The pandemic that the world is suffering has led to a curious circumstance. The world chess champion, Magnus Carlsen, has become the world’s highest-earning eSports player in 2020, after the numerous successes that it has reaped electronically. Curiously, from the moment in which the confinements began in most countries, chess began to experience a second youth that is now reflected in the success of the Norwegian great master.
The 30-year-old Norwegian chess player recorded winnings of $ 510,587 (375,795 / 422,559) in Chess24 prizes, as reported by Insidethegames.
To climb to the top spot, Carlsen has benefited from two factors. First, due to the fact that the overall earnings of eSports players dropped significantly due to the fact that and most gambling companies reduced their prize money in response to the global health crisis. Second, and in parallel to this previous circumstance, chess significantly enhanced online tournaments with professionals.
In the ‘top 10’ of eSports earnings, the world champion since 2010 was joined by another grandmaster, the American Hikaru Nakamura, whose earnings amounted to $ 325,000 (239,183 / 268,968) in 2020.
According to an investigation by eSports sportsbook Unikrn, the top 50 players earned 76% less than the previous year, going from 55 million dollars in 2019 to 11 million in 2020. The mean age of the first 50 was 22.7 years with seven teenagers also on the list.
Among the games that allegedly slashed their budget was Fortnite, which offered a cash prize of $ 7.88 million in 2020, compared to $ 71.59 million in 2019.
It should be remembered that in May of last year, Carlsen announced the creation of a new series of online chess tournaments with a total prize pool of 1 million dollars. The competition was named ‘Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour’ and consisted of four super tournaments culminating in a ‘Grand Final’ in August, in which Carlsen beat Nakamura.
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Travis M. Andrews is a features writer for The Washington Post. He joined The Post in 2016 as a reporter for Morning Mix. He was previously a travel and culture editor for Southern Living magazine, a contributing pop culture reporter for Mashable and the Week, and a contributing editor for the Syfy blog Dvice. He also has freelanced for magazines, including Esquire, GQ and Time. He is the author of the coming book “Because He’s Jeff Goldblum,” a semi-rumination and semi-ridiculous look at the career of the enigmatic actor and an exploration of the shifting nature of fame in the 21st century, to be published in November by Plume.