• By: Allen Brown

The biggest stars in the Canadian esports universe

The international esports market has grown significantly in the past few years. In Canada, the esports market took off in 2017 and has grown a lot ever since. Since 2017, many grassroots businesses in western provinces in Canada have helped establish the esports scene. In addition, many American esports businesses have also invested in the Canadian esports market. The esports betting sector in Canada has also grown significantly. The country also hosts some of the best esports stars in the world. Some of the highest-earning players in the global esports market hail from Canada. Below are some of the top esports gamers in Canada:

Artour Babaev

Also known as Arteezy, Artour Babaev is one of the top esports stars in Canada. He was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, but raised in Vancouver, Canada. His family immigrated to Canada when Artour was very young. The esports star burst onto the Canadian esports scene when he was 17. He became a huge name in the market when he helped the Dota 2 Suad peed Gaming upset Team DK become victorious in the MLG Columbus competition. His participation in the LAN event played a significant role in the newly formed team’s victory. This helped him earn a name in the Canadian esports market. At the time, he was playing outside his comfort zone in an unfamiliar role. However, he still held his own and impressed the esports society.

His success in the event encouraged his decision to become a full-time Dota player once he graduated from high school. He established the S A D B O Y S team that won 16 out of 18 of its first matches. The team’s success led to Arteezy getting signed by the Evil Geniuses franchise as its new Dota 2 squad member. The team performed well in The International competition, finishing in third place. Later in his career, he joined the Team Scarlet before going back to the Evil Genuises a year later. By 2016. Arteezy was named the world’s highest-ranked Dota 2 Player. He has had an incredibly successful career since then. So far, he is the highest-earning esports gamer in Canada.

Kurtis Ling

Like Arteezy, Kurtis Ling is also one of the highest-earning and most prominent esports players in the market. Kurtis is known in the industry as Aui_2000. He was one of the first participants in the Canadian esports market. His involvement in the market helped put the Canadian esports market on the map. Kurtis Ling got into esports full-time after dropping out from the University of British Columbia. Naturally, his parents did not support the move. However, they became more supportive when he started bringing in a lot of money. In 2014, at the young age of 22, he earned more than 215,000 dollars from playing video games.

In 2015, he took part in the TI championships as a member of the Evil Geniuses. He was significantly instrumental in the Evil Geniuses’ victory that year. That year, he made over 1.6 million dollars from playing video games and participating in competitions. However, the Evil Geniuses dropped him one year later. He went on to form a short-lived team. Despite his struggles to reach the heights of his earlier career, he remains one of the biggest stars in the Canadian esports universe. His accumulated career earnings of around 2 million dollars also remain quite impressive.

Jacky Mao

Jacky Mao, known in the industry as EternalEnvy, is also among the most prominent esports stars in the Canadian market. The 30-year-old Dota 2 professional player has made close to a million dollars from esports. EternalEnvy has been in the esports market for more than a decade. He has played a significant role in the growth of esports in Canada. Throughout his decade-long career, Jacky Mao has participated in 149 competitions. He has won 31 of these competitions and finished in the second and third positions in more than 57 tournaments. The Canadian esports player is ranked among the top #100 esports players worldwide.

Williams Aubin

Also known as Zayt, William is a fan favorite in the Canadian esports market. The 19-year old only recently entered the scene. He got his breakthrough in 2018 after participating in the $30 million Fortnite World Cup and winning the Fortnite Summer Skirmish Week 3. He solidified his presence in the esports universe by winning at the ESL Katowice Royal in 2019. In the past few years, he has achieved covered goals in the market. For instance, he secured a position in the solo and duos tournament, played alongside the best esports players globally, and earned more than a million dollars from only 38 tournaments. These are achievements that most esports players dream of.

Keith Markovic

Keith Markovic, also known as NAF, is an internationally renowned counter-strike player. The 24-year old is a current member of the Team Liquid Team. He started playing as a teenager and has maintained his passion and taken on video games as a full-time career. Keith has been in the industry for a decade and participated in more than 110 tournaments. He has won 20 of these tournaments and taken the second and third positions in 44 games. The Canadian counter-striker has earned around 1.1 million dollars from the tournaments.


Canadian esport players have made a name for themselves in the global esports universe by participating in tournaments and getting signed by prominent teams. Numerous Canadian players also play for other countries. For instance, Fly is a Canadian player playing for Israel. There are hundreds of players in the Canadian esports scene, the few listed above are a drop in the ocean.