Online gaming is huge right now. With the shutdown of almost all professional sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many – including plenty of professional sports stars – are turning to the virtual world to satisfy their appetite for sporting excitement.
No game is more popular than FIFA at the moment. There have been live televised tournaments and mainstream news coverage of them, mainly thanks to the big names who have taken part. It’s not just existing sports stars boosting their brand though, as some of the virtual world’s biggest stars – names like TeKkz and Nraseck – are also coming under the spotlight.
But how do the stars of FIFA compare to those more used to stepping out onto a real pitch? Here at OnlineGambling.com, we’ve compared eSports earnings data to the earnings of players in the top European leagues. We think you’ll find that the results are pretty surprising.
Top 30 FIFA Gamers
First, let’s take a look at a list of the top 30 gamers, which shows not only how much they’ve earned in their careers, but also how much money they make for every competitive game of FIFA they play. It’s interesting to see how much they’d earn per year if they played a game every week – keep this figure in mind for later in this article when we make comparisons with professional soccer players.
As you can see, the hottest property in the game right now is TekKz – real name Donovan Hunt – who plays for the Fnatic team. MSdossary has earned the most money overall in his career, scooping in excess of $550,000 in prize money.
TekKz would earn over $4 million a year if playing a game every week. While this is some way off the $20 million earned by Lionel Messi every year (the Argentine also makes over $100 million a year in sponsorships), it’s still more than any player at Brighton, Sheffield United, or Norwich takes home.
Breaking It Down by Country
Now let’s check out how FIFA earnings are broken down by country. We’ve made a list of the top 34 FIFA playing countries in the world, and it won’t surprise many to find that three soccer-mad nations sit at the top of the tree…
FIFA is absolutely massive in the UK. In fact, UK retailers sold more than 1.5 million copies of FIFA 20 in 2019 alone. This was 300,000 copies more than the second-place title, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
You’ll notice, however, that Brazilian players have higher average earnings than UK players, as there are fewer of them. Does this mean that the Brazilians can confidently say that they come from the top FIFA playing nation? Take a look at Sweden too, as their total earnings are just over $60,000 – a sum earned by just four players.
TekKz: FIFA’s Top Dog
It’s not possible to speak about FIFA without profiling the number one player on the planet, TekKz. The 17-year-old wunderkind has taken the FIFA scene by storm and plays for both Fnatic and the British national team. Here are some quick TekKz facts…
- Real name: Donovan Hunt
- Date of birth: June 2, 2002
- Nationality: British
- Team: Fnatic
- Former teams: The F2, KiNG eSports, Liverpool
- Other IDs: F2TekKz
He burst onto the scene by winning the FUT Champions Cup 2018 Grand Final in Barcelona, taking home $22,000 for his success in the FIFA 2018 tournament. 2018 also saw him post big wins playing FIFA 2019, which he adapted to perfectly. It’s not just individual honors he’s won either, as he helped KiNG eSports to the FIFA eClub World Cup in 2019, alongside Argentine Nicolas99FC.
Despite his young age, Tekkz isn’t shy. In fact, he’s been one of the loudest critics of FIFA 20, slamming the game by saying that “no-one enjoys playing FIFA 20.” Despite this, he’s still won a FUT Champions Cup tournament playing the game.
How Does TekKz Compare to Real Football Stars?
Now we’ll take a look at how TekKz compares to players in the world’s biggest football leagues – the Premier League, Ligue 1, La Liga, Serie A, and the Bundesliga. We think that the stats will show you just how lucrative being a professional FIFA player can really be.
The figures show that only Premier League players make more per game on average than TekKz, as he’d have to play 50 matches to earn the same. Over the course of a Premier League season, players take part in 38 matches. If other matches were added though, such as FA Cup and European games, the earnings would be much closer.
Perhaps the most surprising figure is the one from Ligue 1, home to Paris St-Germain, one of the biggest spending clubs in the world. The average player in the top French league would need to play for more than two seasons in order to match what TekKz would earn. How many would be tempted to swap the grass pitch for a virtual one if they could?
FIFA Really Can Pay the Bills
The figures we’ve presented definitively prove that the earnings of a professional FIFA player really can match those of average soccer players across the planet, even in the huge leagues in England, Spain, and Italy. Of course, soccer players are guaranteed their salaries, while most of TekKz’s earnings only come when he’s successful.
Of course, most FIFA players won’t manage to make it to TekKz’s level. In fact, there’s far more chance of you becoming a professional soccer player in one of Europe’s major leagues than of you hitting the heights of FIFA. Still, it’s something for avid FIFA players to aim for, especially if they don’t have the necessary soccer skills in real life.
Our methodology for this study was simple. We took figures from eSports Earnings, the authority on the amount of money being earned by virtual superstars. We’ve then researched the average salaries of players in Europe’s top five leagues.
This research has allowed us to compare the earnings of FIFA players and top soccer stars.