The Most Popular Esports Players of All Time

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In the vast world of competitive gaming, there are a number of individuals who have risen in popularity due to their superior skills, accomplishments and impact in their respective game. Here we will explore that topic and see who are the most popular eSports players across some of the beloved esport titles: Dota 2, Counter-Strike, League of Legends, Valorant, Tekken, Super Smash Bros., and Street Fighter.

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Most Popular eSports Players Ever

Dota 2: Danil “Dendi” Ishutin

In the world of Dota 2, there are a few names that come to mind when it comes to competitive play. There is the 2 time T.I winner, Johan “N0tail” Sundstein, the mechanical god Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi, and the Mastermind Clement “Puppey” Ivanov.

But no one is more beloved than Danil “Dendi” Ishutin, The Face of Dota. He is best known for his “Pudge” gameplay and the infamous fountain hooks in The International 2013 or TI3. He has also won the first ever International with Natus Vincere way back in 2011. The fans love him due to his jolly and charming persona. Right now he is now past his prime but is still playing for B8, a team he founded in 2020.

Counter-Strike: Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyljev

Number 1 in his name, number 1 in the game. Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyljev was an AWPer for Natus Vincere for the majority of his career. With his godlike aim and lightning-fast reflexes he has won 1 major, 21 MVP medals and has been the HLTV no.1 player in 2018, 2021, and 2022.

This cemented his name as one of the greats, if not one of the greatest players of all time. He is also the author of some iconic plays like the falling AWP and the AWP fake flash clutch. As of the moment, the future is still unknown for s1mple. He’s an inactive member of Natus Vincere and his last stint with Team Falcons didn’t go so well. Only time will tell what the GOAT of Counter-Strike will do for the rest of his career in CS2.

League of Legends: Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok

When talking about League of Legends, there is a name that stands tall above the rest and that name is Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok. Regarded as the greatest player in the history of the game, Faker has dominated for over a decade now. He has won 4 World Championship titles, the most for any player in history.

He has inspired countless players and is considered to be a big celebrity in South Korea. His mechanical skill has been unparalleled and he has become the leader of the current T1 squad. He is still active to this day and it doesn’t seem like he is stopping anytime soon. 

Valorant: Tyson “TenZ” Ngo

In the fast paced world of Valorant, one name is synonymous to the game itself. Tyson “TenZ” Ngo, the Face of Valorant. TenZ is known for his precise aim, cat-like reflexes and flashy Jett gameplay. He has won countless 1vX situations for his team and has established himself to be one of the best to ever play the game. His chill and down to earth persona is also another reason why he is beloved by his fans.

He was formerly from Cloud9 but got more popular when he moved to Sentinels. With the Sentinels, he has won VCT 2021: Stage 2 Masters – Reykjavík and cemented their name as the best Valorant team in the world. After their win in Reykjavík , the team has been in a slump. They failed to win any major titles for the past year but just recently, they have won the VCT 2024: Masters Madrid. Will TenZ conquer the Valorant competitive scene again?

Tekken: Arslan “Arslan Ash” Siddique

No name in Tekken resonates more deeply than that of Arslan “Arslan Ash” Siddique, the formerly Unknown God of Tekken. He single handedly put Pakistan on the map with his unmatched mechanical skills and determination. Arslan surprised everyone when he won EVO Japan 2019 and snowballed from there.

After the win in Japan, he dominated and won EVO 2019, EVO Japan 2023 and EVO 2023, as well as the coveted Tekken World Tour Champion. His story has inspired countless players in his region and right now, Pakistan is considered to be a powerhouse in the competitive scene in Tekken. He is still competing to this day and with the release of Tekken 8, he is surely aiming for more championship wins under his belt.

Super Smash Bros. Melee: Joseph “Mang0” Marquez

There are 5 gods in Melee but only one god is beloved by all and his name is Mang0. Mang0 is known for his flashy and unpredictable gameplay. Mang0 mainly uses Falco and Fox and he also previously mained Jigglypuff and Mario. He has won countless major titles like GENESIS 2009, EVO 2013 and 2014, The Big House in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2019 and Smash Summit 11 in 2021.

These achievements have cemented Mang0 as one greatest to ever play Melee. His personality is also a major factor in why he is so popular in the community and to his fans. He is often funny, carefree and sometimes wild in his streams, much to the endearment of his viewers. Right now he is still competing in some tournaments but he mostly spends his time streaming to his audience who adores him.

Street Fighter: Daigo “The Beast” Umehara

Daigo’s name is synonymous with greatness in Street Fighter. Whenever you talk about competitive Street Fighter, you are bound to discuss “The Beast”. The unbelievable comebacks, great spacing and very serious demeanor has earned him that nickname. But he is most known for the Evo Moment 37 or most commonly known as “The Daigo Parry”.

This is where Daigo’s Ken was able to perfectly parry Chun-li’s ultimate and return with an ultimate of his own to win the round, all this with only a pixel left on his HP bar. He has also won 6 Evo titles in his career that span over 2 decades now. Right now he is still competing and he is still ranked among the best in the scene.

These players served as a beacon of inspiration in the esport and gaming industry. We must acknowledge the impact they have had in the shaping of the esport landscape we know today. They remind us of what we can achieve in the competitive scene and what it takes to be at the top.


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Kent Vergel
Kent Vergel
An avid Esports fan.
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