The contribution of Sweden to the esports landscape cannot be overstated, and with DreamLeague Season 11 Major happening in Stockholm as we speak it seems like a good time to highlight a few of the very best. The full list of Swedish champions ranges from Quake to Hearthstone and many more, as well as the ‘big three’, but for the sake of brevity we’re just going to list a few, or the cream of the crop, if you will. It’s fair to say that when it comes to esports, Sweden has been there for a long, long time, and these are some of the names that have put them on the map.
The only man to play in every single Major play-off is, ironically, somewhat a victim of his own success, trapped as he currently is in a golden handcuff contract with FaZe Clan. That team is going nowhere but backward right now, and Olofmeister has had both personal and physical issues in recent years, but the prize money speaks for itself. Only Dota 2 players are ahead of Olof in the list of Swedish earners, and none have enjoyed the level of relative success Olof did in his peak.
Winnings so far: $763,669.01
In CSGO, if you weren’t a Fnatic fan, then you were probably all about the Ninjas in Pyjamas. The first, and some would say greatest Swedish team saw the aforementioned original lurk play alongside f0rest, Xizt, friberg and fifflaren, and of the five only two still stand today, himself and f0rest. GeT_RiGhT has struggled to maintain the level he showed in the early years, partly due to some very trying personal circumstances, but his drive and desire haven’t waned, and he made top eight at Katowice with a new generation Swedes last month.
Winnings so far: $571,904.02
Right now, the strongest narrative around S4 is a bit of a sad one, as he was one of the two who deserted OG esports for Evil Geniuses, right before the former went on to win TI8, sort of, but then again he already had a TI title to his name. In reality a lot of water passed under the bridge between those two things happening, but the outpouring of anger about the move is a reflection of what a special player S4 is, and his $2.2m career prize money is testament to that also, putting him atop the list of Swedish esports earners.
Winnings so far: $2,218,343.71
At 21 years of age, it’s fair to say that Zai hasn’t had the time to match what Olof or GeT_RiGhT have done just yet, but his CV is impressive and he’s in exactly the right place at the right time. After playing with EG and PPD’s OpTic stack, Zai managed to secure a spot on the side of a leader that still produces results, in the form of Puppey’s Secret, and looks set to have a great 2019 as a result. $1.8m so far is his reward for being a Dota 2 pro, and he’s got a lot left to give.
Winnings so far: $1,789,058.05
League of Legends
It seems as though Swedish kids start their rise to excellence rather earlier than their peers in other nations, just going off the rise of Zai and Rekkles. The latter has been called possibly the best AD carry in EU already, and Fnatic’s star man is only 22 years old, suggesting he’s got a lot more left to give. He’s make a modest $358k in prize money so far, but that’s the reality of being European or American in League of Legends, at least for now. Rekkles and his peers are doing their best to change the balance of power in League.
Winnings so far: $358,675.81
Super Smash Bros
Armada is the greatest player in the history of Super Smash Bros Melee, and it’s not even close. For years he went without dropping a set to any player outside the top five, and even managed to retire before returning to reclaim his crown.
Armada winnings: $310,249.95
In typically dramatic fashion, Leffen was the first man to depose Armada and cause him to swap characters away from his signature Peach, and took arguably the most dominant Evo win in Melee history in 2018, which turned out to be the last Evo with Melee…sad.
Leffen winnings: $138,268.06
Rainbow Six Seige
Rainbow Six esports might not be as well known, but it is a thing, and a wonderful thing at that. the best team in the game is G2 Esports, but some distance, although that ignores the fact the five man unit was made by Penta, and bought by the EU giants, rather than in any way being G2’s work. At the helm of their indomitable team is Fabian, the man they call the best player in the world, and there can be few non-Danish in-game leaders anywhere in esports as successful as he is.
Winnings so far: $289,763.40
Prize money source: esportsearnings.com
Pictures: Copyright ESL | Helena Kristiansson, Adela Sznajder; Beyond The Summit.