How does the CS:GO earnings really look like?
When it comes to CS:GO tournaments, the prize pools are quite spectacular. Most significant events offer between $100k to $1 million and there were +50 such events in 2019 alone.
CS:GO Earnings Criterion
To figure out the CS:GO earnings winner for 2019, I will use a very simple criterion: tournament prizes. Of course, teams make a lot more money besides that from sponsorship deals, merchandise sales, and other revenue streams.
But in this article I will focus on the competitive side and try to figure out which team earned the highest amount this season.
Which CS:GO Team Earned The Most in 2019?
When it comes to CS:GO earnings, we only need to take the best teams into account, and in 2019, the professional scene was dominated by five competitors.
Let’s take a brief look at them before we jump into the numbers.
Astralis is currently ranked as the best team in the world. They were the best team last year (2018) and they did spectacularly well for themselves this year, too. It’s been more than 20 months since the organization made its last roster change and the results clearly show the benefits of this conservative approach.
Given the complexity of CS:GO, it usually takes many months for new rosters to learn how to play as a unit and make full use of their potential. That Astralis has had the same roster for such a long time, when almost every other top team has gone through changes, is clearly a big advantage for the Danes. In 2019 we could see that quite clearly: Astralis was either 1st or 2nd at almost every event.
Another big winner for 2019 was Team Liquid. After the departure of TACO and zews at the end of 2018, everyone assumed Liquid would drop significantly in the global rankings. Their 2018 season had been phenomenal but the loss of their coach, as well as one of their best players, led to questions about their ability to stay on top.
With their updated roster, which includes Stewie2K and adreN (coach), the North American team started the new season with big ambitions and quickly proved the critics wrong. In total, the team played in 12 Grand Finals in 2019.
When I talk about EG, I will also refer to NRG, because EG’s roster is nothing but the former NRG roster. We need to take the accomplishments of NRG for 2019 into account when doing the math on how much this team has earned.
Prior to moving to Evil Geniuses, tarik and his teammates had a good run at NRG, getting close to 10 top-four results in 2019 alone, with their most important one being their 3rd – 4th place at StarLadder Berlin Major.
Thanks to a lot of great individual performances, Team Vitality was also in the spotlight for most of the 2019 season, getting numerous top four results at important events. Their main achievement was winning the title at Esports Championship Series Season 7 Finals. This trophy alone brought them $225,000 in prizes.
In spite of not having an amazing season and not being the center of attention like a few years ago, FaZe Clan did manage to get a surprising number of good results, including three trophies – therefore their being on this list.
CS:GO Earnings Results
In terms of CS:GO earnings, the five teams presented above have done quite well for themselves. However, some of them earned a lot more than others, which has a lot to do with the way in which tournament organizers divide their prize pools among competitors.
Look at BLAST Pro Series Global Final 2019. The winner received $350,000 out of the total prize pool of $500,000, while the runner-up only got $80,000. In a tournament that featured just four teams, the first earned around 23 times more than the last ($15,000).
Based on this observation, it’s quite clear that the winner needs to be decided between Astralis and Team Liquid. And in doing the math, I’ve included the Intel Grand Slam Season 2 prize as well, which went to Liquid, and is worth $1 million.
When you add up the numbers, the results look like this:
Team Liquid: $2.39 million
Astralis: $2.16 million
In conclusion, the big winner for 2019 in terms of CS:GO earnings is Team Liquid.
But what about 2020?
Which CS:GO Team Earned The Most in 2020?
- #1 – MAD Lions ($643,500)
- # 2 – Virtus.pro ($641,750)
- #3 – Complexity ($632, 250)
Yes, it turned out Astralis and Natus Vincere went down in last year’s list. MAD Lions and Virtus.pro credit most of their earnings to the newly formed league FLASHPOINT victories.
While MAD Lion’s HQ are in Madrid, Spain; the CSGO roster is made up of Danish Player. Virtus.pro’s CSGO team roster was quite similar (Polish players only) until 2019, after acquiring AVANGAR.
Weirdly enough, Complexity achieved third place after their summer downward trend. More than half of their earnings came from BLAST Premier Spring 2020 European Finals.
Briefly known as Los Angeles Complexity, abbreviated as COL and formerly stylized as compLexity Gaming, the American esports is among the oldest CS:GO teams in the world (it was created in 2004).