It came with not a lot of surprises that electronic sports had now become a billion-dollar industry. What with all of the attention and great interests it had garnered in recent years, you’d be myopic to think otherwise.

In 2018, numerous game companies hosted tournaments and events that had a fixed amount of prize for the winner and his sponsors to grab. And in total, 2018 offered the e-Sport community a total of $130 million. It is certainly not a modest number, and innumerable teams and e-Sport organizations had been up at arms, hard at work throughout the year to get a sizeable bite of the luscious lump sum.

eSport Earnings - a site dedicated to tracking the incomes of the world’s premiere eSport teams. Estimated that the top 10 teams each have secured an average of $3 million in winnings from the plethora of events in 2018. While, yes, indeed, the title of the game from which the teams won their crowns are composite. It is noted that most of the teams appearing on the list are finalists of DOTA 2’s venerable The International competition. An event that has been historically well-funded.

Here’s a view into the balance statements of these 10 ‘winners’ of the 2018’s eSport landscape.

Vici Gaming - $3.04 Million

You might consider this as cheating, but rather, it’s a cunning take on things.

Not content with entering The International with just one team of pro players alone. Vici Gaming decided that the risks involved would be optimised when they entered three teams into the competition. The three teams include one core Vici Gaming team, and two ‘branches’ being VGJ.Storm and VGJ.Thunder.

This is all legal, mind you!


Vici Gaming didn’t score particularly high in the final competition, with a common standing of 7th and 8th place between the teams. However, just by the number of the teams involved upped the share they had on the prize pool to $1.15 million. The rest of their million-dollar paycheck from this year came from other DOTA 2 events and tournaments hosted sporadically through the year.

Cloud9 - $3.28 Million

Cloud9 immersed itself into most, if not, all known eSport titles of the year. Their immersion went so well, in fact, that at the end of the day they often left with a couple thousands in the bank.

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The team’s impressive record for 2018 includes a high profile victory in the London Spitfire’s Overwatch League championship. Netting the team $1 - $1.2 million. A half million dollar win for the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) ELEAGUE Boston Major. And a quarter million dollar win during the Rocket League Championship Series World Championship. On the popular front of League of Legends - arguably the hottest eSport title at the moment - is a half million dollar ($452 million) prize for coming 3rd and 4th.

Fnatic - $3.63 Million

Fnatic Team’s income statement revolves heavily around three titles in particular: League of Legends, CS:GO, and DOTA 2. From the first title, Fnatic earned a staggering $1.22 million as a result of their repeated triumphs in the annual tournaments and events. Most notably, their second-place position in the World Championship.

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Highest earning in term of title came from CS:GO, where the team netted $1.37 million from their activities. And DOTA 2 came last with a ‘mere’ $525 thousand in prize.

The rest of the team’s income was made up from a vast array of other titles, including Fortnite and FIFA.

Astralis - $3.65 Million

If you’re new to the business, up to this point most likely you’d think that to build a respectable income, a team must swivel on multiple games and be best at every single one while they’re at it. Astralis proves that sentiment wrong by capitalising their best on just one title alone: CS:GO. This might be risky from a business point of view. After all, they have no other games to turn to unlike others when their performance is lowered on CS:GO. Nonetheless, that’s the concern for another year. As this year, Astralis had had an immensely successful run. With multiple events under their belt, including the ELEAGUE CS:GO Premiere, FACEIT Major: London, and ESL Pro League. Successes in the three events led to approximately $2 million at the end of the day.

Astralis Roster

The rest of the $1 million that made up their $3.65 million payday was a generous $1 million bonus from Intel. The team’s winning streak was noticed and Astralis was suitably rewarded during this year’s Intel Grand Slam. An award given to teams with exceptional records in recognised tournaments. - $3.96 Million is one of the aforementioned teams who rise up to the honour through the path paved by DOTA 2’s well-endowed tournaments. The team made the sixth position on the top 10 by emerging victorious in the Kuala Lumpur Major 2018, the Bucharest Major 2018, and ESL One Birmingham and Katowice 2018. The team also won the 5th - 6th position of The International - a victory that accounted for a whopping $1.15 million of its $3.42 million haul as a result of DOTA 2.

