Many people dream of one day becoming famous, whether that be through creating some incredible form of art, culture, or sporting achievement. Until recently gaming was not seen as an avenue that was particularly well suited to launching people into the celebrity gossip magazines, television shows and red carpets.
However, thanks to the rise of Esports and the proliferation of gaming in the online sphere, there are now a multitude of high-profile celebs who all shot to stardom thanks, in the main, to hours spent plugging away on keyboards and controllers.
Here are just some of those gaming stars, many of whose stories can inspire the next generation of famous gamers to come through.
The ancient game of chess has reinvented itself online and is now more popular than ever
At the age of twenty-two Magnus Carlsen became the second youngest world champion in the ancient game of chess. His rise to stardom since that day has been meteoric and largely in part to his willingness to push the game forward online, especially when it comes to engaging with fans as well as live streaming some of his games via his Twitch channel.
All this recently culminated in him going one step further, by creating the first ever online professional chess tournament, in conjunction with Chess24.com, called the Magnus Carlsen Invitational.
Carlsen’s fame has also been ensured by the healthy rivalry he shares with Italian-American player Fabiano Caruana, the two often disclosing their best moves and matches online for up-and-coming players to ogle and learn from.
Some players go from playing in front of a few viewers to suddenly being thrust into the mainstream spotlight
After starting his life as an online video gambler, this Dutch player was soon drawn to poker, where he became one of the main drivers of online gaming world.
Lex Veldhuis used his Twitch channel to gain a large following. It is the subscriptions that fans make to this stream that probably make up the bulk of his current income, as his magnetic personality keeps people coming back for more.
Veldhuis is currently a member of the team of the prestigious PokerStars platform, which specialises in poker. His first tournament on the platform dates back to 2005, and from then on he has grown in popularity both in live and online tournaments, where he can be found under the nickname ‘L. Veldhuis’.
Such is his popularity that he is now regularly invited to commentate on the world’s biggest tournaments and even once took part in a kickboxing match against a rival poker player, much to the delight of his loyal following.
There is perhaps no other online gamer alive today who more than KSI has paved the way to showing how you can go from playing FIFA in your bedroom to becoming a global megastar.
It all began for the Englishman when he opened a YouTube account and simply began uploading videos of himself commentating as he played match after match. It was his ability to effortlessly draw viewers and build a lasting rapport with them that helped him outgrow online gaming altogether.
He is now a recording artist, semi-professional boxer and even has his very own clothing line, which is every bit as flamboyant as he is. Not bad for a young guy from Watford who went from playing games with friends to conquering the wider world.
A pseudonym for the man called Tyler Blevins, Ninja was the first online gamer to tap into the potential of live streaming sites, growing his personal brand on Twitch while piggybacking the explosive popularity of battle royale game Fortnite.
Flash forward a few years and this streamer is purported to be worth at least $20 million and has streaming platforms fighting to sign him to exclusivity deals, the latest coming from Mixer who stole him away from the Amazon-owned Twitch.
Any American consumer will also tell you how Blevins has gone about maximizing his earnings since rising to fame, appearing on Jimmy Fallon on multiple occasions as well as on just about any consumer product you could imagine, from soda cans to designer underwear.