As the esports market continues to grow, its players are winning bigger and bigger cash prizes every year. In 2019, this record was once again broken, with more than $230 million distributed in nearly 5,000 tournaments. Here are ten esports teams that cut the biggest chunks of this pie.
Rank 10: FaZe Clan ($3.16M)
The FaZe Clan, best known in the world for its Call of Duty and CS:GO teams, ranks 10th on the list. More than a third of the winnings totaled $1.1 million, FaZe won in the PUBG discipline, winning three tournaments and remaining second in the World Cup. Meanwhile, in Fortnite, the organization hit another $964,000 last year.
FaZe CS: GO and Call of Duty teams together won $894k dollars. With the Call of Duty leagues starting in January with a prize pool of $6 million dollars, the FaZe Clan will look to further increase its achievements this year.
9th Place: Sentinels ($3.26M)
Second on the list is the Sentinels, whose players specialize in Fortnite discipline. Almost all of the team’s wins are from 16-year-old Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, who won $3 million at the Fortnite World Cup. In 2018, the Sentinels won just over 30,000 and ranked 237th on the list.
8th Place: Team Secret ($3.31M)
Team Secret, the Dota 2 discipline giant, has hit 3.1 million during the 2019 season. Two of them earned Team Secret finishing fourth in The International. Still, Team Secret is trying to expand the list of disciplines in the organization and is looking for winning teams that won’t cost as much to maintain. Last year, other disciplines — Rainbow 6, Apex Legends, Age of Empires, PUBG Mobile — brought the team just $213,000 dollars.
7th Place: Gen.G ($3.45M)
Last year, Gen.G team dominated the PUBG discipline, winning three Major Series tournaments, including a $2.28 million World Cup. PUBG discipline was extremely important to the organization, accounting for 94 percent of Gen.G’s achievements. But those proportions should change by 2020, especially since Gen.G now has a CS: GO team that will also feature three former Cloud 9 players: Timothy “autimatic” Ta, Damian “daps” Steele and Kenneth “Koosta” Suenas.
Rank 6: Cooler Esport ($3.51M)
Hardly noticed, Cooler Esport even ranks sixth on the list of highest-earning teams. The reason for this is the duo of Emilio “nyhrox” Bergquist Pedersen and David “aqua” Wang in Fortnite, who won the $3 million World Cup. Not surprisingly, thanks to generous cash prizes from Epic Games and PUBG Corp., the list of the most winning organizations ranks high on the list of previously unheard-of organizations. Cooler proved last year that a giant organization is not necessary to win big prizes.
Rank 5: PSG.LGD Esports ($3.54M)
The second Dota 2 giant on this list is PSG.LGD Esports Club. Last year, the team won a total of $ 3.4 million in Dota 2 tournaments. The organization also has a FIFA team that won over $37,000 dollars in 2019. This organization is another great example of the impact of big prize games like Dota 2 on the esports ecosystem.
Rank 4: Lazarus ($4.22M)
The former SetToDestroyX organization has not only a new name but also management. Lazarus is based on a multi-team business model, but last year, one discipline was the clear winner, Fortnite. As many as six Lazarus players entered the World Cup last year. In the doubles, the Lazarus duo finished second and seventh, earning the organization $2.35 million dollars. Canadian organization has won another $1.3 million in qualifiers and other Fortnite tournaments. Lazarus also has players in CS:GO, Hearthstone, PUBG and other disciplines and is set to climb even further in the 2020.
3rd Place: NRG Esports ($5.28M)
NRG Esports’ third-place jump was due to titles in various tournaments. The San Francisco Shock became Overwatch League champion and won $1.5 million dollars. In addition, $2.85 million the club won in the Fortnite tournaments. NRG has won six figures in the Rocket League and Apex Legends disciplines. Apex Legends announced an upcoming league with $3 million in the prize pool, the organization’s achievements this year could increase even more.
Unfortunately, the organization also ran into trouble last year when, for financial reasons, NRG transferred its CS:GO team to the Evil Geniuses club. Even so, they still managed to jump up to third place on this list.
2nd Place: Team Liquid ($9.4M)
Team Liquid has an extremely wide range of disciplines. What’s more, last year, teams from the North American organization showed great results in major esports games: Dota 2, CS: GO, League of Legends and Fortnite. In the Dota 2 discipline, Liquid, which finished second in the International, won as much as $5 million last year. No less impressive was the CS: GO team, which held a first place in the HLTV rankings for a while. Team newcomers Jacky “Stewie2K” Yip and Keith “NAF” Markovic contributed significantly to this, helping the CS:GO team win as much as $2.3 million dollars.
Adding the $455,000 won in League of Legends tournaments, Team Liquid had a great season.
1st Place: OG ($15.84M)
The OG organization, which has become the Dota 2 World Champion, retained its first place on the list of most winning teams. Almost all of the winnings went to the team for merit in the TI9 tournament, but $900,000 dollars were contributed to the club by the Super Smash Bros. discipline. After winning the International, five OG players instantly became the highest-earning esports players in history.
Before the end of the year, OG announced a CS:GO roster, which managed to contribute another $21,500 US dollars, finishing 3rd in their first event under the OG banner. With more rumored teams joining OG in 2020, the Denmark based organization is looking strong to remain one of the highest-earning organizations in esports.