With an ever-growing prize pool that continues to break and set records every year, it’s no secret that the highest earning Dota 2 players are those who have won a TI. However, while TI winners make up the majority of the esports’ highest-earning players, there is a handful of Dota 2 players who have managed to carve themselves quite a lucrative career despite not having been part of a team that took home the Aegis of Champions.
With the help of EsportsEarnings, we bring to you a list of the highest earning Dota 2 players in the history of the game that have never won a TI and have a chance to finally win one later in August at The International 2018.
Xie ‘Super‘ Junhao
With career earnings of $1,578,298.18, Super is the highest earning Dota 2 player who has never won a TI. Majority of his career earnings can be attributed to his high placing at TIs. Super has placed no lower than Top 6, which was back in 2013 with Team DK, with his highest placement being with Vici Gaming, who lost to Newbee in the Grand Finals of The International 2014.
Unfortunately, after claiming third-place last year at The International 2017, Super will be missing TI8 after LGD.ForeverYoung fell short of securing a berth at the China Qualifiers.
Rasmus ‘Misery‘ Filipsen
A true veteran of the game, Misery played in sixth straight TIs before missing the past two. But, unlike Super, Misery hasn’t exactly had a lot of success at TI. In fact, save for his second-place finish at The International 2016 with Digital Chaos and fourth-place finish at the very first The International with Meet Your Makers, the do-it-all Danish pro failed to make it past the Top 12 from TI2 to TI5. But, even so, he’s made quite a lucrative career in Dota 2, to the tune of $1,442,841.97, with a huge bulk of it coming from his tenure with Team Secret and Digital Chaos from 2015 to 2016.
Now with Blinkpool after being kicked out by Evil Geniuses prior to the TI8 qualifiers, Misery is looking forward to keeping his squad together for next season.
10. Artour ‘Arteezy‘ Babaev
Total career earnings: $1,286,867.01 USD
Perhaps the most
infamous of all in our list of highest-earning Dota 2 players who have yet to win a TI, the former pub star and streamer is a fan favourite that has, more often than not, been the butt of jokes after going through a period where he often switched between Evil Geniuses and Team Secret from 2014 to 2016.
Considered by many as the most mechanically skilled Dota 2 player in the world, Arteezy‘s highest placement at a TI was back in 2014 when he made his TI debut with Evil Geniuses and took third-place overall. Since then, he has yet to achieve as much success at Dota 2’s grandest stage, although he has since made numerous deep runs at the previous Valve Majors, in addition to winning a number of big LAN tournaments.
Now seemingly content with sticking to Evil Geniuses — he has not left the North American organisation since returning post-TI6 — Arteezy and the boys in blue will be heading into TI8 as the 9th most-likely team to win it all (18 odds).
9. Lu ‘Fenrir‘ Chao
Total career earnings: $1,291,938.88 USD
The 29-year-old has only played for four teams during his pro career, having spent the majority of it with ViCi Gaming, where he almost won it all back in The International 2014 where they lost to a Newbee squad who had pretty much stolen the death ball strategy that ViCi Gaming gave birth to and executed it better.
Although Fenrir hasn’t exactly fallen off since then, this season has been his most successful in years, as the talent-laden ViCi Gaming have a legitimate shot at winning The International 2018 (9 odds).
8. Liang ‘DDC‘ Ming
Total career earnings: $1,300,113.77 USD
One of the few Dota 2 veterans who has played at every TI and the only one of the four to have never won a TI, DDC owes much of his career earnings to sustained mild success rather than a single huge win. Case in point, the only time DDC has made it relatively far at a TI was at The International 2017 (3rd place with LGD.ForeverYoung) and The International 2012 (3rd place with LGD Gaming).
Now playing alongside former teammate Liu ‘Sylar‘ Jiajun and with Bai ‘rOtK‘ Fan as their coach, it looks like it’ll be a while before DDC gets to hoist the Aegis of Champions as VGJ.Thunder are currently near the bottom according to bookmakers (41 odds).
