Esports swept the Forbes 30 under 30 Sports and Games list this year.
Four esports players, plus Origen founder Enrique Cedeño, made the Forbes’ 2020 30 under 30 for Sports and Games in another solid showing for esports in the prestigious publication.
Each year, Forbes lists the most notable professionals in their respective professions, and this year was no different as Astralis’ Nicholai “dev1ce” Reedtz, FaZe Clan’s Olof “olofmeister” Gustafsson, G2’s Niclas “Pengu” Mouritzen, G2’s Marcin “Jankos” Kanjowskin, and Origen founder Enrique Cedeño made the magazine’s prestigious list.
Esports from North American and Europe dominated the list. The American region saw Nick “Nick Eh 30” Amyoony, Fortnite World Cup Champion Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, FGC champion Dominique “sonicfox” McLean, and G2’s jack-of-all-trades Rumany “Hafu” Wang receive the honor.
Back in Europe, this year’s list tied 2019’s for the most esports players since the Games category was added to Forbe’s existing Sports section. While this year’s honorees are some of the most well-known players in esports, 2019’s members were no slouches either.
CSGO pros for Ninjas in Pyjamas Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund and FaZe Clan’s Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovács were included, along with, Super Smash Bros pro Adam “Armada” Lindgren, the League of Legends LEC’s Martin “Rekkles” Larsson and Rasmus “Caps” Winther, and Rocket League pro Pierre “Turbopolsa” Silfver. G2 CEO and founder Carlos Rodriguez also found himself recognized by Forbes.
This year, Rodriguez joined OG founder Johan “n0tail” Sundstein as two of the group’s four judges.
Once thought of as an honor reserved for those young talents for their success in business, the Forbes 30 under 30 has come around, recognizing gaming and esports alongside owners of traditional sports teams and professional athletes. Their inclusion illustrates a growing trend towards the acceptance of a once niche hobby into the mainstream.
This has never more visible than in 2020. On March 15, Valve’s game distribution platform Steam recorded more than 20 million people logged in at the same time, setting a record for the platform. While most likely driven by mass quarantines during the COVID-19 outbreak, the numbers show that as the Nintendo generation grows up, they’re taking their hobbies with them.
Both Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Rainbow Six Siege hit historic player counts over the weekend that contributed to Steam’s 20 million player weekend. CSGO had a particularly good day on Sunday, breaking its own record by logging 1 million concurrent players for the first time since its release in 2012.
With esports pros, team owners, and staff all appearing on the prestigious list en masse, esports and gaming are signaling that they’re not going anywhere any time soon.