Filipinos have been dominating esports for more than a decade, representing the country in every shooter, multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), and other competitive games abroad. Last May 2022, Philippine national esports team SIBOL bagged two gold medals and two silver medals at the recently concluded 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
As the esports industry continues its exponential growth, more and more Filipino athletes have already earned millions of dollars, along with the prestige in their game of choice. Here are the highest-earning Filipino esports icons in their respective games according to Esportsearnings.com:
Carlo “Kuku” Palad
Defense of the Ancient (Dota) 2
$998,661 from 58 Tournaments
Carlo "Kuku" Palad is a Filipino professional Dota 2 player who is currently the offlaner and captain of T1. He is one of the highly respected international Filipino esports players and is known to have professionally played all the roles in his Dota 2 career.
Having started his career in the days of Dota 1 around the early 2010s, Kuku gained prominence as a member of the TNC Predator.
Among Kuku's iconic feats was his upset victory against then-two-time major winners and European powerhouse OG, securing a 7-8th finish in the International 2016, the esports tournament which had the biggest prize pool at the time. As a member of TNC, Kuku and his team went on to win the 2016 World Electronic Sports Games (WESG), China Top 2017, and Asia Pacific Predator League 2019, among others. With his new team T1, Kuku won the ESL One Summer and placed 7-8th at the International in 2021.
Gilbert “Xplosive” Rojo
Gears of War 4
$305,800.00 From 44 Tournaments
Gilbert "Xplosive" Rojo is a retired Gears of War esports player who previously played for team eUnited. He was introduced to Gears of War in 2006 through his now brother-in-law, who would then bring over his Xbox 360 whenever he decided to visit. Since 2015, he has represented various esports organizations such as Enemy, Denial, OpTic Gaming, NRG, ToX, and UYU in 44 tournaments with a first place finish at 34 of those competitions. Xplosive has played pretty much every esports title on console and even a few PC games, particularly shooter games. As a retired professional player, he regularly streams on Twitch to show off his skills to his fans and followers.
Jake “Xmithie” Puchero
League of Legends (LoL)
$260,170.90 from 48 Tournaments
Jake Kevin Puchero, better known by his in-game name Xmithie, is a Filipino-American professional League of Legends player. He recently played as a jungler for Immortals of the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS). He has 11 championship finishes in 48 tournaments, including the NA LCS' 2015 Summer Split and the 2016 Spring Split while on CLG, as well as the 2018 Spring and Summer and 2019 Spring and Summer Split while on Team Liquid. Xmithie currently serves as the head coach of the North American organization TSM Academy.
Magno “Pr0phie” Ramos
Valorant and PLAYERSUNKNOWN’s BATTLEGROUND (PUBG)
$133,849.19 From 26 Tournaments
Filipino-American Magno "Pr0phie" Ramos has previously played for Complexity Gaming. This former professional PUBG player has played for teams like Cloud9 and Ghost Gaming. Having retired from PUBG, Pr0phie now streams on Twitch.tv and is a free agent player for Valorant.
Kiel Calvin “ OHEB” Soriano
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB)
$78,973.33 From 6 Tournaments
Kiel "OHEB'" Calvin Q. Soriano currently plays for Blacklist International. OHEB started playing Mobile Legends: Bang Bang seriously when his aunt's boyfriend introduced him to the game. After dominating the game’s leaderboards, he was contracted by Tier One Entertainment to play for the Blacklist International team as a gold laner where he went on to participate in several tournaments, including finishing first place at the M3 World Championship and MPL Philippines Season 7 in 2021.
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