New Zealand’s Top eSports Players
eSports has never been more popular than it is today and benefits from being more
accessible to players from around the world than any other type of sport. New Zealand is no
exception, and has its fair share of top players in games such as Fortnite, Rocket League,
and CS: GO.
Betting on Success
eSports has boomed in recent years, driven by the growth in streaming popularity and the inherent resilience gaming has compared to traditional sports when faced with pandemic lockdowns. This also means a flourishing market for eSports betting, which has grown at the same time that online casinos have enjoyed a period of expansion (and many sites offer eSports and casino betting at the same place). It can be pretty time-consuming to assess an array of betting sites but there is an easier way to find the best New Zealand online casinos. Simply consult Top10casinos’ suggestions for Kiwi players to see an expert analysis of the leading NZ casinos and quickly find the one(s) that best meets your own personal needs, whether considering available games, bonuses, or other requirements.
5. Reihana Green – Slaya
We start off with the fifth highest eSports player to come from New Zealand: Reihana Green. Also known as Slaya, Reihana is a dedicated Fortnite player and, according to the most recent figures, the entirety of her eSports earnings come from this mega-popular and much-updated battle royale game. In total, Reihana has earned more than $83,000 from playing in 32 tournaments, which is even more impressive considering most of this ($78k) came in a single year, with her only other active year being 2020.
Almost two-thirds ($54k) of her earnings came as part of Chiefs eSports Club with the remainder earned on an independent basis. And there’s one standout event that accounts for more than half of Slaya’s income, a very lucrative $50,000 payday at the inaugural Fortnite World Cup. Reihana ended up finishing in the 65th to 128th bracket in the solo event in 2019, which brought her this substantial prize. As we shall see, the Fortnite World Cup was also a significant event in the careers of other Kiwi hotshots.
4. Abdullah Khudeish – Parpy
Number four on the top earning eSports players from the New Zealand list is Parpy (real name Abdullah Khudeish). Abdullah is another 100% Fortnite player and during his career played in 27 tournaments to earn himself $98,453. There are certain similarities to Slaya’s success, as almost all of his money (over 97%) came in 2019, also due in large part to the World Cup. While he did play for a couple of teams (Chiefs eSports Club and Raised by Kings) almost all of Abdullah’s winnings came when he played independently, during 21 tournaments in which he won just shy of $95k.
Parpy had two particularly successful tournament results that together made him $70k, and both were in 2019. Winning the FNCS: Season X – Week 4: NA East tournament ensured a $20,000 result, and this followed Abdullah’s success when he competed in the duos event at the Fortnite World Cup a couple of months earlier. At the World Cup, he ended up in the 33rd to 64th bracket and took home $50,000. Not bad for playing video games.
3. Ethan – Link
Also known under the name Link, Ethan is the third highest earning Kiwi on our list and, like the two preceding him, is also a 100% Fortnite player. As such, you can be forgiven for guessing where this might go. Just as with Reihana and Abdullah, Ethan has made a little under $100k ($99.6k) in his career, with almost all of it (94%) in 2019 and a little more in 2020. The Fortnite World Cup, it turns out, was fantastic for players from New Zealand.
Just like Reihana, Ethan managed to finish in the 65th to 128th bracket within the Fortnite World Cup solo competition, earning himself a cool $5,000 in the process. While this is pretty much half of his career income, it was far from the only substantial payday. Ethan won between $2,000 and $5,250 in half a dozen different Fortnite events in 2019, and his second-place spot in the FNCS: Season X – Grand Finals: Oceania competition earned him an extra $9,000.
2. Cameron Ingram – Kamii
Cameron Ingram, also known as Kamii, is the second highest eSports player that has come out of New Zealand (at the time of writing). While he is also 100% focused on a single game, his career earnings (totaling some $118,000) come from Rocket League and are spread across six years to date (2017 to 2022). Another dissimilarity to prior entries on our list is that Cameron has had a pretty consistent rate of income rather than making a bundle from a single event, with earnings between $18,000 and $27,000 from 2018 to 2022 (so far).
Mostly a team player, Cameron made 71% of his earnings with the Renegades team and 18% with Chiefs eSports Club (the remainder being split between independent play, Tainted Minds, and the New Zealand National Team). His consistency across the years is matched by a less spectacular but more reliable set of top earnings events, which netted Cameron between $3,333 and $10,000 each and cover competitions from 2018 to 2022.
1. Sean Kaiwai – Gratisfaction
Every aspiring professional gamer dreams of being number one, and we’ve finally come to that position. Given that CS:GO is one of the major three eSports (the others being Dota 2 and League of Legends) it’s mildly surprising that only one player on our list focused on it, but that player is top of the earnings (for now, Kamii may well end up overtaking him). Sean Kaiwai (also known as Gratisfaction) has participated in 69 tournaments to earn himself over $123,000, although the last competition was in 2021. His career was from 2016 to 2021 and the lion’s share of his earnings came in the three years 2018-20, during which time Gratisfaction made over 85% of his earnings (over $107k).
More than any other player on our list, Sean hopped about different teams, being a member of seven different teams during his career, in addition to earning a little (just over $4k) independently. His biggest two teams were the Renegades, with whom he earned over $54,000 (44%), and 100 Thieves, with whom he made more than $38,000 (equating to just over 30% of his career income). Right now Sean is the top dog on the Kiwi eSports earning list, but as Kamii is still active, and currently enjoying his most financially successful year, it might not be long before there’s a swap between positions one and two on our list.
And that concludes our rundown of the top five highest-earning eSports players from New Zealand.