The Call of Duty series is one of the most competitive video games out there. In fact, Call of Duty is played in a highly competitive setting today, which involves attendance of the Call of Duty League. Word is a team that wishes to participate in the Call of Duty League will have to cough up to $50 million to get a slot.
The interest in Call of Duty has made video gaming more financially feasible for many aspiring professionals who are spending a fair bit of time mastering the different games, and there have been many iterations of competitive Call of Duty. Today, we take a look at the top-earning Call of Duty players.
Most of them have played the majority of games, including Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Blackout, Modern Warfare & Modern Warfare II, Vanguard, World War III, and Warzone, to name a few. We have decided to aggregate the earnings of all players across the different Call of Duty games to make it easier to track. Please note that we have based this list on the earnings that players have received competing in the Call of Duty League.
#1 McArthur “Cellium” Jovel
Starting off our list quite strong, Cellium has won $1.33 million from playing the game until now. He has been competing since 2017 only and as you can imagine, the player has been trying to do his best in not overreaching or making mistakes so far. He has paced himself very well, knowing that he has to focus on performance more than participating in too many events.
This seems to have paid off. While 2017 and 2018 were about finding his bearings in the competitive scene, he managed to win $74,170 from 9 events. In 2020, he ended up winning $256,550 from 17 events and $490,100 from 10 events. In 2022 he ended up adding $298,125 from across eight events. In 2023, the player scooped up even more, eventually becoming the highest-earning CoD player, at least for now.
#2 Tyler “aBeZy” Pharris
The player to have won the most out of Call of Duty, across multiple titles and games nevertheless, is Abezy. The American player has been able to amass $1.58 million from dozens of tournaments over the years, which makes him one of the most known faces in the competitive scene. Players who are new may not know him outright, but hear this – Abezy was able to earn $515,916 from only 12 events playing in 2021.
He is one of the most capable players in the video game franchise’s history – never mind the game. He won $15,225 in 2018 when he was only getting started, but then in 2019, he managed to amass an impressive $310,114 across eight events. In 2020, the player won $243,025 from 19 events, and in 2021, he added $515,916 to his name, which was his biggest win as noted before.
In 2022, Abezy ended up winning $298,125 and then in 2023, at the time of this writing, the player could report $50,000 win from a single event. For all intents and purposes, Abezy is exceptionally talented and a player who is bound to be the top-earning player for a while now. At the time of writing this, Abezy is only 23 years old which is even more impressive when all is said and done!
#3 Christopher “Simp” Lehr
Simp is another top-earning Call of Duty player who definitely deserves to be on our list. Players who are new to the experience will definitely find his story an inspiration. Simp has played in even fewer events in his career to get here – winning around $1.55 million at the time of writing this.
He started somewhat hesitantly between 2016 and 2018, winning a few small events here and there and really adding no particular winnings to his name – just some $1,000 – $3,000 here and there. Yet, the player was focused on making a name for himself more so than anything else. He continuously developed his talent and then in 2019 – it showed.
The player managed to compete in six events and won a staggering $288,500, being recognized as one of the best players out there. It was a fantastic and highly-rewarding achievement for this young ace who knew that he was going to make a career out of playing Call of Duty competitively – which he deserves.
Over the years, Simp has shown a lot of consistency in terms of his professional play. This is also corroborated by the fact he’s been part of Atlanta FaZe for almost four years, playing side by side with the previous player on our list, aBeZy, with whom he has played side by side since 2019.
#4 Alec “Arcitys” Sanderson
Arcitys is another top-earning name in the competitive Call of Duty community, and as such he definitely deserves to be taken a look closer. Now, the player has only competed in 57 tournaments, and he has won a fairly massive amount – $1.39 million.
This is quite impressive because it gives him a very high earning potential compared to his overall effort spent into gaming and this is what makes Arcitys so interesting as a player. He started slow in 2016, finding his bearings, and winning $3,750 from a single event back then. In 2017, he won $82,375 playing the game in 9 tournaments, and then in 2018, he added another $67,873 to his name from 9 events.
In 2019, the player managed to win $310,114 from eight events, and in 2020, he ended up grabbing another $164,091 from 13 events. In 2021, the player ended up winning $485,850 from 9 events. Overall, he has started 2023 on a fairly modest footing – with $2,500 won from one event. Of course, this is going to change by year’s end.
#5 Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro
At the age of just 22, Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro already has some serious titles under his belt. He is a 2020 Call of Duty World Champion, as well as that year’s MVP. Interestingly, this happened just two years after the young player transitioned to competitive Call of Duty, as before that, he was heavily involved in the world of Halo. In fact, Shotzzy had already made his name before joining high-level CoD play, as he became Halo World Champion way back in 2018 when he was just 17 years old.
