Even though Valorant is a relatively new esport, some of its top players are still raking in big dough. This explains why big names in Overwatch, Apex Legends, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive don’t feel it’s too much of a risk to switch over to Valorant in the infancy of its esports scene.
The girlfriend Sentinels’ Tyson “TenZ” Ngo’s girlfriend, Kyedae Shymko, seemingly leaked the salaries of two of Valorant’s biggest names. According to Shym, Sentinels’ Jay “sinatraa” Won and 100 Thieves’ Nicholas “nitr0” Cannella both make $25,000 a month, or about $300,000 a year. If this leak is true, it means sinatraa and nitr0 are some of the highest-paid professionals in Valorant.
Fans have speculated that sinatraa and nitr0 earned such impressive salaries due to their impressive careers in Overwatch and CSGO, respectively. sinatraa was on San Francisco Shock, the winningest team in the Overwatch League. sinatraa continued to take the spotlight, earning himself the coveted MVP title in 2019. nitr0 most recently played for Team Liquid before retiring to compete in Valorant. He helped Team Liquid to a prolonged stint as CSGO’s best team in 2019.
Now that sinatraa is suspended, he’s most likely not earning the full $25,000 a month. A lot of esports contracts include reduced pay when a player is benched. While some joked that Sentinels suspended the player to avoid paying his incredible salary, the truth of the matter is that the organization is currently investigating sinatraa after allegations of mentally and sexually abusing his ex-girlfriend.
Even though sinatraa and nitr0’s salaries are definitely nothing to scoff at, many Valorant fans feel that the salaries are bound to get higher as Valorant becomes a larger esport. Right now it’s relatively new to the scene. League of Legends often has much higher salaries, with players like Lee “Faker” Sang-Hyeok earning a $2.5 million contract for three years with T1.
The average LCS pro player salary, however, is $300,000 per year which is where Valorant’s top earners sit. The salaries are determined by a player’s performance and popularity and League of Legends is a much older and better-established esport compared to Valorant.
The salary leak was first spotted in Shymko’s Twitch stream but the clip has since been deleted. Apparently, the streamer believed the salaries were already public knowledge. At the end of her stream she asks, “Am I not allowed to say that?”