Business Technology

The Top Teams in eSports and How Much They are Making

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Did you know that you could make money out of playing video games? Yes, and that’s if you’re good enough. How? Okay, let’s get down to business.

Perhaps you already know that eSports is now becoming a big thing globally. (We assume that’s why you’re reading this.) What might surprise you, though, is the fact that this particular segment of the gaming industry actually generates loads of money. Data from GamingScan even predicts that eSports will be worth at least $2.5 billion this year. That’s like literally entering “motherlode” on The Sims a bunch of times. Of course, that means eSports players and teams can earn money from it.

So, this leads us to two very important questions: One, where do they get it from? And two, who are the top teams now and how much do they earn? Here, we’re going to answer those frequently asked queries.

Where do they get the money?

Esports players actually have tons of money sources. Here’s a roundup:

Prize Money 

The International (Dota 2) has a reputation for bringing in the most massive prize pools in eSports history. Just last year, the annual tournament accumulated a total of $34,330,069.00 for the prize pool, with the winning team taking home the staggering amount of $15,620,181.00.


Just like in any conventional sport, players in eSports receive compensation for playing for a professional team. The rates vary depending on the game, the league, and the player’s talent. In countries like China, U.S., and Japan, one can earn an average of $3,000 – $5,000 a month. More experienced competitive gamers can get up to $15,000.

Sponsorship deals 

As we’ve already established, eSports is making a huge mark in the video game market. This has encouraged major global brands to put their money in it in order to reinforce brand awareness and expand their audiences. Their investment may come in the form of team ownership or naming rights to a tournament. This means higher income for players or a larger prize pool.


Apart from sponsorships, big companies also like to capitalize on the rapidly growing number of audiences in eSports through advertising. According to reports, advertising dollars account for 19% of the industry’s revenue.

Media rights 

Competitive gaming is heavily viewed online via streaming services like Twitch. However, its success is now pushing networks like ESPN and TBS to get exclusive media coverage on some of the biggest tournaments around the world. Pretty soon, more networks will surely follow suit and take advantage of this too. Again, the money brought in by these media outlets is mostly paid out to event organizers, who then put some of it into the prize pool.

Ticket and merchandise sales 

You can’t deny the fact that eSports has really turned into a pop culture phenomenon. You see stadiums getting filled to the brim during live events and merchandise products (e.g. shirts, jackets, caps, etc.) being sold out on online stores. Yes, organizers gain huge profits from these sales.

Who are the top teams and how much do they earn?

Currently: these are the top teams in eSports now:

Team Liquid 

Team Liquid is well-known for winning various tournaments around the globe. They’re mostly successful in games like Dota 2, Starcraft 2, and Counter-Strike. As of this writing they’ve already played in 1,661 tournaments and raked in over $34,507,493.50 in prize money.


OG is one of the youngest teams in the scene, having formed only in 2015 and played in over 75 tournaments. Despite this, the team has been able to make significant strides in several leagues, particularly in Dota 2. Their biggest feat right to date has been winning The International 2019, which is largely the reason they’re on this list. That victory, including many other championships, earned them a total of $33,452,199.34.

Evil Geniuses 

The team was founded in 1999 by Alexander Garfield as a Counter-Strike team in 1999. Since then, they have moved on to compete in games like Dota 2, Starcraft 2, League of Legends, and Call of Duty. They’ve already joined 822 tournaments and have accumulated over $23,715,745.21. Their most successful player, Sumail Hassan, has already earned $3,570,225.34 in prize winnings.


This one is London-based, but it’s dominated by Swedish players. They are mostly skilled in CS:GO and Dota 2. In recent years, they’ve also been making a name in League of Legends tournaments. The team has earned $14,746,296.84 from 871 tournaments.


Apt for its name, Newbee is also fairly new in the field. They’re a China-based team that specializes in Dota 2. They have won a total of $14,135,453.28 after only 200 tournaments.

This list just goes to show that there really is money in eSports. And by that, we mean loads of it. Even though you’re just starting out as a professional player, you can earn just as much as veterans do, given that you have the talent to bring your team to glory.

About the author


Samuel Stewart

Samuel Stewart has been interested in gaming and computers ever since he got a computer from his father in 1999. Being the Editor-in-Chief over GamingScan allows him to follow his passion for gaming.