Typically, Canada is overlooked when it comes to the esports industry. There’s no doubt that in North America, the continental United States takes pole position where esports are concerned. However, in recent years, Canadian esports have begun to emerge, with some of the world’s greatest players coming out of the country. With that in mind, we’re here today to draw attention to them and to discuss the best esports players from Canada.
There are many things Canada is known for: ice hockey, beautiful wilderness, and unwavering politeness. As a nation, it isn’t known for esports – but there are several gamers and content creators out there today looking to break that mold. Without further ado, let’s get into the list of the best esports players from Canada.
1. Mike ‘Shroud’ Grzesiek (CSGO, Streamer)
Mike ‘Shroud’ Grzesiek is one of the most iconic and recognisable CSGO competitors to ever come out of Canada. In fact, he’s probably one of the best CSGO players to ever exist in the world. According to statistics, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is the most popular esports title in Canada, followed closely behind by StarCraft II and Overwatch. For CSGO, Shroud was a dominating presence when he competed, but in recent years, he’s stepped away from competing, instead opting to focus on streaming.
As a streamer, Shroud is still remarkably popular. On Twitch, he boasts a massive following of 9.9 million viewers (as of December 2021), and that number climbs with each passing day. Not only can Shroud be considered one of the best Canadian esports players in the world, but he’s also one of the most popular Canadian streamers. Once upon a time, Shroud was also regarded as one of the highest-earning esports players around.
2. Artour ‘Arteezy’ Babaev (Dota 2, Streamer)
Let’s put out an interesting fact that sets Arteezy ahead of the pack: he’s one of the highest-paid Canadian esports players ever. Since the young age of 17, Arteezy has been competing professionally in Dota 2, racking up the big wins and claiming a staggering amount of prize money. As early as 2014, Arteezy was competing at The International, the most valuable esports tournament in history, played by some of the best Dota 2 players of all time.
Although he didn’t win his event, he secured third place with Evil Geniuses, grabbing more than $1 million in prize money. Throughout his career, it’s estimated that Arteezy has picked up almost $2.5 million in prize money. There can be no doubt he’s one of the best esports players from Canada, and not only that, but he’s also an accomplished Twitch streamer. As of December 2021, Arteezy boasted a considerable following of 717,000 viewers.
3. Jack ‘ZLaner’ Lane (Warzone, Streamer)
Few players have experienced the rapid rise to fame that ZLaner has. In the last few months, ZLaner has become one of the most popular gamers in Canada, owing mostly to his likable personality and incredible in-game skill. He primarily competes in Warzone, and in the last year, has worked to establish himself as one of the highest earners in the space. According to esportsearnings.com, ZLaner is actually the winningest Canadian Warzone player, boasting more than $155k in earnings.
Like Arteezy and Shroud, ZLaner doesn’t just rely on esports to make his money. He’s also an accomplished streamer, currently claiming almost 400,000 subscribers on YouTube. He can regularly be seen playing alongside industry greats like DrDisrespect, Aydan, and Arcitys, and in November of 2021, he was signed as a content creator with OpTic Gaming.
4. Tyson ‘TenZ’ Ngo (Valorant, Streamer)
While TenZ found his esports feet competing in CSGO, it’s in Valorant that he’s now making a name for himself. He’s one of the most widely-appreciated Canadian esports players around today, and he has only been playing professionally since 2020. In record time, he’s established himself as one of the best Valorant players to come out of Canada, having played for both Cloud9 and Sentinels.
Although he’s yet to land any significant winnings or a world title, TenZ is a force to be reckoned with in the world of Valorant. He has no issue picking up MVP awards, and he’s certainly eager to assert himself as one of the best esports players from Canada.
5. Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel (Overwatch, Streamer)
This list wouldn’t be complete with xQc, arguably the most popular gamer in Canada. Not only was Felix once regarded as one of the best esports players from Canada, but he’s also one of the most popular streamers on Earth. Once upon a time, xQc was a player for the likes of Denial Esports, Dallas Fuel, and GLA Legion. Today, however, he’s a streamer that has been signed with Sentinels, and most recently, Luminosity.
