Winning in CS:GO doesn't only bring fame and prestige: it can also give a nice boost to your bank account. While the arrangements likely vary from team to team, the overall prize money won by the different teams can tell you a lot about their longevity and effectiveness in the world of Counter-Strike. The all-time top five of CS:GO contains some of the usual suspects and some you might not have expected to make it onto this particular list in 2019.
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The team that immediately stands out is VP, with the Poles' insanely long contracts perhaps not looking as ridiculous in light of how much prize money they've managed to rank up by 2017. Their collapse the following year looks even worse if you consider how 2018 was a real banner year in terms of prize pools for basically every other side on this list. That said, it does take time to reverse trends: you may be surprised to learn that Team Liquid only just surpassed Cloud9 in terms of overall winnings after their triumph at DreamHack Masters Dallas.
While it's tough to challenge the overall prize pools of The International and the DOTA world in general, some of these teams' results are very impressive even in this context. Astralis are the eleventh-highest earners across all esports titles and the second behind SK Telecom as a non-DOTA side. Fnatic's CS:GO and DOTA divisions are basically running side by side in this race and the troubled FaZe organization's Counter-Strike cash splash looks like an even better investment once you consider the fact that their CS:GO side won almost three times as much in terms of overall prize money as their Call of Duty rosters did.
With prize pools (and likely the appearance fees) rising at a steady rate, CS:GO seems like a pretty stable bet as long as its third-party scene remains healthy. Even if past glories can keep you in the top five for now, there was never a better time to be great at Counter-Strike, at least financially speaking, as it is now.
Do you agree with these observations? Anything else worth pointing out? Let us know at @RivalryGLHF on Twitter!
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