The US may monopolize the headlines when it comes to esports. But its neighbor to the north certainly punches above its weight when it comes to being a global presence.
The gaming industry as a whole is worth an estimated CA$2 billion a year and rising, and eSports is following a similar trajectory.
Among the big names flexing their muscles in the industry are Enthusiast Gaming and OverActive Media. In 2025, the latter are even planning to open a 7000-seater multi-purpose stadium in Toronto to host tournaments and other gaming events.
So it’s no big surprise that there is a whole generation of eSports stars who have risen up in recent years. Their successes in tournaments at home and abroad have made them frequent favorites in the betting that has also risen up around the eSports phenomenon.
Here are six of the biggest names in the games – and there are plenty more young hopefuls snapping at their heels.
Arteezy – Total Winnings To Date: $2,645,717
Arteezy – real name Artour Babaev, was born in Uzbekistan and is now based in Canada. From childhood, he showed incredible promise and turned fully professional at the age of only 17 in 2013. His specialty is Dota 2, and in 2014, he joined forces with other eSports gamers, PPD and Zai, to form the SADBOYS coalition – later to be signed up by the US-based Evil Geniuses team.
He has enjoyed great successes as part of the team, including prize-winning finishes in The International in both 2021 and 2022. Since December 2022, he has changed allegiance to the Shopify Rebellion team.
Twistzz – Total Winnings To Date: $1,546,793
Twistzz – aka Russel David Kevin van Dulken – is the 24-year-old wunderkind of Canadian gaming. He is a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player for FaZe Clan, having previously turned out for several other teams, including Misfits, Team Liquid, and Team SoloMid.
Among the accolades he has received are MVPs in both the 2018 ESL One New York and the 2019 IEM Sydney.
HLTV also named him 17th 17th-best player in the world, and in 2022, he came first in the PGL Major Antwerp – his first major win. In March 2023, FaZe came first in ESL Pro League Season 17 and the Intel Grand Slam Season 4, making him the first-ever player to be part of a double Grand Slam winning team in a year.
Pokimane – Current Estimated Net Worth Of $25,000,000
Pokimane, the Moroccan/Canadian social media personality, is currently the most-followed female streamer on Twitch. Best known for her live streams of games, including Fortnite and League of Legends, she is hotly tipped to make her full entrance into the world of competitive eSports at some point in the future.
Her player’s name is a combination of Pokémon and her real name, Imane Anys, and in addition to streaming her gameplay, she also hosts podcasts and has a number of different YouTube channels.
Famous for her laid-back and approachable online persona, Pokimane is happy to interact with fans – a fact that has surely helped them to enjoy such massive success on the platform. Recently, she has branched out still further by becoming creative director of the Cloak fashion brand and launching a talent management agency called RTS.
AUI_2000 – Total Winnings To Date: $2,073,582
Along with Arteezy AUI_2000, real name Kurtis Ling, was a member of the Evil Geniuses team. In fact, he was replaced by Arteezy in a shock move following on from winning the 2015 Dota 2 Championships with the team.
This led him to create his own team, Digital Chao, before briefly rejoining EG in 2016. Other outfits with which he’s been associated include Team NP, and in more recent times, he has employed his many skills as a coach for Tundra Sports. This has paid off for them both as he helped them on their way to a stunning victory at The International 2022.
Elevate – Total Winnings To Date: $994,373
Fortnite specialist Hayden Krueger has been a consistent performer throughout the five years in which he’s been competing. His greatest results to date have been no less than five first-place finishes in tournaments, four as an unaffiliated free agent, and one as a member of the 100 Thieves team in the 2019 Fortnite World Cup – Week 6 NA East.
He is currently ranked #7 in Canada and #167 in the world, and still only 21; a very bright future lies ahead of him.
Naf-Fly – Total Winnings To Date: $1,221,299
Last but not least, we have Keith “Naf-Fly” Markovic – a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player for Team Liquid. Holder of MVP awards in five tournaments, he was also named as the world’s 14th best player by HLTV in 2021.
So, there you have them, six stars in the Canadian eSports firmament – all of whose career earnings we can expect to see rise dramatically in the future.