2018 was a great year for Counter-Strike, with several teams making well over a million dollars from prize money alone. We take a look at the biggest winners of the year.
Astralis – $ 3,650,750
2018 can be considered a continuation of the Astralis era. After not the most successful performance at ELEAGUE Major Boston 2018 at the beginning of the year, the Danes won DreamHack Masters Marseille 2018 in April and since then have been confidently taking first place in the HLTV rating. Then Astralis won nine more tournaments (including FACEIT Major London 2018) out of thirteen they attended, and in December became winners of the first Intel Grand Slam season, receiving a million dollars from Intel for this unprecedented achievement.
After winning the IEM Season XII World Championship tournament ($ 250,000) and the WESG 2017 ($ 800,000),
Natus Vincere – $ 1,159,500
The past year for “born to win” was the most successful in the entire history of the CS: GO roster — the team earned over a million dollars in prize money, won four tournaments (StarSeries Season 5, CS: GO Asia Championship 2018, ESL One Cologne 2018 and BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen 2018) and, repeatedly taking prizes, was fixed on the second line of the HLTV rating. Natus Vincere received $525 thousand dollars in prizes for the first places and $375 thousand for the second place finishes.
Team Liquid – $ 1,019,500
After winning the cs_summit 2
FaZe Clan – $ 1,004,787
2018 for FaZe Clan was not as successful as 2017, however, the total amount of prize money exceeded one million dollars. The team won IEM Season XIII Sydney ($ 100,000), ESL One Belo Horizonte 2018 ($ 100,000) and EPICENTER 2018 ($ 150,000) tournaments, and also ranked second at ELEAGUE Major Boston 2018 ($ 150,000) and IEM Season XII World Championship ($ 100,000).
mousesports – $ 906,898
The sixth line is occupied by another European team — mousesports. The Mice won the StarSeries Season 4, V4 Future Sports Festival and ESL One New York 2018, earning over half a million dollars in prize money for winning these tournaments.
SK / MIBR – $ 871,000
In the first half of the year, Brazilians, playing under the SK Gaming tag, won a couple of small tournaments and earned $293 thousand prize dollars. At the end of June, the CS: GO line-up went under the banner of Made In Brasil. After changing the name, the Brazilian team continued to fever, nevertheless, MIBR won the ZOTAC Cup Masters 2018 ($ 200,000) and earned a total of two times more than in the first half of the year.
Cloud9 – $ 846,500
Having received half a million dollars for winning the ELEAGUE Major Boston 2018 tournament in January, the team lost key players and failed to show any meaningful results later, earning only about $185 thousand dollars in the second half of 2018.
NRG Esports – $ 505,750
Another North American team began to show good results in the second half of 2018 — NRG Esports. They won IEM Season XIII Shanghai tournaments ($ 125,000) in August and cs_summit 3 ($ 63,750) in November, and also repeatedly hit the top three in most international events they attended. NRG surprised many this past year with good performance and they’ve earned a good amount too.
ex-Space Soldiers – $ 462,750
Closing out the top ten of the most earning CS
After a second place finish at WESG 2018, Anna “Ant1ka” Ananikova talked about the difference between her current squad and the former one, shared impressions of working with the coach of Vega Squadron, and the dynamics between male and female Counter-Strike.
Damian “Furlan” Kisłowski’s AGO Gaming settled in Chongqing, China, where the Polish team will fight the world’s best for their share of $890,000 USD in prize money.
It was another disappointing event for Julia “juliano” Kiran’s Beşiktaş, where the European girls ended up third in Intel Challenge Katowice 2019 — just behind their North American rivals.