The 10 Highest-Earning Esports Organizations of 2020
The world of esports is full of powerful emotions and… big money. Many years have passed since competitive gaming was just a hobby for enthusiasts. Now, it’s a fully-fledged business that has definitely proven to be quite profitable - and for some organizations, esports earnings are very impressive.
It’s interesting to take a look at some of the richest organizations in esports history. Their primary source of income is tournament prizes, but of course, esports teams make a lot of money from their sponsors as well. Also, they can earn cash by selling CS:GO skins on DMarket - after all, pro-players have a lot of awesome items in their inventories.
Before we start, let’s make a few things clear:
- Esports organizations differ from teams, that’s why you will not see some of the prominent brands in this list - their organizations may be smaller and play fewer games (like Astralis who are known as a great CS:GO team). One organization may include many teams and our stats include these earnings in all gaming titles.
- The sums in this post have been calculated on the base of publicly available information but they are not official numbers.
- The ranking has been built only upon total earnings. Some organizations might have played less esports tournaments, but they earn more on average per event.
Do you want to join one of these organizations and take home some part of this money? This guide may be very helpful for you - 9 Easy Steps to Start Your Pro Career in CS:GO.
10. Natus Vincere - $10.90m in 453 tournaments
This Ukrainian esports organization had quite a glorious start in Counter-Strike and Dota 2, which helped the guys to build a famous brand and expand their presence to other games. NaVi was founded in 2009. They won three premier CS tournaments in 2010 and The International 2011.
CS:GO and Dota 2 remain the main games for NaVi - they have brought 33% and 45% of the revenue respectively. S1mple has proven many times to be the best CS:GO player in the world.
A recent big success of Natus Vincere is victory at IEM Season XIV in Katowice. NaVi Dota 2 were 13-16th at The International 2019 in Shanghai.
Natus Vincere has teams in many other top esports games, such as Apex Legends, Hearthstone, PUBG, and World of Tanks.
9. Invictus Gaming - $11.32m in 470 tournaments
In 2011, one wealthy Chinese businessman bought the esport team Catastrophic Cruel Memory to found a new organization. Invictus Gaming now specializes mostly on MOBAs with their first big success in this area at The International 2012.
Team earnings are based on Dota 2 (46.6%) and LoL (35%) tournaments. Their biggest reсent success is taking 4th place at LPL 2020 Spring Playoffs, a Chinese Lol league.
Apart from MOBAs, teams of Invictus Gaming earn from StarCraft II, CrossFire, Hearthstone, Overwatch, and CS:GO.
To go deeper into the fascinating world of Dota 2, check out our Biggest Dota 2 FAQ.
8. Team Secret - $11.57m in 247 tournaments
For this European organization, everything started with a Dota 2 team - where a few famous players gathered together to create something new. Team Secret debuted in 2014. The young team had quite a few changes to the roster, but still, they managed to get many high positions at various tournaments and earn both a good reputation and a significant amount of money.
Recent successes of Team Secret Dota 2 include victory at DreamLeague Season 13 and 4th place at The International 2019.
Almost 95% of the revenue for this esport organization comes from Dota 2. Teal Secret is also present in Fortnite esports, Rainbow Six Siege, Age of Empires II, CS:GO, and Rocket League.
7. Vici Gaming - $12.93m in 290 tournaments
It’s another top esports organization from China. Their first team was in the Dota 2 discipline - where players of that roster were mostly without any professional experience. They gathered together in 2010 and in just two years managed to become second at The International 2012.
Then followed victories and high places at many other esports events. In 2019, Vici Gaming Dota 2 won ONE Esports Dota 2 World Pro Invitational Singapore.
Other gaming titles for Vici gaming are Hearthstone, CS:GO, League of Legends, Crossfire, PUBG, and Overwatch. Still, their focus remains on Dota 2 - of which the organization has a few teams for this game.
It’s no surprise to see this MOBA among the most popular games in the world. Here is how many people play Dota 2.
6. Virtus.pro - $14.16m in 489 tournaments
The first team of Virtus.pro played the original version of Counter-Strike - it was formed in 2003. Then the organization entered Dota and other areas of esports.
The biggest success came to Virtus.pro with the CS:GO roster that included the legendary player pashaBiceps. Even now, this Russian organization is famous mostly for their Polish CS:GO team, which has won quite a few tournaments, including ESL Major Series One Katowice 2014.
Another big team of Virtus.pro plays Dota 2. For example, they won The Kuala Lumpur Major in 2018.
Like other big esports organizations, Virtus.pro is present in many other disciplines, but these make up a much smaller part of their revenue. For instance, their Fortnite earnings only make up 2% of the whole sum.
Surprisingly, one of the most successful multiplayer shooters, Team Fortress 2, has no big esports presence. Still, it’s a great game to have some fun playing time - check out our guide on all the TF2 classes of characters.
