Discover Kids Who Already Earn Money Playing Professionally

While I was watching the League of Legends World Championships a few years ago, I never thought that the star player from the winning team would have been at the tender age of 17. 

I did a bit of research and discovered that there had been many professional video gamers who earned millions of dollars playing the game that they love on a competitive level. This sparked my interest in finding out how video games make millionaires and who are some of these so-called video gamers.


Do you want to know who are some of the top-earning professional video gamers? Check out the article below to find out more about:

  • How Video Games Make Teens Millionaires
  • The Child Prodigy: Kyle Jackson - Mongraal
  • The Top Earning Professional Player: Kyle Giersdorf - Bugha
  • From Rags To Riches: The Story Of Sumail Hassan - SumaiL
Discover Kids Who Already Earn Money Playing Professionally
Image Source: Brink News

How Video Games Make Teens Millionaires

There has always been a stigma surrounding playing video games. At an early age, I was constantly reprimanded for playing video games for hours on end. My parents would immediately scold me for playing games and that there is no future in focusing all of my energy on such an unproductive lifestyle.

Discover Kids Who Already Earn Money Playing Professionally
Image Source: Esports Junkie

However, times are changing. The Esports scene is quickly becoming one of the most lucrative industries in the world. A few years ago, many would look down on the possibility that Esports would become a legitimate sport one day. 


It is much more different today now that Esports is seen as a very profitable industry, especially for teenagers who are ripe with potential. This is probably one of the many reasons why video games make millionaires out of young people. 

Coupled with determination, talent, and the right attitude, it is only a matter of time before these teens rise to become the superstars of the gaming world.

Why Start Young?

I've noticed that many players in the Esports scene start young. There seems to be a growing trend within the industry to recruit young players, but I wanted to find out why. There is a specific narrative where younger players have the physical and mental advantage while the veterans are far less capable but have the experience advantage.


Many, including me, would consider the age of 30 or even 35 to be the perfect time to retire in traditional sports. This is not the case in the Esports scene, where the average age of retirement is around 24 or 25. Many have attributed this to the age factor, where reaction time becomes slower when we age.

This is the reason why many organizations would want to recruit younger players. The reaction time from these young professionals often produces a better result. Younger players are also very versatile and more "teachable" than experienced veterans.

The Child Prodigy: Kyle Jackson - Mongraal

When Fortnite presented itself as a legitimate Esports game, many of its young players aspired to become professional players. The multiplayer battle royale shooter game became one of the most popular online games globally when it was released. 

Discover Kids Who Already Earn Money Playing Professionally
Image Source: BBC

It soon drove millions of players, including those below the age of 18, to try their best and become professional players. The vibrant and colorful aesthetics of Fortnite was one of its selling points apart from its highly competitive environment. 

Players would play it casually while others take a more serious outlook towards playing the game. This birthed the Esports scene wherein organizations and brands started looking to sponsor different talented players worldwide.

Prize pools in some of the tournaments would reach millions of dollars. This enticed a lot of its young people to become the best in the world. One of which would be Kyle Jackson, who soon became one of the youngest professional Fortnite players in the world.

How A 13-Year Old Became The Youngest Professional Player

The rise of Fortnite's popularity grew almost overnight. As soon as tournaments started rolling in, teams would earn millions of dollars when they reach the top spot. Players were enticed to play competitively within the game as it was the perfect scouting ground for up-and-coming talented individuals.

One of them was a 13-year-old boy from Kent, England that goes by the moniker Mongraal. Known as Kyle Jackson in real life, he joined a team of professional players at that young age and found good chemistry within the team. He even said at a CNBC interview that his chemistry with his teammates was what made the team shine and do well in these tournaments.

Seeing as Fortnite is a team-based competitive game, players rarely get the chance to be in the spotlight. However, it is not the same for Jackson. Later on, he would earn more than $600,000 and continue to do so from playing the game.

The Top Earning Professional Player: Kyle Giersdorf - Bugha

Another Fortnite player who has risen to fame is Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf. Before the age of 18, he has earned around $3.1 million in total cash prizes from joining about 43 tournaments. Almost 99 percent of his total prize money was earned before December of 2020.

Discover Kids Who Already Earn Money Playing Professionally
Image Source: CNBC

Out of all the tournaments that he has competed in, the Fortnite World Cup Finals in 2019 truly made him one of the top-earning professional players in the world. 

He would win one of the world's most significant cash prizes from an event totaling up to $3 million after finishing first place. He continues to play the game professionally and is one of the most popular Twitch streamers for the game.

Born in December of 2002, Giersdorf used the name Bugha as his in-game name in Fortnite based on how his grandfather used to call him. While he has played other sports, it wasn't until he was introduced to Fortnite by his father that made him who he is today.

The Early Life Of Bugha

Giersdorf joined an Esports organization called Sentinels in March of 2019, which started his whole career as a Fortnite professional player together with his team. He later qualified for the first-ever Fortnite World Cup that took place in late July of 2019. 

He competed against 99 other players, and the rest was history. Today, he plays the game and is still one of the most world-renowned Fortnite players in history. He has been awarded the Best Esports Athlete by The Game Awards in 2019 and was also nominated for Best in Gaming at the Shorty Awards. 

Apart from all his massive popularity and earnings throughout his entire career, he remains one of the most pleasant personalities in the world of Esports.

From Rags To Riches: The Story Of Sumail Hassan - SumaiL

Dota 2 rose to popularity around 2011 when the game was ported from just being a Warcraft 3 mod to a full-blown game backed by a popular game developer. The Esports scene was slowly formed, and it was only a matter of time before players began to play at a competitive level. 

Discover Kids Who Already Earn Money Playing Professionally
Image Source: ESTNN

Many of these professional players that start young were already given the best possible opportunities either by their parents or through a good support system. This wasn't the case for young Sumail Hassan from Pakistan. 

At an early age, he became interested in playing Dota in Pakistan. However, he did not have any access to a computer and would have to travel using a small motorbike together with his cousin and friends to a nearby internet cafe to play. 

Things begin to look brighter for the young Sumail when they relocate to the US. He began to establish himself as one of the promising young players in the game. It wasn't long before a team called Evil Genius noticed his uncanny skills and later on signed him up to be part of their team. 

Total Earnings And Overall Ranking

In 2015, he led the team to victory and earned them $6.6 million in total cash prize, with Sumail sharing around $1.3 million of the total amount. At the age of 16, this made him the youngest professional gamer at the time.

Today, Sumail continues to play Dota 2 and has been relatively low-key. Before he reached the age of 18, he had already won around $2.4 million from 29 tournaments. He has won 11 tournaments as champions, with 14 more as runner-up.

He stands as the eleventh player with the highest overall earnings. However, he remains at the top spot as the highest-earning player from Pakistan.


If there is one thing I noticed in these stories, it is all about passion and determination. These stories from young professional video gamers have inspired a new line of players who wish to go professional and start making a name in Esports

The gaming industry has evolved at a much faster rate over the past few years, and I am one of those who are excited to see where this could lead.