Aussie Teen Pockets $4.6 Million After Winning World's Richest eSports Prize -- Again
An Australian teenager has managed to take out the world's richest eSports prize for the second year in a row, placing him among the highest-earning sportspeople in the country.
Anathan 'ana' Pham made history on Sunday when his team, OG, became the first group to win the Dota 2 world championships, The International, twice.
For his role in the victory, Pham took home a cool AU$4.62 million, proving just how lucrative top-tier professional gaming has become.
Pham's total career earnings now sit at $8.9 million.
One of the most coveted titles in esports, The International has the largest first-place prize of any competitive gaming competition, coming in at more than $15 million USD -- this from a prize pool of more than $34 million.
As Esports consultant Rod Breslau pointed out, OG team members won bigger prize packets thanWimbledon singles champs Novak Djokvic and Simona Halep, and 2019 Masters champ Tiger Woods.
According to the Financial Review's latest sports rich list, the win ranks Pham as Australia's 13th highest paid athlete, out-earning Cameron Smith, Nick Kyrigios, Mile Jedinak and David Warner.
Pham, 19, moved from Melbourne to Shanghai in 2015 to pursue a career playing Dota 2 -- a multiplayer online battle arena video game in which two teams of five compete to destroy the other's base.
As the eSports industry makes its way ever closer to the mainstream, professional gaming is becoming increasingly indistinguishable from more traditional sporting careers.
It is estimated about 380 million people worldwide watched eSports in 2018, including about a third of all Australians.
Thousands of fans pack out arenas to watch tournaments, while the sport's best competitors sign paid contracts with professional clubs -- including the two owned by AFL teams Essendon and Adelaide.