The amount of prize money in Call of Duty esports may not have the same figures as the likes of Dota 2, but it hasn’t stopped numerous players from collecting massive amounts of prize money over their careers.
Since the 2011 CoD XP, which featured the esport's first $1 million prize pool, there have been six more events with $1 million or more on the line. This has allowed players to dedicate more time and energy to the game and truly make competitive CoD into a career. Some have made those careers very financially beneficial.
Here are the top 10 Call of Duty players in event earnings.
10) Bryan "Apathy" Zhelyazkov - $583,347
Apathy's world championship win with Team Envy in 2016 was undoubtedly his largest paycheck until he won Champs again as a part of Evil Geniuses.
Many weren't expecting Apathy to be on a world-title contender when he joined Evil Geniuses before WWII, but he and the team proved everyone wrong when it mattered most.
Current team: None
9) Preston "Prestinni" Sanderson - $601,873
Prestinni has often been overlooked and doubted wherever he plays, but his teams' success cannot be denied.
More than two years after winning his first tournament, Prestinni and his eUnited team ended their title drought by winning the 2019 CWL Pro League Playoffs and then the 2019 CWL Championship.
Current team: Seattle Surge
8) Alec "Arcitys" Sanderson - $617,579
Like his twin brother Prestinni, Arcitys had his biggest payday when they, as a part of eUnited, won the 2019 CWL Championship.
While the twins didn't have the most success in the first season in the first CDL season, they are both set up with talented teams for 2021.
Current team: Atlanta FaZe
7) Austin "SlasheR" Liddicoat - $698,183
Over the last half decade, there have been very few, if any, players who could correctly say they're better than SlasheR. Known for his consistency and incredible slaying power, SlasheR won the CWL Championship 2016 with Team Envy.
Unfortunately for him, he has not been able to reclaim the glory he did four years ago. He has gotten close, though, with second-place finishes at the world title events in 2017 and 2019.
Current team: OpTic Gaming Los Angeles
6) Jordan "JKap" Kaplan - $680,279
Although JKap is thought to be one of the greatest boots-on-the-ground players in CoD history, his greatest success came during the advanced movement era (2015-2017), when he won two world championships. And in the only CWL Championship event in that era that he didn't win, he finished second.
After being benched during the 2020 CDL season, JKap announced his retirement from competitive CoD.
5) Matthew "FormaL" Piper - $784,932
FormaL is arguably the most talented Call of Duty player in history, and for majority of his career, he played for OpTic Gaming, a perennial powerhouse.
Since switching from Halo, FormaL has won numerous titles, including the 2017 CWL Championship.
Current team: Chicago Huntsmen
4) Damon "Karma" Barlow - $815,087
It should come as no surprise the first three-time world champion in CoD history is up this high on this list. With world championship wins in 2013, 2014, and 2017, Karma proved to be one of the most successful players in esports as a whole.
After a disappointing start to the inaugural CDL season, Karma abruptly retired.
3) Seth "Scump" Abner - $884,005
The most popular player in Call of Duty, Scump finally won his first world championship in 2017 by defeating archrivals Team Envy in the grand finals. That win not only gave him one of the only achievements that he was missing from his career resume, but it also added over $100,000 to his prize money total.
Current team: Chicago Huntsmen
2) James "Clayster" Eubanks - $1,088,771
Clayster is arguably the most vocal and exciting player in esports. He's not afraid to stand up and yell across a venue at his opponents after he makes a good play. And it's worked for him a lot to this point, as seen from his prize earnings total.
He won the esport's world title in 2015 and 2020, becoming one of the first two players in console esports history to break the $1 million prize earnings mark.
Current team: New York Subliners
1) Ian "Crimsix" Porter - $1,144,909
The winningest player in Call of Duty, Crimsix joined his former Empire teammate Clayster as the first two players in console esports history to earn more than $1 million from prize winnings.
His 36 LAN titles have obviously allowed him to climb up that far, but his three world titles helped the most. By winning the most prestigious tournament in the esport in 2014, 2017, and 2020, Crimsix collected $550,000 from just those three events.
Current team: Dallas Empire