Highest earning e-sports players in South Africa — with one making R3.7 million

South African e-sports players have been making a killing, with some having earned over R2 million in tournaments.

Esports Earning says that 789 South African e-sports players have won $1.97 million (R36.5 million) over 510 tournaments.

E-sports has grown considerably over the past five years, seeing an annual growth rate of 7.1%

A report by Statista Market Insights found that the e-sports industry is projected to reach a revenue of $4.3 billion (R79 billion) by the end of 2024.

The market is much smaller in South Africa, projected to reach $26.4 million (R484 million) by the end of the year.

South African players have earned the most playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, bringing in R17.3 million for local professional gamers.

Rocket League and FIFA 18 have also generated large winnings, totalling R8 million and R2 million, respectively.

The data of the top South African e-sports earners was compiled by TheOutlier.co.za, along with the infographic below.

Ioannis “JT” Theodosiou

Ioannis Theodosiou, also known as “JT”, is the highest-earning South African e-sports player with a total winnings of R3.7 million.

These winnings were accumulated across 107 different tournaments.

Theodosiou plays Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) and Counter-Strike 2, although most of their earnings came from playing CS:GO.

Currently playing Complexity, Theodosiou is ranked 1530th globally in tournament winnings.

JT’s largest prize winning was $10,000 (R184,546) for placing second in the Funspark ULTI 2020—Europe Final.

Ioannis “JT” Theodosiou. ESL Gaming/Adam Lakomy

Aran “Sonic” Groesbeek

The second-highest earner is also a Counter-Strike player named Aran Groesbeek, who has accumulated a total winnings of R2.3 million across 76 tournaments.

Groesbeek, also known as “Sonic”, is currently ranked second in the country and 2,565th globally.

Most of Sonic’s winnings came from playing for Extra Salt and Bravado Gaming.

Aran “Sonic’ Groesbeek. ESL Gaming/Viola Schuldner

Julio “Beast” Bianchi

Julio “Beast” Bianchi is the country’s third-highest-earning esports player, earning R1.35 million from eight tournaments.

Although only ranked third, Bianchi has the highest earnings per tournament, averaging R168,444 per competition.

Bianchi plays EA Sports FC, formerly FIFA, for Goliath Gaming and the South African National Team.

Kaylan Moodley

Gareth “Snowyy” Spiers

Gareth Spiers, also known as Snowyy, is a Rocket League player currently South Africa’s fourth highest-paid e-sports gamer with a total winning of R1.08 million rand.

Snowyy has participated in 34 tournaments, earning an average of  R31,802 per competition.

The 23-year-old plays for Limitless, where he has won most of his earnings.


Kaylan Moodley

Kaylan Moodley has earned R1.07 million playing FIFA, making them the fifth-highest-earning e-sports player in the country.

Moodley plays for Exceed and the South African National Team; however, he earned most of his winnings by playing independently and for Goliath Gaming.

Below is a list of South Africa’s top ten earning e-sports players according to Esports Earnings.

Kalylan Moodley
Player Total earnings Game
Ioannis “JT” Theodosiou R3.7 million CS:GO
Aran “Sonic” Groesbeek R2.3 million CS:GO
Julio “Beast” Bianchi R1.35 million FIFA
Gareth “Snowyy” Spiers R1.08 million Rocket League
Kalyan Moodley R1.07 million FIFA
Rhys “Fadey” Armstrong R1.03 million CS:GO
Ethan “Darth” Deysel R944,709 Rocket League
David “2Die4” Morgenrood R893,184 Rocket League
Dimitri “Detrony” Hadjipaschali R817,022 CS:GO
Ruan “Elusive” van Wyk R730,027 CS:GO

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Highest earning e-sports players in South Africa — with one making R3.7 million