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CS:GO Becomes the Second eSports Game After Dota 2 to Surpass $100M Prize Money

Nica San Juan
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Valve’s CS:GO reached a major milestone in August 2020 when it crossed the $100m mark in total prize money awarded. According to the research data analyzed and published by Safe Betting Sites, CS:GO had awarded a lifetime total of $100,877,738.95 as of September 14, 2020 distributed across 5,188 tournaments.

In doing so, it joined an exclusive club under eSports games, where Dota 2, also a Valve brainchild, has for a long time been the only game whose prize money had surpassed the $100 million mark. Dota 2’s lifetime total award money as of the same date is $226,780,152.27 across 1,415 tournaments.

Epic Games’ Fortnite was third on the list, with the total prizes awarded amounting to $95.47 million across 610 tournaments. League of Legends took fourth place with $78.6 million awarded across 2,465 tournaments. Starcraft II sat at a distant fifth spot with a total of $33.5 million awarded across 5,891 tournaments.

The player with the highest winnings on CS:GO, going by the alias dupreeh, got a total of 1.77 million. In contrast, the Dota 2 player with the highest winnings, going by the alias N0tail, received a total of $6.93 million. The 26-year old Danish amassed this amount from 117 tournaments.


CS:GO Largest Ever Prize Pool Was $1.5M, Compared to Dota 2’s $34.3M

On CS:GO, the largest ever prize pool of $1.5 million was offered on the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) 2016. Looking at the list of largest paying prize pools by tournaments, the WESG cash pot placed CS:GO in 46th position. The cash pot was split among 8 teams, a total of 40 players.

Similarly, the highest paid CS:GO player, dupreeh, ranks 41st on the list of highest single-game earnings. In contrast, the top 31 highest paid players overall made their highest single-game earnings from Dota 2. The only exception is the player 12, a Fortnite player.

Dota 2’s main contributing factor to its comparatively high figures across fewer tournaments is its championship, The International, whose prize pot is crowdfunded. On the other hand, the reason why CS:GO managed to surpass the $100 million mark has to do with its high number of tournaments.

EsportsEarnings.com reveals that the top 5 spots in terms of highest prizes awarded in a single tournament all go to Dota 2. The International 2019 gave out an incredible $34.33 million that was split among 18 teams, a total of 90 players.

The 6th and 7th spots go to Fortnite, courtesy of the Fortnite World Cup Finals 2019, Solo and Duo, respectively. League of Legends is the only other game in the top 10 rankings thanks to the LoL 2018 and 2016 World Championships.


Team Liquid Leads eSports Globally with $34.71M, Second in CS:GO with $4.62M

When it comes to CS:GO’s top ranking teams, Astralis takes the top spot, having made $8.23 million in 89 tournaments. The next team, Team Liquid, made about half of that, $4.62 million in 133 tournaments.

However, according to data from Statista and EsportsEarnings.com, Team Liquid was the leading eSports pro team globally as of March 2020. At the time, it had won a total of $34.71 million. Fnatic is the third team on CS:GO team rankings, with earnings surpassing $4.5 million from 197 tournaments. Globally, Fnatic ranks fourth, with $15.06 million in total prize money won.

Natus Vincere, which ranks fourth and has made $3.7 million from 152 CS:GO tournaments, is 10th globally with $10.84 million in total prize money winnings. Virtus.pro, on the other hand, ranks 6th and has made $3.1 million from 158 CS:GO tournaments. Globally, it ranks 6th as well, ahead of Natus Vincere with total prize money amounting to $13.91 million.


$32.5M Paid Out in Prize Money in H1 2020, US Taking $6M

In total, $862,731,072.71 had been awarded in eSports prize money as of September 10, 2020 across 40,189 tournaments. The total number of players who had earned these awards was 81,851 on 1,140 teams, across 494 games.

The year 2019 saw a $227 million prize pool shared out among 25,000 players across 5,000 tournaments. In 2020, the postponement or cancellation of numerous events has taken its toll. However, research by Seattle-based bookmaker Unikrn shows that in the first six months of the year, $32.5 million has been paid out in prize money.

The highest earning CS:GO player in 2020, AcilioN, won $117,688. On the chart of top eSports earners in 2020, he ranked 17th. First on the list was PVDDR, who won $300,000 from Magic: The Gathering Arena.

During the first half of the year, the median age of the top 25 eSports players was 24 years. In terms of highest earnings by country, the United States took the lead with 1,870 players making a total of $6 million.

Nica San Juan
Nica San Juan

Nica is a BA Political Science graduate, startup founder and financial expert. She has an entrepreneurial spirit and started several startups from a young age, eventually becoming fascinated with stocks, cryptocurrencies and the blockchain economy. She specializes in financial tech and her expertise is in writing detailed tutorials and guides on how to invest in stocks and cryptocurrencies.

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