CSGO has surpassed League of Legends in prize money for the first time

Valve has found itself on the brink of renewed success post the success of Dota2 and recently CSGO. While Dota2 had been a blockbuster right from its release ( Valve servers crashed when the news of Dota2 was announced).

CSGO on the other hand had a very slow start after its release in 2012. Professional players reluctance to take up the game resulted in diminishing interest in the game. After several tweaks and modifications, the game was somewhat playable. EMS Katowice in 2014 was the tipping point in the history of CSGO as CSGO viewership was for the first time a talking point in the competitive scene.

Counter Strike is a relatively easy game to spectate. The basics of the game are very similar to reality shooting and hence its easier for spectators to relate to the game, unlike MOBAs which have a very steep learning curve.

Interestingly, nine out of the top 10 nationalities for prize money earned stayed the same in 2016. While some countries changed positions within the top 10, only one was replaced.

The distribution of prize money per game tells another big story of 2016. For the first time since 2012, League of Legends is not ranked first or second but placed third behind CS:GO, which in turn is now the runner-up to Dota 2. And it’s not even by a small margin. In 2015, CS:GO was still $1.5 million shy of League. This year, however, CS:GO flew past League and is now $7 million ahead. And that’s despite the fact that League’s total prize money grew from $7.7 million to $10.1 million. As explained above, CS:GO’s prize pool almost tripled—an incredible run that’s not looking to slow down next year. The 2017 Premier tournament circuit already consists of 14 events, with many more yet to be announced.