Why is Astralis getting paid so much?

  • Astralis is one of the biggest Esports teams in the world.

  • Astralis tournaments, salaries, and sponsorships

  • Astralis has accrued 9 million dollars in CSGO

Astralis had ranked first place in 4 out of 15 tournaments in 2020 and 9 out of the 22 tournaments they attended during 2019. They consistently win many tournaments every year and are able to take home hundreds of thousands per tournament especially the big wins like ECS S8 - Finals, or the BLAST Pro Series: Global Final 2019 where there are quarter-million-dollar prizes for first place winners. So it's no surprise that they have won over 9 million dollars in just tournament prizes. This doesn't include sponsors or other money earned.

They accrued over 9 million dollars within 100 tournaments which is definitely no easy feat. In a close second place, we have Team Liquid with approximately 4.9 million dollars and Fnatic in third place, with 4.5 dollars. Astralis and Fnatic’s earnings are not close to the amount of money earned during the championships. This fact is even more true when you see how many tournaments each team took place in, with Fnatic with over 200 tournaments and Team Liquid with over 150. As you can probably tell Astralis has a much better win to loss ratio compared to other teams in its league. If we were to average the amount earned per tournament attended would be approximately $90,000 dollars for Astralis. Comparing this to Fnatic’s average amount earned per tournament attended which is $24,500 and Team Liquid with an average of 30,000. Astralis is winning almost triple the amount of tournament prizes their competitors are winning.

If you look at the visual above, you may have noticed the two anomalies, Mousesports and Ninjas in Pyjamas have a higher percentage of tournament wins compared to Astralis. The reason they have higher winning percentages is because of much smaller championships in the earlier years like 2012-2013 where there weren't many other teams competing in the league. If we were to look at just tournaments recently played within a few years 2015-2021, we would have a much smaller winning percentage for both Mousesports and Ninjas in Pyjamas.

Sponsorships and Tournaments

Sponsorships usually consist of around 40%-70% of the team's revenue. The higher viewership your matches receive usually the higher value sponsorships deals your team gets. Usually, higher viewed matches are the finals or the semi-finals so getting farther down the tournament increases the chance of sponsorships and prize winnings. Since Astralis is able to win 28% of the tournaments they attend their sponsorships deals are considerably larger than Cloud9's. Out of the last 10 tournaments Cloud9 has attended, their average peak view count is 143,498. Out of the last 10 tournaments Astralis has attended, their average peak view count is 443,808.

Cloud9 has approximately a 1/3 of the viewership Astrlis has on average which makes it less valuable than Alstrias matches.

The graph below shows the view count of the top 10 earning teams for the past 10 tournaments.


Cloud 9 is one of the highest-paid professional CS:GO, teams. Hover over the first visual of Cloud 9 and you'll see that they’ve played 197 tournaments. Out of the 197 tournaments they attended they only won 28 tournaments which is a 14% win ratio. The reported deals Cloud9 ranges from is $250,000-$1,000,000. This is only accounting for CSGO sponsorship revenue. No specific deals have publicly announced. This range accounts for viewership numbers and other similar team sponsorship deals.


Astralis has won 28 tournaments as well but only played 100 which is a 28% win ratio. Astralis had an increase in net revenue from $7.67m in 2019 to $8.13m in 2020 (66 percent of revenue comes from sponsorships). Even though 66% of revenue comes from sponsorship in 2020 they made $631,500.00 From 15 Tournaments compared to 2019 they got $2,154,900.00 From 22 Tournaments. Revenue increased quite dramatically even though they made a fraction of what they were making during the 2019 season championships. That's with covid season hitting hard as well. The sponsorships did not pull out and they were actually able to increase revenue for Astralis Group with an increased amount of sponsorships. A few of the reported Astralis sponsorship deals: $4,000,000 to $7,350,000 sponsorship by hummel, Short-term sponsorship from Audi worth approximately $750,000, and a Seven-figure deal with gaming headset manufacturer Turtle Beach.

The scatter plot below shows the salary difference between Cloud9 and Astralis players.


We know that Astralis is a high-performing team with the highest overall championship earning but is their 1.7 million dollars a year salary justifiable?

Some people think that Astralis is overpaid but I strongly disagree. There's a reason why each Astralis member gets paid the amount they do, it's because they have shown great performance for years. They are so one of the highest viewed CSGO esports teams in the world with over 400,000+ viewers on average. New companies are sponsoring esports teams every day because they know what the future holds for esports. Viewerships will continue to increase and sponsors will continue to sponsor these teams with bigger and bigger contracts as long as the views keep going up.

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