Call of Duty General

Seven Call of Duty pros make the Top Ten Esports Players of 2020

The Top 10 Esports Players of 2020 have been listed by The Esports Observer with seven of them being Call of Duty professionals.

An impressive amount of Call of Duty League players made the cut this year. Additionally, two Call of Duty teams, Dallas Empire and Atlanta FaZe, made it on The Top 10 Esports Teams of 2020.

These lists are ranked entirely by prize winnings from all competitions and are not voted for.

Whilst the usual top ten is often flooded with Dota 2 players, this year’s list looks a little bit different as there was no Dota 2 The International Championship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Top 10 Esports Players of 2020

If 2020 couldn’t get any stranger, the highest earning esports player was a chess professional, Sven Magnus Carlsen.

Many believe that chess should not be considered an esport, however, the board game took Twitch by storm as all competition moved online during the summer.

The rise of chess is clearly no laughing matter as Carlsen took home nearly $500,000 this year and many players have even been signed to esports teams such as Team Solo Mid.

Numbers two to six consist of Call of Duty League players: Clayster, Crimsix, iLLeY, Shotzzy and Huke – the former Dallas Empire roster.

With Dallas Empire crowned champions of the inaugural 2020 Call of Duty League season, it is no shock to see their roster on this list.

As there have been multiple Warzone events and other independent tournaments throughout the year, not all of their prize money totals are even. Clayster takes the top spot as the highest earning Call of Duty pro of 2020 with $373,330.

In seventh place is Magic: The Gathering world champion PVDDR who took home $300,000 this year. The old card game has quickly become a popular esport in recent years.

With another chess player in eighth place, two more Call of Duty pros finish off the list in ninth and tenth. Cellium and Simp both competed under Atlanta FaZe last year who came second in the CDL Championship.

Whilst the pandemic remains an ongoing issue, we may well see another peculiar list of players in next year’s top ten.

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TSM Chess? TSM Signs Grandmaster Hikaru Nakumura

Team SoloMid has always positioned itself at the cutting edge of esports, but their latest signing may still surprise you. The storied esports organisation yesterday (August 27) announced the addition of the prodigious chess player Hikaru “GM Hikaru” Nakaru to its lineup of talent.

However, this isn’t the start of a TSM chess division. Instead, the acquisition is a move to acquire one of the most popular and recognisable figures in a rapidly expanding field of streamed entertainment. Chess has seen a huge surge in popularity in the past 12 months, especially on YouTube and Twitch.

In June,, one of the largest online chess websites hosted the PogChamps tournament on Twitch. Instead of Grandmasters and chess pros though, the tournament featured popular streamers and YouTube personalities. As a result, the level of play was much more accessible and understandable for a wider audience, making the event a huge success. 

GM Hikaru featured as one of the commentators for that event, even if some moves by the competitors left him baffled.

What GM Hikaru brings to TSM, besides his chess legacy (a 15 year old prodigy who became the youngest American to earn the Grandmaster title, and a five-time US Champion), is a more modern attitude to the game of Chess. This new wave of popularity is less focused on the highest levels of play, and instead on personality and entertainment. 

It aims to make chess more accessible, separating it from the elitism that has traditionally run through its core. GM Hikaru is a perfect match for this new perspective on one of the oldest games in the world.

You can catch GM Hikaru streaming on his official Twitch channel. And make sure to follow Dartfrog for all the latest gaming and esports news on our TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Twitch.