YouTube channel as SSSniperWolf, is another addition of a successful gamer girl coming from England. The Liverpool-born girl YouTube channel mainly focuses on video-game-related stuff until recently, when she is also uploading other types of video such as pranks, vlogs, and other non-gaming topics on a daily basis.
Lia is a fan of first-person shooter games as can be deduced from her channel name. Her repertoire of games including Fortnite, Overwatch, and Call of Duty. Lia managed to win the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards as the “Gamer of the Year” in 2019. Currently, Lia is the most subscribed female YouTube creator with more than 18.3 million subscribers.
Sasha Hostyn, known by her alias as “Scarlett”, is a 26-year-old Canadian Esport gamer who is, at present, the highest-earning female player. She is currently competing in a competitive realm unconventional for women, StarCraft II.
Known as the “Queen of StarCraft”, Scarlett has been prominent in the StarCraft scene since 2012. Initially without sponsors, she took a competition in Las Vegas by storm by beating high-ranking pro StarCraft players, all of whom are males, while becoming the tournament’s runner-up. Her feat didn’t end there, in 2013, she managed to climb the global StarCraft II world rankings by placing 21st of all StarCraft players after finishing 2nd at NorthCon event in Germany.
The next year, Scarlett continued to make a name of herself by succeeding to pull off seven victories, ranging from both minor to major tournaments, in the span of one year. Her outstanding performance throughout the year put her as the second-highest-paid female professional behind Mystik with over $110,000 in the total winning prize.
From 2015 until now, Scarlett still active in the StarCraft II scene, changing teams from Dead Pixels, Team Expert, to now Chinese-based pro gaming team, Newbee. In 2018, she also managed to snag the 1st place at the highest-tier Premier tournament of Intel Extreme Masters, becoming the first female player to do so.
Thanks to her achievement, as of October 2016, Scarlett became the highest-earning female competitive player of all time, overtaking Mystik with estimated earnings of more than $360,000.
Imane ‘Pokimane’ Anys is the top female streamer on Twitch. According to Twitch Metrics, Pokimane is the 7th most followed channel on the platform with almost 4 million followers.
In her video streams, Pokimane usually engrossing herself in playing popular video games such as League of Legends and Fortnite. She also does non-gaming activities on her stream like podcasts or watching YouTube videos made by other popular creators while commentating. Speaking of YouTube, Pokimane also has a YouTube channel with 4.5 million subscribers. Her YouTube channel still filled with mostly gaming content and other ones such as vlogs.
Pokimane is known for her easygoing, laidback, but enthusiastic personality. She is also able to interact with her audience well.
Pokimane gains revenue through ads, affiliates, and merchandise like t-shirts, hoodies, and pants. With the large influence she has on both Twitch and YouTube, Pokimane is not only the most successful gamer girl but also one of the most popular and lucrative internet celebrities at the moment.