As long as there has been a platform for eSports, there has been a stage for competitive gaming in Canada. As early as 1991 and 1992, Canada hosted several of the officially sponsored Nintendo Campus Challenge competitions. These early days of video gaming gave birth to the dreams, aspirations and desires of the next generation of gamers. So there is little wonder that many of the big names in the eSports world today are from Canada.
In 2009, Canada solidified its spot at the head of the eSports world table when the Calgary Cup Street Fighter tournament became a stop on the official Capcom Pro Tour. Now renamed the Canada Cup, this annual eSports competition has gone on to become a Premier Event on the Capcom Pro Tour, drawing the best players from around the world to the tournament.
Canada has cultivated some of the greatest names in eSports, and 2018 is set to continue in that trend. Be it within multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBA), fighting games or first person shooters (FPS), many of the big names to emerge have come from Canada, with the upper echelons of world rankings featuring a number of Canadians. However, with so many incredibly talented Canadian video gamers now showcasing their skills on Twitch and via live streaming, and gaining better sponsorship, don’t be surprised if we see more and more Canadians in the top tier of world rankings.
Whilst there are far too many to mention in one article, here is a quick rundown of some of the best eSports players to come from Canada so far:
The top five eSports earners from Canada:
No list of who’s who in Canadian eSports would be complete without mentioning their most successful gamer, Aui_2000. This incredibly skilled Dota 2 gamer is Canada’s #1 ranked eSports player, and ranked #11 in the world. Aui_2000 has earned almost $2 million in prize money to date, with USD$1.3 million of it alone coming from placing 1st in Dota 2 gaming tournament The International 2015.
The highest ranked Canadian in the current worldwide listings of the top eSports players of 2018, at #59, Arteezy has already earned approximately $75,000 in the first quarter of this year. Another Dota 2 player, Arteezy has gained notoriety not only from his success as a competitive gamer, but also live streaming his Dota 2 exploits on his Twitch channel. His outgoing and eccentric personality makes him a popular choice with eSports fans young and old.
EternaLEnVy is Canada’s third highest eSports earner. He is a straight up professional competitive Dota 2 gamer who plays for Team Fnatic. To date, his earnings have broken $890,000. As a consistent name in the eSports arena, it is likely that EternaLEnVy’s earnings will make him a millionaire in due time.
Known for his outgoing personality on his live streams, MoonMeander is ranked as #4 in Canada and #65 worldwide. So far, he has placed as Champion in 11 international tournaments, with his prize money being in the region of almost $800,000.
When it comes to Call of Duty in all its variants, there is nobody in Canada better than Karma. With total earnings to date of almost $700,000, Karma comes in at #5 on Canada’s best eSports player rankings. He has placed as Champion in over 50 international tournaments.
Canadian gamers of note:
Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn
Ranked #8 in Canada, Scarlett is Canada’s highest earning female professional gamer. An accomplished StarCraft II gamer, Scarlett first gained serious recognition when she won the Playhem "Sponsor Me!" Tournament in 2012. This win took her to the open qualifiers in Las Vegas and then to the 2012 StarCraft II World Championship Series Canada, where she won 1st Place. Since then, she has been Champion in 30 tournaments, not to mention her many Runner-Up and 3rd Place spots. In February of 2018, Scarlett won her highest single prize amount of $50,000 for placing 1st in IEM XII - PyeongChang (SC2).
Jason “WildTurtle” Tran
Perhaps one of the most well-known eSports players to come from Canada, WildTurtle is a professional League of Legends player. He began playing League of Legends in high school so he could game with his friends. Whilst he inevitably did not receive his high school diploma, his dedication to the game paid off. At only 23 years of age, he has already played for some of the major names in the video gaming industry, such as Cloud9, Immortals, Team SoloMid, and Counter Logic Gaming. He will continue to be one of the most famous names in global eSports for quite some time to come.
Jason “Amaz” Chan
Professional gamer Amaz began as a Warcraft III and World of Warcraft player, but found international renown with his regular streaming of Hearthstone on Twitch. Amaz currently plays for NRG eSports and has continued to rank highly in Premier and Major Events, as well as in competition earnings. However, he is perhaps most popular for his high-energy, entertaining Twitch streams, which have gained a massive international following.
Canadian eSports players to watch out for in 2018:
Tamim “Mistake” Omary
For busy professional competitive gamer Mistake, 2018 is already off to a great start. Playing Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U, he has begun the year by placing 3rd in Frostbite 2018, 2nd in GENESIS 5, and, most recently, finishing 3rd in Smash Masters League: Battle for Vegas. He is ranked 13 by Panda Global Rankings (PGR) and, in the latter part of 2017, gained sponsorship from Even Matchup Gaming. This is one Canadian eSports name to pay attention to as the year plays out.
Philip “PhilB94” Balke
Already one of the best FIFA players in Canada, PhilB94 is a relative newcomer in the greater world of eSports. However, when he placed 4th in the 2017 FIFA Interactive World Cup, he made his name on the international stage. The beginning to 2018 saw PhilB94 gaining sponsorship from Toronto FC and placed 2nd in the inaugural eMLS cup in Boston in April 2018.
Kelsy “SuperGirlKels” Medeiros
SuperGirlKels had a quietly successful 2017. Whilst her current Canadian country ranking is around the 400 mark, she has previously come 4th in the Canada Cup and placed 3rd in the Montreal ComicCup. However, it was her incredibly solid performance in the 2017 DreamHack Montreal that has the world of eSports taking notice, and we recommend you do too.
Eddie “Seohyun628” Lui
Seohyun628 makes this list as someone to definitely watch out for in 2018. Only starting his professional gaming career in the latter part of 2017, Seohyun628 came in 2nd place at DreamHack Montreal. It will be interesting to watch his path unfold through various competition playoffs throughout 2018 and beyond.