Mentioned in this article
- Topias Miikka “Topson” Taavitsainen was the highest-earning athlete in 2018 paying taxes in Finland.
- The OG Dota 2 player earned over €1.7M ($1.87M USD) and paid nearly €1M ($1.1M) in taxes.
- In 2018 Finnish esports athletes won over $6.9M in prize money.
Every year on Nov. 1, Finland publishes the amount of taxes carried for all its citizens and companies, which can be accessed for free upon request. Traditionally, Finnish journalists look through the data to discover the highest-paid Finns, and to uncover what the country’s top celebrities and athletes are paid.
Amongst all the Finnish athletes, Dota 2 professional Topias Miikka “Topson” Taavitsainen was the highest-earning athlete who paid his taxes to Finland in 2018. The player earned over €1.7M ($1.87M) and paid nearly €1M ($1.1M) in taxes, according to an incomplete list provided by Yleisradio Oy that might lack some high-income athletes.
A significant portion of Taavitsainen’s earnings can be attributed to prize winnings from the eighth edition of Valve’s annual flagship Dota 2 tournament, The International, where he won over $2.24M. However, the amount that ends up in a player’s hands is usually reduced due to organizational cuts and withholding taxes, among other expenses.
According to esportsearnings.com, in 2018 Finnish esports athletes won over $6.9M in prize money. Of this, $5.19M can be attributed to Taavitsainen, Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka, and Lasse “Matumbaman” Urpalainen, who are all professional Dota 2 players who made the majority of their income through prize winnings from The International 8. Other Finnish esports players like Starcraft II player Joona “Serral” Sotala, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) players Aleksi “allu” Jalli and Miikka “suNny” Kemppi, as well as Rainbow Six Siege players Joonas “jOONAS” Savolainen and Juhani “Kantoraketti” Toivonen also contributed significantly to this figure.
While two esports athletes, Taavitsainen in 2018 and Urpalainen in 2017, topped the list of the top tax carrying athletes in Finland, they are not the highest-earning Finnish athletes. Several Finnish athletes pay their taxes outside of Finland including multiple NHL players, Formula 1 veteran and champion Kimi Räikkönen (a Switzerland resident), who had an annual salary of $40M in 2018; his F1 competitor Valtteri Bottas (a Monaco resident), who earned $12M; and Lauri Markkanen (a U.S. resident), NBA player for the Chicago Bulls, who was compensated approximately $4.5M for the 2018-19 season.
Vignesh Raghuram is a staff writer for AFK Gaming. Tobias Seck contributed to this article.
Editor’s note: The exchange rate number for “taxes paid” to Finland in U.S. dollars (USD) was changed from $1.09M to $1.1M.
Credit: Source link