He has an enormous following on Twitch, which (as of December 2021) was made up of almost 10 million viewers. There can be no doubt that he’s one of the most popular streamers in Canada, but he remains a fine esports competitor.
6. Damon ‘Karma’ Barlow (Call of Duty, Streamer)
There’s a reason Damon ‘Karma’ Barlow is known as ‘GOAT’.
Without a shadow of a doubt, Karma is one of the best esports players from Canada, focusing on the Call of Duty niche. While Canada isn’t typically one of the best esports countries for Call of Duty, Damon Barlow certainly made it work. He boasts one of the most legendary careers in COD history, being the first (and one of just two) players to secure three world championship victories. He has played with the biggest teams in the business, and even today, he remains a lethal competitor.
Although he has taken a break from competing to focus on streaming, his ability is still razor-sharp. There are many who still consider Karma to be one of the best COD players in the industry. At present, he boasts a following of over 400k viewers on Twitch, and he has recently turned his attention to the likes of Halo Infinite.
7. Keith ‘NAF’ Markovic (CSGO, Streamer)
Keith Markovic is, according to esportsearnings.com, one of the highest-paid Canadian esports players in CSGO. He currently competes with Team Liquid, as opposed to one of the Canadian esports teams, and has seen remarkable success over the years. Since 2013, he has been competing heavily and has amassed more than $1 million in earnings. Typically, NAF is regarded as one of the best AWPers in the game, and he’s easily one of the best esports players from Canada.
Unlike others on this list, NAF relies more on his esports ability than his ability as a streamer to make a living. On Twitch, he boasts a humble following of just 14,000 viewers, which is a minute amount compared to others on this list. However, that doesn’t take anything away from his reputation as a high-value Canadian esports player.
8. Jason ‘WildTurtle’ Tran (League of Legends, Streamer)
Jason Tran is a League of Legends master, hailing from Canada. He has been competing on a professional scale for more than ten years, securing a few hundred thousand dollars in prize money for his efforts. He has been around the houses, competing under some of the best League of Legends teams to exist: CLoud9, SoloMid, and Immortals. For League of Legends, he’s arguably one of the best Canadian esports players to exist today, and he’s only improving with time.
WildTurtle also has 520k followers on Twitch, a considerable sum, and they all enjoy watching his League of Legends gameplay.
9. Imane ‘Pokimane’ Anys (Fortnite, Streamer)
Pokimane is one of the most popular Canadian streamers and esports personalities in history. She’s amassed a huge following on Twitch over the last few years, and as of December 2021, boasted more than 8 million viewers. Her streams are some of the most-watched broadcasts on the platform, and she can regularly be found competing in games like Fortnite and League of Legends. She’s easily one of the highest-paid Twitch streamers online today, with a 2021 Twitch leak revealing that she earned more than $1.5 million on the platform in just two years.
While she isn’t the winningest esports player in history, she can certainly hold her own in the arena. And, as her legions of fans can attest to, she’s one of the most popular content creators from Canada.
10. Sasha ‘Scarlett’ Hostyn (StarCraft II, Streamer)
Scarlett is one of the best esports players from Canada, focusing specifically on the StarCraft II niche. She’s one of the top-rated players in the world, and throughout her long career of more than a decade, has amassed almost half a million dollars in winnings. Despite first entering the scene in 2011, Scarlett still actively competes in StarCraft II today – which is almost unheard of for esports competitors.
She also boasts a considerable following on Twitch, claiming more than 70,000 followers as of December 2021. Once upon a time, Scarlett was Canada’s national champion in StarCraft II, producing a record-breaking performance at an event in 2012. There can be no doubt that she’s one of the best StarCraft II players to ever come out of Canada.