Esports: What New Zealand and the world's highest paid players earn

Arguments over whether gaming can be a sport and deserves a spot in the Olympic Games may never cease - but there's no doubting the earning potential for esports players in New Zealand.

A new study based on data at found the top five Kiwi gamers have earned a grand total of more than $600,000 between them.

Aotearoa's top esports earner Gratisfaction - real name Sean Kaiwai - has pulled in around $165,000 from dominating at Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

But he's got a long way to go to catch up to colleagues overseas.

Dota 2, a multiplayer online battle arena game, provides the majority of the earnings for 29 out of the top 30 gamers worldwide with only popular last-man-standing game Fortnite stopping total domination.

Aussie gamer Anathan Pham, known as ana, is a Dota 2 master and has taken home NZ$8,280,000 in earnings, placing them in the top three in the world.

Further afield, Dane Njohan Sundstein, who competes as N0tail, tops the overall charts with a massive NZ$9,620,000 total income from the game.

The billion-dollar industry is dominated by the USA, China and South Korea, with American gamers earning NZ$151 million between them in the top spot. New Zealand sits in 57th.

Some good news for Kiwis hopeful of breaking into the upper echelons of esports may be the launch of a new hub in Auckland.

The space at Eden Park is a partnership between Spark, Guinevere Capital and the stadium and will offer both professional and aspiring gamers a dedicated hub connected via both fibre and 5G, with training rooms, broadcast capabilities and a venue to host major esport events.

The space will be free and available to book from early May.