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The future of esports is growing, with prize pools of large tournaments like CSGO Major reaching $1 million yearly. Here is the highest paid esports player.
In spite of the ongoing pandemic, 2020 has proven to be a breakout year for the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) competitive scene. The game is by far, one of the largest esports globally and has been deeply etched into the history of professional gaming. To date, CSGO has distributed the second-highest prize pool raking in a total of $51 million in the global esports arena.
Prize pools are generally determined by the audience and demand of the CSGO community, and have since distributed a yearly $1million reward to the winning team of the CSGO major. Before the rise of esports, many industry experts were wary and even doubted the potential market the entire gaming ecosystem can deliver. CSGO is one of the few massively popular games which have disproved these claims. The competitive event can now be seen comparable to other sports and are even recognised in various regional and international sporting events such as the Olympics. Thus, more people are seeing the immense potential of this untapped market, and with CSGO skins economy, the game has only been increasingly viewed as a serious industry to behold in the coming decade.
For those deeply involved in CSGO, it is no secret that top esports CSGO athletes earn millions of dollars every year. It is no longer surprising to find the highest paid esports player earning an average of $60,000 per year. Times have changed since the last decade and playing games professionally is no longer a pipe dream for many.
How much does the Highest Paid eSports Player Earn?
In order to give you a better insight on how CSGO generally performed in esports, this article will serve you well in terms of giving you an overview on how the highest paid esports players of CSGO are currently earning. According to a report by PCInvasion, the top five CSGO players have earned a combined total of $8.1 million throughout their esports career. This year, the top CSGO player has earned a whopping $1.75 million.
Contrary to popular belief, some CSGO esports athletes do not get a one-time reward by winning in tournaments. Instead, they are paid a regular salary just like the rest of the population. Pro-CSGO teams usually assign several players in their team as the year’s lineup, and were then paid a fixed salary for their time spent on practices and participating in CSGO tournaments. In order to get a high salary, a Pro-CSGO player must be able to show a portfolio with flying colors. Therefore, the salary of each CSGO highest paid esports player differs according to their experience. On average, most of those professionals are paid a monthly salary of between $1,000 to $5,000.
For CSGO esports athletes who are considered to receive a share of the winning prize pool, they have to be a mainstay of the team and participate in various competitions that are held across the world. Their rewards can vary according to the prize pool. Highest paid esports atheles who participated in bigger tournaments with million-dollar rewards tend to get a handsome sum of reward for their expertise.
Additionally, there are several high-profile CSGO highest paid esports players who also earn extra income through various sponsorships. In the physical sports scene, sponsorships are considered big business for top-tiered athletes. Likewise, highest paid esports athletes can attract lucrative sponsorship opportunities from globally-renowned corporations such as Intel, BenQ, Razer and Red Bull. In most cases, these sponsors have products that are targeting the esports demographics. Therefore more sponsorships are derived from computer equipment manufacturers and products meant for the young generations. Occasionally, luxury brands and automobile companies like Audi and Tag Heuer do sponsor highest paid esports athletes who have a following of young demographics who have sufficient earning powers.
Are eSports Tournaments Really a Cash-Cow?
In recent years, there is also a growing trend of professional CSGO athletes who turned to streaming platforms such as Twitch and YouTube to monetize their fanbase. If the CSGO player has a particularly large and active following, he or she may benefit from game streamings. Without a doubt, there is a large community of CSGO players who are interested in watching high-quality gameplay by professional CSGO athletes in order to learn a trick or two from the CSGO personality, or purely for entertainment purposes. With this new avenue of monetisation, a professional CSGO player can equally amass a respectable fortune through game streaming.
Lastly, even though the prize pool of the Majors cannot be compared to The International (Valve’s DOTA 2 event), professional CSGO esports athletes are still able to earn a comfortable and huge additional income via the tournament stickers sold in-game during each Major.
Which CSGO players contribute to the $8.1 million total earning?
Undeniably, esports is maturing into a legitimate industry in their own right, with over a million spectators of CSGO tournament finals. The large prize pool may also serve as an excellent marketing tool both for CSGO and the wider esports community. Such monetary guarantees have attracted world-class talents, and convince many in the CSGO community to watch, and even bet on these CSGO matches. Moreover, the success formula of Valve’s CSGO also includes CSGO skins economy and other updates that keep their players busy with the game.
As a result, five of the best CSGO players have earned a combined worth of $8.1 million in revenue, namely:
- Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth ($1,621,921)
- Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen ($1,618,722)
- Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz ($1,583,223)
- Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander ($1,452,884)
- Emil “Magisk” Reif ($1,212,181)
So far, the top three CSGO highest paid esports players have all earned a fairly comparable sum of revenues. As seen on the Top 5 list above, Xyp9x took the top spot at $1,621,921, which is only $3,000 more than his rival, dupreed, who earns $1,618,722 in 2020. Meanwhile, the second runner-up dev1ce took a grand total of $1,583,223. Not a bad sum to achieve, considering that esports athletes have a generally short “shelf-life”.
Therefore, CSGO is currently the second-highest-paid esports in the world. Although there are other Battle Royale or MOBA game titles emerging to capture the sizable market of esports, CSGO managed to retain close to 1 million players online in CSGO this year, beating a previous record set in December 2019. CSGO players should be assured that the game is going nowhere for now, and that the statistics will only grow from now onwards.
As a result, nearly eight years after the game was officially released, its player base is stronger than ever. In February, the game experienced an all-time record for the total number of consecutive players. Over 917,000 people played CS:GO at the same time, beating a previous record set in December. It seems likely that this number will only continue to rise.
CSGO Viewers are hooked by the millions each year
With so much at stake, it is expected that millions of CSGO players will be interested to follow the development of CSGO majors such as the ELEAGUE Major, rooting for their favorite esports team. In January 2018 alone, the global ELEAGUE Major that was held in Boston, United States, garnered nearly 1.9 million viewers worldwide.
CSGO is one of the games with the largest number of esports events. From its release, over 69 million dollars have been awarded in 3858 tournaments, and the previous iterations of the game (Counter-Strike 1.6 and Counter-Strike: Source) handed out 15 million dollars in 1200 tournaments from 2000 to 2013. Every year, the higest paid esports players in the world take part at the CSGO Major Championships: Valve-sponsored events with a prize pool of $1,000,000 USD. There are also Minor Championships with a monetary prize of $50,000 that act as qualifiers for the Major. The minors are separated in 4 regions: Americas, Asia, CIS, and Europe.
The figures shown in this article includes only revenues from esports tournaments because our team over at SkinCashier may not have first-hand information on all the money earned by CSGO players via team wages, direct sponsorships, and stickers. Just remember that CSGO is a notable esports with a loyal fan base, so the tier 1 players are well-treated by their teams and can easily pull out sponsorship deals.
A new breed of successful sports athletics in video gaming
CSGO has come a long way as a sequel to the original Counter-Strike series, to a leading esports game and a strong community across the world. The game offers great opportunities for aspiring CSGO players to not only sell CSGO skins, engage in exciting bomb defusal and hostage rescue missions, it has also opened new doors for players to play their favorite game for a chance to earn a life-changing amount of money. Besides the LAN events, there is also an impressive number of online competitions and professional leagues (organised by FACEIT and ESA) that award weekly prizes to active CSGO players who may be willing to pit their skills, improve their gameplay and potentially earn a steady income, apart from selling CSGO skins in the game.