13148857454 350b2f27fe B also used to partake in CS:GO, but the team recently disbanded in this category. Still, before that could happen, the team still managed to bring home $272 thousand from their last events within the title. It is a far cry from the previous year’s $892 thousand, it is still a great, last Oorah nonetheless.

FaZe Clan - $4.09 Million

Centralising itself mostly onto shooter games, FaZe Clan’s track record of this year includes CS:GO, Call of Duty: World War II, PlayerUnknown’s Battleground, and last but not least, Fortnite. In left to right order, the team netted $1.01 million, $357 thousand, and $291 thousand out of each of the three games listed above.

Wanderset Faze Clan Fortnite Summer Skirmish 1 1

But the ‘delicacy’ of sort for FaZe Clan in the past year (And maybe even the years to come) is Fortnite. As one of the highest grossing game in the market with no sign of stopping its development any time soon. Fortnite promised itself to be a substantial eSport title in the future. FaZe Clan is setting itself up to be one of the first in-line to take a shot at winning the crown for the title. For, as of right now, it is the best and top-earning team for the title in 2018. A whopping $2.36 million was awarded to the team for their skills in the last year.

Evil Geniuses - $4.17 Million

Once again we are entreated to another team that rises to triumph on the wings of DOTA 2. This time, it’s Evil Geniuses, securing a total of $3.24 million from the game. A major portion ($2.68 million) was made from achieving third-place in The International, while the rest are made through the year’s event timeline. The team’s earning history has always stuck close with DOTA 2. Since its conception, it can be said that the title had been their ‘bread-winner’ game. It seems that the trend continued well into the past year, and will be so in the next.


Evil Geniuses was not a one-trick pony, however. Bolstering the team’s official income was August’s Call of Duty World League Championship, netting $600 thousand. From Rainbow Six: Siege the team also managed $164 thousand from their participation in Six Invitation 2018 and Six Major Paris.

Paris Saint-Germain eSports - $5.36 Million

League Of Legends Paris Saint Germain Esports

At the rate that this list is going, you might as well consider a team’s position on The International to be the standard of judging their financial success. As the top four of The International just so happen to correlate to the top four earners on our earning list. Of course, there are some re-arrangement in places.

Paris Saint-Germain came in second place during this year’s The International with their PSG.LGD roster. Just for that alone, they have been able to bring home $4.07 million. Filling the rest of their $5.36 million’s haul were the two victories they found in the EPICENTER XL - half a million. And MDL Changsha Major - $400 thousand. Although by comparison to the scintillating numbers that they had with DOTA 2. Paris Saint-Germain has also had an acceptable year with Rocket League, taking home $81 thousand.

Team Liquid - $7.2 Million

Team Liquid is the living testament to the business epithet of spreading your portfolio. Their winnings weren’t high when compared to others. But just from how much they’ve won, they are able to cover their 2018 expenses and some.

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Aside from the fourth place on The International that netted them $1.79 million. Team Liquid’s participation in various other events and competitions hosted throughout the year finally accounted $3.23 million total for their DOTA 2’s division. As for the rest of the number, the team saw success competition in budding Fortnite championships and events - where they saw $1.31 million. Shooters such as CS:GO - $1.03 million and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds - $519 thousand. The traditional eSport title of League of Legends, where they managed $419 thousand. And lastly, Quake Champions, where they pulled a modest - but substantial - $197 thousand for efforts.

OG - $11.47 Million


This here is the top of the top earners.

But surprisingly, the only reason that OG managed to hit the top of the eSport food-chain in 2018 was because they are the champion of The International 2018. Indeed, the entirety of the massive crowdfunded prize pool of $11.23 million was pulled into OG’s banking the instant they emerged victorious. OG need not participate in any other events or bother themselves with playing for any other titles to make it to the top of the list. Nonetheless, as a tiny addition to their 2018’s income, the team did participate in Super Smash Bros. Melee where they found $3.3 thousand from it.

We’re not going to talk about just how large the prize pool of The International is. No, that’s a whole different story. It is still a subject of debate, the size of the prize pool paid out to champions. Despite all that, OG is definitely enjoying the way that the system is arranged at the moment.