Paintball is quite a common activity amongst teenagers and adults alike. While it is mainly played for entertainment purposes, there are some people that play at a competitive and professional level.
You can imagine how good you have to be to make it at the professional level, but can you wrap your mind around being one of the best?
These masters of paintball do, of course, exist, and this article will walk you through who these people are and how much money they make playing professionally.
(If you want to go to the next level, check out my article about the best paintball guns for beginners to pros)
Without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Who Is The Best Paintballer In The World?
According to multiple sources and current statistics, the best paintballer in the world is said to be Oliver Lang. Born in the United States and now 38 years old, he has won multiple awards and broken several records in the realm of professional paintball.
By 2005, at only 22 years of age, Lang was awarded the “International Paintball Player of the Year” award. He has recorded the most wins in professional paintball, been named the best player on the best team in the history of pro paintball.
The team is a three-time triple crown (PSP/NPPL/Millenium) winner (only team ever to do this). And finally, he is the first paintball player ever to earn a six-figure salary.
This list of achievements alone is why he is considered the best professional paintball player in the world. Hard for anyone to argue against that.
Watch him play:
How Much Do Professional Paintballers Make?
The question most of you probably want to be answered if you are considering making paintball your career or a source of secondary income.
Or if you are simply just curious because you did not even know you can make money playing a game as fun and exhilarating as paintball.
As in all professional sports, there is a range of salaries that ultimately depends on your skill and worth to any given team. According to data collected in the United States, the bottom 10% of professional paintballers average $36,000 per year.
If you are good enough to make it into the top 10% of the sport, you can expect a salary of around $165,000.
If you want a cumulative average of what the general professional paintballer makes per year, you are looking at about $77,000.
Not too bad at all when you think about it. Getting paid more than the average person to play a fun game is undoubtedly a privilege.
However, these numbers do not precisely reflect the money earned from simply playing paintball. A big chunk of the cash these paintballers make comes from sponsorships and advertisements.
On average, professional paintballers earn about $40,000 from sponsorships alone — it is clearly a huge part of their annual income.
Best Professional Paintballers
As previously mentioned, Oliver Lang is considered the best paintballer globally, so he tops this list. However, there are other incredible players more than worth mentioning in no particular order.
Born in Moscow, Russia, and now 35 years of age, Fedorov has made quite the impression in the professional paintball world. His first big, notable win came in 2006 at the World Cup playing for Russian Legion.
Having first shot a paintball at age 14 and playing at his first national event at 15 years old, Konstantin Fedorov undoubtedly has the necessary skills and experience to make this list.
Thirty-nine years old and born on February 25th, 1982, in Sebastopol, California, Ryan Greenspan is the founder of the professional paintball team San Diego Dynasty.
This team has won more tournaments than any other team in professional paintball history. Greenspan received the award for “Ambassador of the Sport” in 2010 at the Australian Masters in Sydney, Australia.
An American professional paintballer, Dave Bains, is arguably the best back player the game has ever seen. Having played for several different teams, he has won 22 championships in the last decade alone.
Now slowly transitioning into the coaching role instead of playing, his accolades and track record at the professional level have easily earned him a spot on the list of greats in the sport.
Born May 12th, 1982, in San Diego, California, Colt Roberts is a professional paintballer for the San Antonio X-Factor. He was an NXL All-Star in 2006 and won the National Professional Paintball League championship at Huntington Beach in 2008.
He was also part of this same team in 2013 when they won the Paintball Sports Promotions World Cup. There is no doubt that Roberts has earned a spot on this list of best professional paintballers.
Archie is known as one of the best paintballers of his generation. Originally from Texas state, he was selected in 2014 as the PSP League MVP and 2019 as the NXL MVP.
He was also awarded some hardware during his team’s (X-Factor) championship run in 2019. He is also a partner in multiple businesses in Austin, Texas, where he currently resides.
A true Florida boy, Jason Edwards is a legendary player for Tampa Bay Damage. Edwards is most commonly known for his incredible paintball IQ and ridiculous skills with a paintball gun.
Having played for other notable teams such as Miami Rage, Miami Effect, and Philly Americans, he definitely knows what it takes to compete and succeed at the highest professional level.
In 2012 he was selected as the People’s Choice MVP, was the 4th ranked professional paintballer and 2nd overall in the PSP with Tampa Bay Damage.
There are some incredible professional paintball players that the average player may come across in amateur matches. But some players are several steps above that, playing at a professional level and making upwards of $36,000 a year.
While the best-known professional paintballer, Oliver Lang, earns a six-figure salary, many other players have the skills to compete with him.
Professional paintball can be a real career if you commit yourself to hone your skills. Like any other job, to make it to the top, you have to put in the work.
The players mentioned here are the best of the best, no question about it. But you can be too.