7. Xu ‘fy‘ Linsen
Total career earnings: $1,305,703.84 USD
The former face of ViCi Gaming, the so-called fy-god was one of the main keys to the team’s success for years, alongside former teammate Fenrir (No. 9 on our list). However, after failing to make an impact last year while playing for Team VGJ, the 23-year-old pro who’s known for his flashy plays as a position 4, especially on Rubick, is back as his play has been one of the catalysts for the success of PSG.LGD, especially during the latter half of the season.
At 4 odds, fy finally now has another legitimate shot at the Aegis of Champions with PSG.LGD after coming up short at The International 2014.
6. Lu ‘Maybe‘ Yao
Total career earnings: $1,408.894.62 USD
Just as Fy was the former face of ViCi Gaming, the superstar mid player Maybe is the face of LGD Gaming and has spent the past three years leading the Chinese powerhouse to deep runs in August. But, for all his proficiency, Maybe has only made it to the final day once, placing third at The International 2015 after losing to the eventual champions Evil Geniuses in the lower bracket finals.
5. Tal ‘Fly‘ Aizik
Total career earnings: $1,412,169.71 USD
A former Heroes of Newerth pro, Fly was one of the key components of the Fnatic.EU squad that became perennial contenders from 2012 to 2014. But, while Fly has been mostly successful throughout his career as he played with various teams, it was with OG, a team that he founded along with former teammate Johan ‘N0tail‘ Sundstein, where he became the first Dota 2 player to win four Valve majors, a distinction he also shares with Notail.
4. Ludwig ‘Zai‘ Wåhlberg
Total career earnings: $1,467,008.71 USD
Wherever Zai goes, success almost always seems to follow, as he’s spent his career playing for teams that are expected to win TI. Although he has never come closer to winning a TI than a pair of third-place finishes (The International 2014 and The International 2016 with Evil Geniuses), it is not for the lack of effort nor talent, as zai has proven himself as one of the most talented position 4 players in the world, capable of winning games sometimes by his lonesome.
Now playing for an OpTic Gaming squad that’s tabbed as one of the least likely teams to win it all (21 odds), it shouldn’t come off as a surprise if zai ends up finally winning it all, especially with a captain that knows what it takes to do so in Peter ‘ppd‘ Dager.
3. Zhi ‘KaKa‘ Hu
Total career earnings: $1,468,430.98 USD
A former pub star, KaKa’s rise to becoming one of the highest earning Dota 2 players in the world has been fun to watch, especially because it wasn’t until he was picked up by Newbee in March of 2016 that he started experiencing some success and padding his career earnings.
As part of Newbee, the 25-year-old support player has helped the team win plenty of LAN tournaments, including a second-place finish at The International 2017. Although only a few are probably betting on Newbee to win it this year (15 odds), the same could probably be said about Newbee last year, and with that disappointing loss probably still vivid on their minds, only a fool would count Newbee out.
2. Johan ‘N0tail‘ Sundstein
Total career earnings: $1,478,487.35 USD
N0tail has been a staple of TI ever since making his debut back in The International 2013 with Fnatic.EU, but his success at Dota 2’s most prestigious tournament has never been one of the reasons why he landed himself on the No. 2 spot on our list of highest earning Dota 2 players who have never won a TI.
The only remaining founding member of OG, everybody’s favourite flower is one of the first two Dota 2 players to win four Valve Majors — the other being his former teammate and the No. 5 player on our list, Fly.
As the most battle-hardened veteran of the current iteration of OG, the odds are against n0tail to finally win a TI (26 odds). But, who knows? Not being one of the heavy favourites might just be exactly what OG and n0tail need to finally place higher than top 8 at a TI.
1. Damien ‘kpii‘ Chok
Total career earnings: $1,493,725.85 USD
Having made a name for himself as the carry player of MVP.Phoenix at The International 2015, Kpii has since taken his talents to Newbee, where his oft-unheralded prowess in the offlane has helped the former TI4 champions become perennial contenders for the past three years.
At 15 odds to win it all, Newbee are far from the heavy favourites, but that also means less scrutiny and a smaller target on their backs, which should give them a legitimate shot to top last year’s performance at The International 2018 in August.
Which of these highest earning Dota 2 players to have never won a TI do you think will finally take home the Aegis of Champions later in August? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.