5. Newbee - $14.22m in 226 tournaments
These Chinese guys have made a powerful start in Dota 2 esports by winning The International 2014 in what was the first year for the team. That was $5m from one event - Dota 2 is known for the biggest prize pools in esports. In 2014-15, Newbee won other big video game tournaments which guaranteed them a place in this list.
Still, the future of Newbee Dota 2 is not very bright. In May 2020, the team was accused of fixing games. Even Valve has given evidence of such actions, so the team was banned from esports events by some Chinese organizers.
Dota 2 was the primary source of income for Newbee - around 95%.
4. Fnatic - $15.39m in 903 tournaments
Here we have one of the biggest esports organizations with many teams in various disciplines and players from all over the world. Fnatic was founded in 2004 with a Counter-Strike team. A bit later they entered World of Warcraft and the original version of Dota. The headquarters of Fnatic is in London.
Among quite a big list of games, only three make the biggest part of revenue for the organization: CS:GO (28%), Dota 2 (26%), and LoL (17%). Other games include Heroes of the Storm, Rainbow Six Siege, StarCraft II, Call of Duty, and FIFA.
The recent achievements of Fnatic are victories at DreamHack Masters Malmö 2019 (CS:GO) and DOTA Summit 12, and a well-earned second place at 2018 World Championship (LoL).
Do you want to become great at CS:GO? Then take a look at our simple but advanced CS:GO Guide for beginners to become a Pro.
3. Evil Geniuses - $23.91m in 841 tournaments
This organization from the USA started from Quake tournaments in the late 1990s. Soon, they expanded their presence into WoW, Dota, and StarCraft II. Since 2010, Evil Geniuses has had pro-players in fighting games.
The biggest money was earned by the EG Dota 2 team (83%) - after they won The International 2015, and placed 3rd in 2014, 2016 and 2018, before taking 5-6th in 2019.
Among other top esports games, Evil Geniuses is present in CS:GO - they won ESL One: New York 2019 and StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 8, in Rainbow Six Siege, and in League of Legends.
2. OG - $33.62min in 82 tournaments
No other example can prove better that Dota 2 is the most profitable esports discipline - this esports organization has earned a whopping 99.55% of their whole sum from this game alone. Quite impressive!
You will probably know OG, even if you are only slightly interested in Dota 2 esports. The guys won The International 2018 and 2019, and these victories have brought the team almost $27m! Other, “smaller” victories include The Frankfurt Major 2015, The Manila Major 2016, The Boston Major 2016, and The Kiev Major 2017 - with $1+m of the prize money from each. It’s worth noting that this European organization was only founded in 2015.
The team obviously has a big sponsor - it’s enough to look at their logo. For successful organizations, such contracts may add quite significant money to the budget - of course, the info on how much do gaming sponsors pay rarely becomes public, but some brands demonstrate extremely powerful support for esports.
OG is also present in CS:GO and Super Smash Bros. These games add 0.29% and 0.02% to the revenue respectively.
Do you know what distinguishes professionals in esports? Apart from having excellent skills, they appear in the virtuality with excellent skins! Do you want to add a unique style to your game? Then buy Dota 2 items on DMarket and make your heroes stand out from the crowd!
1. Team Liquid - $34.96min in 1725 tournaments
Whatever esports game you might choose to follow, it’s more than possible you’ll find Team Liquid there. This international organization with headquarters in the USA and Netherlands is one of the biggest in the world - and you can feel this just from the number of tournaments they participate in.
Team Liquid was founded in 2000 as a StarCraft news website. Then, it dedicated sections to other games as well. Their first appearance in professional gaming was made for the game StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty in 2010. Then, they acquired a Dota 2 team in 2012. Team Liquid has been playing CS:GO since 2015.
The recent success of Team Liquid included first place at Intel Extreme Masters XIV - Chicago (CS:GO) and second place at The International 2019 (Dota 2).
To follow Team Liquid (or any other team) in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, check out this list of the most anticipated CS:GO upcoming tournaments
Are you interested in esports stats? Then here they are! According to Newzoo:
- 443m people watched esports streams in 2019 and the expected audience in 2020 is 495m;
- A general esports revenue is $950.6m in 2019 and may reach $1,100.1m in 2020;
- In 2020, money in esports come mostly from sponsors ($636.9m), from selling media rights ($185.4m), from selling merchandise and tickets ($121.7m), and from publisher fees ($116.3m);
- Top 5 games on Twitch by Live Esports Hours in 2019 are League of Legends (348.8m), CS:GO (215m), Dota 2 (198.9m), Overwatch (109.9m), and Hearthstone (37m). These biggest esports games make a good choice for successful Twitch streamers.