How much money does an average CS:GO pro player make?

How Much Money Does An Average CSGO Player Make
  • When it comes to how much money does an average CS:GO player make, there are two completely opposite points of view. Some people say that CS:GO pro players earn millions of dollars, and other people say that they aren’t making living from it. But, how much money does average CS:GO player actually make? Let’s find out.

Different speculations

With all the major events, flashy lights and large crowds, money is being made at esports events. Advertisers sponsor teams and events for brand awareness. Prize pools are determined, and go as high as 1 million dollars and above. As mentioned, people often are willing to share one view about how much money is really circulating in esports, and what do the players make. with regards to the game Counter-Strike: Global Offense, some say that CS:GO is just a video game and there is no way that you can actually make living from it unless you are at the very top. On the other side, there are people who think that CS:GO is an excellent way to earn a lot of money even though you’re an average player. Like always, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

First of all, we have to distinguish professional players from non-professional players. Of course, there are some lucrative ways to earn money from CS:GO even though you are not a professional player. For example, you can make YouTube videos or Twitch streams as well as many other things that are connected to CS:GO. These things can indeed make you some decent money. However, we are going to focus on players who dedicate their time and even careers to improving their in-game skills and becoming a professional player.

Which players are taken into account?

Everyone can claim that he or she is a pro player. They spend a lot of time trying to learn new things and improve their skills. However, that’s not the only thing that makes you a pro player. So, we are going to take into account only players who have consistently played for a professional esports team for at least two years.

Surely, these boundaries are not very strict. Moreover, they are necessary in order to exclude part-time players and stand-ins which makes things more complex. That’s the best way to tell how much money an average CS:GO player makes.

What are the sources of income for pro players?

When you are a professional CS:GO player, there are numerous ways to earn money regardless of how good or bad you are. However, in order to figure out how much money an average CS:GO player makes, we are going to mention only the most common sources of income.

Esports Salaries

Many CS:GO fans don’t know this, but CS:GO players get money on a monthly basis aside from prize money. Still, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the case, especially in Low Tier. But, teams who compete at international tournaments usually get a monthly salary from their organizations. So, these players don’t have to worry about their team’s results. But as esports fans know, poor results will result to player transfers. Truly, it’s never a good feeling when you are losing much. But, you at least get some sort of income playing for an esports organization

This is also the hardest source of income to determine precisely considering there are no official records about how much money players get from their organizations. Nevertheless, we have some information to use.

In one of the interviews that g1alve from Astralis gave, he said that at the time when he played for n!faculty, his salary was 250 Euros per month. (source)

gla1ve Esports Salary Income Astralis
Source: dreamhack

Indeed, n!faculty is the perfect example as it was kind of Low-Mid Tier team back then. So, it was basically the amount of money an average CS:GO player was making back then. However, g1alve played for n!faculty about five years ago and there is definitely much more money in CS:GO now.

Money Comparison

If we want to find out how much money the average CS:GO player makes today, we need to compare how much money was in CS:GO back then to how much money is in CS:GO now. For example, the first CS:GO Major ever was held in 2014. Gla1ve played for n!faculty also in 2014. Back then, the prize pool of ESL Major in Katowice was $250,000. This year, the prize pool of Katowice Major was $1,000,000.

According to these numbers, we can assume that average CS:GO player makes at least $1,000 per month. There are rumors that players who consistently take part in Majors make between $4,000 and $6,000 per month. As well, some people claim that players of the most elite teams (Astralis, MiBR, FaZe…) receive $40,000 per month from their organizations.

Another great example of an average CS:GO team nowadays is Valiance. Their former player, Aleksa “Impulse” Stankic said that he can make more money from CS:GO than from an average job in Serbia. So, this is definitely proof that even an average CS:GO player can make a living from CS:GO regardless of his results.

Prize money

Presumably, the second-best source of income for an average CS:GO player is prize money. If we get back to Valiance, we will see that they actually don’t make much money from tournaments. This year, they earned $60,000 so far because of a good result at the WESG 2018 and United Masters League. However, they usually spend the whole year playing Qualifiers and Online events without earning a single penny.

Valiance WESG 2018 Esports
Source: Valiance

But if we look at some slightly better teams like AVANGAR, we will see that they actually earned a decent amount of prize money. This year, they earned just a few thousand more than Valiance. However, last year, they earned about $140,000. When we split that amount into five equal parts, we will get $28,000, which is decent money even though the organization itself takes its part.

Sticker and skin sales

Getting to the LAN event of Major isn’t only a matter of satisfaction and prestige. It also brings a lot of money to players. If we want to know how much money average CS:GO player makes, we definitely have to take sticker sales into account. Namely, when a team reaches the main event of the Valve event (Major in this case), they get a revenue share of sticker sales.

CSGO Esport Sticker and skin sales
Source: HLTV

In the same interview, gla1ve said that n!faculty earned about $25,000 just from the sticker sales. These days, it’s probably an even bigger amount of money. Also, professional players could sell their skins for a few hundred dollars if they want, although it’s not a common thing they do.

Twitch streaming and YouTube videos

As we stated at the beginning, when you are a professional CS:GO player, there is a bunch of ways to earn income. There are dozens of pro players who stream regularly. Unless you are a popular player with tens of thousands of followers, you cannot make much money from streaming. However, it’s a good way to sell your skills and earn some additional money. As well, you can always use your experience and knowledge to become a caster, commentator, analyst, coach or something similar.

Conclusion: is CS:GO be profitable?

If you want to become a professional CS:GO player and make a living from it, you don’t necessarily have to be at the very top. You can make decent money even as part of some Mid or Low Tier team. So, if you dedicate enough time to practice, you can easily reach the needed level. Nevertheless, you are not going to become rich unless you are exceptionally good and get signed to the top esports organizations.

Read Game Life on the GO: Follow us on Twitter @GameLifeHQ

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