However, on the verge of turning 18, the player joined a pickup team he placed Top 48 at the CWL Amateur Finals 2019, quickly catching the eyes of many who saw his potential. Dallas Empire was quick to notice this and offered a contract to the player, which he gladly accepted. He started the Call of Duty League Championship 2020 as part of the Empire’s roster, helping it achieve many things in that year. Some notable examples include the early 3-2 victory over Toronto Ultra, as well as defeating Atlanta FaZe in the Winners Final. Empire and Shotzzy later again faced FaZe, this time in the Grand Finals, where they promptly defeated them once more, this time with a devastating 5-1, to win the first-ever Call of Duty League Championship. This also made Shotzzy one of only eight players to win a CoD Championship title in their first-ever appearance. For his impressive results, Shotzzy has accumulated $966,150 at the time of writing of this article.
#6 Preston “Priestahh” Greiner
Continuing with another world champion, this time from this year, we have 25-year-old Preston “Priestahh” Greiner. Currently playing for Boston Breach, the CoD pro started his career on Black Ops 3, although he had to wait almost until the end of the game cycle to compete in CWL and MLG tournaments.
He did so by joining Pnda Gaming and helping the team achieve decent results online. In their first LAN event, they battled through the open bracket at the MLG Orlando Open to a top 16 placement. The team then was able to qualify for CWL Champs in the online CWL NA Championship Qualifier. While they managed to get into the tournament, Pnda Gaming failed to make it out of pool play and placed top 24.
Over the years, Priestahh has expanded his portfolio of CoD games by playing titles such as Infinite Warfare, WWII, and Black Ops 4. During said time he also changed several teams, but was most notably a part of FaZe Clan. Unfortunately, the team had a disappointing performance struggling in many points, such as placing only top 16 at the CWL Las Vegas Open and failing to make it into the CWL Pro League later in the season.
This, and other factors, made Priestahh change several other teams, before finally signing a contract with MIN RØKKR in September of 2020. This would prove to be the player’s longest stay in a single team at almost two years. However, arguably his best time came after he switched to NY Subliners in October of last year, as he performed quite well in the season, eventually helping his new organization to win the Call of Duty League Championship 2023. For the years of persistence and turbulences of changing teams, Priestahh has earned $ 988,000.
#7 Dylan “Envoy” Hannon
Envoy started his pro-team debut with Geared 4 Gaming all the way back in 2015 and helped the team qualify for the MLG Pro League CoD AW Season 3 Relegation Tournament. Unfortunately, Envoy’s efforts were not enough to further progress the team’s fight, as they would place 13th-16th, losing to OpTic Nation 3-1 in WR1 and then falling to 3sUP 3-0 in LR1.
Following that, the young player would go on to play with amateur players up until the MES Detroit 25K, where he would finally get his pro-team opportunity with Team JusTus. However, this stint would also prove to be somewhat short-lived as Envoy left the team just two months later. This constant shifting between teams would become somewhat of a feature of the player, as he has changed a total of eight teams from 2018 until now. Despite that, he has managed to earn a total of $848,760 during this time, proving that he displays talent no matter in which team he is playing.
#8 Tobias “CleanX” Jønsson
Being the only non-American on our list, CleanX also has the honor of being the first player from outside of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, or Ireland to win a major Call of Duty event. This was the Call of Duty League 2020 Week 13 – Toronto, where he helped his current team, Toronto Ultra, to win the event. That’s right, his current team, as the player has been part of the same organization for almost four years, having joined TU in October of 2019.
CleanX joined the Canadian organization as a substitute but was accepted fully into the starting roster soon after. When this happened, Toronto Ultra became the first team in CDL history to field a roster with players from five different countries. To this day, the 23-year-old pro is the only Danish player to play in the Call of Duty League history.
CleanX has earned a total of $686,150 over the years. In 2023 he also achieved decent success, helping Toronto Ultra win the Call of Duty League 2023 – Major 3 and secure a second place at Call of Duty League Championship 2023.
Top Earning Call of Duty Players Conclusion
All in all, Call of Duty is a well-paid video game that offers plenty of opportunities to competitive players. There have been many aspiring pros who have been able to bring it home and did very well for themselves competing in this console-based game.
The Call of Duty series is very competitive, naturally, so if you want to actually make a difference in your fortunes, you will have to try hard. Yet, for the top-earning Call of Duty players, Call of Duty is more than just a game – it’s a way of life. We will revisit this list in the next months, to give you an update on what changes did happen over the year and whether the top-earning players still retain their position.