How Much Do Pro Call of Duty Players Make?
If you're good at something, never do it for free. For many Call of Duty players, the ultimate dream is to play COD as their job, but at the end of the day only the best of the best can earn those large cash pools and world titles.
Unlike other games such as CS:GO and League of Legends, Call of Duty Esports took some time to become organised and bring the big bucks to top players. Many an exciting player has had to earn money as a content creator on YouTube or Twitch alongside their pro career to earn the most money.
If you're interested in other professional esports, make sure to check out all our articles on League of Legends, as well as our CS:GO section!
The Call of Duty esports world got really interesting when Activision Blizzard, the creators of COD, created the Call of Duty League in 2020, which standardized the minimum salary for all COD players in the League.
What Is The Call of Duty League?
Answering this question all depends on if the COD pro plays in the official Call of Duty League, or not. For those not in the league, there is almost no way of determining a real average due to the lack of data. But what is the CDL?
Following the format of other popular FPS games such as the Overwatch League and traditional sports leagues, Activision Blizzard decided to launch the CDL, or Call of Duty League in 2020.
This was of course following the best-selling video game of the year prior, Call of Duty Modern Warfare, as well as the hugely successful Warzone and COD mobile. Make sure to check out our article on the best COD mobile players of all time for more info.
Establishing a clear ruleset, player contracts, and a set of 12 distinct teams based on different cities, Activision enforced minimum salaries for every pro player competing in the league at $50,900, although the average salary is quite a bit higher, typically around $70,000 to $100,000.
The 12 teams are all backed by different organisations, and all the Call of Duty League teams must maintain health care benefits, reasonable player salaries, and retirement benefits, as well as splitting at least 50% of the prize money with their players.
Using the location of each team's league office for the name, these teams are:
- Atlanta FaZe
- Boston Breach
- Los Angeles Thieves
- Florida Mutineers
- London Royale Ravens
- Los Angeles Guerrillas
- Minnesota Rokkr
- New York Subliners
- Optic Gaming Texas
- Vegas Legion
- Seattle Surge
- Toronto Ultra
The Call of Duty League Championship, also known as COD champs, takes place once a year, and each COD champs has tournament winnings often exceeding $1 million.
The Top 5 Highest Earning COD Players Of All Time
Throughout Call of Duty history, there have been many amazing players, winners of world titles, and players that have secured the bag. Yet there are five clear COD players who always seem to be winning and picking up the cash.
A veteran Call of Duty player, James ‘Clayster’ Eubanks' Call of Duty earnings now total $1,199,896, and man has he been working for that money.
Playing since the original Modern Warfare, Clayster has earnt three world titles in 2015, 2019, and 2020, and can be considered one of the best Call of Duty players of all time - check out our article on the best Call of Duty players of all time to find out who else makes the list.
Despite only becoming eligible for the Call of Duty League in 2019, Chris ‘Simp’ Lehr has already won the prize pool from two world titles in just four seasons, as well as qualifying for four finals of the CDL championship.
Being voted MVP in the 2019 and 2021 CDL seasons with Atlanta FaZe, Simp has already earnt $1,320,578 in just four years, more than most Call of Duty pro players will ever earn.
Teammate of Simp, Tyler ‘Abezy’ Pharris has earnt a cool $1,359,905 during his Call of Duty League career, and at just 22 has already won two world titles.
Having qualified for four Call of Duty League championship finals in a row, there's no doubt that not only is Abezy one of the highest paid Call of Duty players ever, but also one of the best.
Playing for three of the top Call of Duty League teams throughout his career so far, Alec ‘Arcitys’ Sanderson has earnt an impressive $1,389,679 through two championship wins, one in 2019, and one with Atlanta FaZe in 2021.
An amazing player in any roster, Arcitys is in his career prime, and still has plenty of years of competing, and likely winning before he retires, which brings us to the final player.
Taking full advantage of the massive prize money opportunities in the Call of Duty league, Ian ‘Crimsix’ Porter retired in 2022 as the highest-earning COD player in Call of Duty history, having earnt an immense $1,410,592 throughout his Call of Duty career.
One of the older pro players in the Call of Duty League, Crimsix played competitively from Call of Duty Modern Warfare, to Black Ops, to Vanguard, from the highest to the lowest-selling games in the COD franchise.
Make sure to check out our article on the best selling COD games in history for more information.
And that's our list! The top paid COD players, as well as what the COD league is and what the average player earns. If you're interested to see how well these guys play, make sure to tune in to a CDL championship final to see them at their best!