MATUMBAMAN 'top' of Finnish athlete earning for 2017

We all love a success story, and today we’ve got a lovely tale of esports paying off for one man. Lasse Aukusti ‘MATUMBAMAN’ Urpalainen, professional Dota 2 player for Team Liquid, was the highest earning Finnish athlete in 2017, pulling down a cool €1.8m for his efforts in the world of esports. There are a few caveats, as always, but it’s nice to see another tale of esports paying off for a man who dedicated himself to the craft.

The story was reported in, the national broadcasting service for that nation, a publicly funded station that has existed for nearly a century now. In it MATUMBAMAN is compared to the likes of Miikka ‘SuNny’ Kemppi, mousesports’s CSGO star, and Aleksi ‘Allu’ Jalli, former FaZe Clan sniper and all-around legend in the same FPS, as well as Hearthstone pro Janne ‘Savjz’ Mikkonen.

Qualified stat

To qualify this stat, it doesn’t include any Finnish player paying their taxes outside of their home nation, so any NHL, Formula 1 or other such folk paying their tax in via an Isle of Man accountant, in the US or Monaco are not included, but it’s an impressive mark to have hit nonetheless. Equally, it speaks to the overall success MATUMBAMAN achieved with Liquid, with no other Finnish Dota pro coming close.

Of course, the next season saw two Finns pick up over $1m each for their TI2018 victory, and they’ll no doubt feature more heavily on the list next year, but for now this is a fantastic achievement. In comparison to the reported $10m a year Kimi Raikkonen was being paid by Ferrari for pulling over for Vettel, it still shows the gap between esports and traditional sport of course, but few, if any rackets can match how lucrative F1 has become.

What makes this more interesting and somewhat impressive is the fact this statistic was presented by a group with no interest in esports itself. Normally these incredible stats that show the growth of the industry are presented by people with a vested interest in said growth, but these are just flat tax numbers that show how far we’ve come, and Dota 2 in particular.

Image credit: Team Liquid