This year witnessed a turbulent season for competitive CS:GO as tournament organizers had to restructure the entire circuit to online-based tournaments due to the ongoing pandemic. We did witness a few LAN tournaments early in the year but the bulk of the events were played online with reduced prize pools, further divided between multiple regions.
The change that the competitive circuit observed had an impact on the teams also, as the year was not dominated by a single CS:GO team. This combined with the rise of a few new CS:GO tournaments has made 2020 an exciting and unpredictable year for Counter-Strike. So, I believe that this list of ‘Top 10 Highest Tournament Prize Money Winning Players’ will come off as a bit of a surprise, not having the usual names that one is used to seeing year-on-year.
10. Will “Rush” Wierzba
The only CS:GO player from North America on this list, RUSH who currently plays for Complexity Gaming has managed to earn $125,400 USD in tournament prize winnings. It was not a surprise seeing Complexity Gaming’s rifler on this list because of the sheer amount of CS:GO tournaments that the team has participated in 2020.
From tier-one to tier-two tournaments, Complexity has grinded a lot this year and was the only team from North America to quickly shift to Europe very early on in 2020. They won a lot of tier-two tournaments in the first half of the year but when it came to competing in their-one events the loss of a fifth permanent player hurt them a lot to finish the year properly.
9. Timur “Buster” Tulepov
At just the age of 20 Kazakh rifler buster has managed to finish 2020 with $126,850 USD in tournament earnings, showing great promise along with the Virtus.pro lineup as they head towards the 2021 season.
The team was dead through the first half of 2020, but a few timely roster changes has helped the team find its way back into the game as they manage to win a couple of big tournaments tournaments. The largest according to the total prize pool being Flashpoint Season 2, where VP outshined the rest of the competition.
8. Sanjar “SANJI” Kuliev
Another Virtus.pro player in this ranklist is the 22-year-old Uzbek rifler SANJI who despite not being in the best form has provided his team with everything that he has had to offer.
7. Ali “Jame” Dzhami
Jame, an AWPer that the community has come to love ever since the phenomenal performance he put up at the StarLadder Berlin Major 2019. Coming in at number seven, the Russian AWPer has continued to perform well for Virtus.pro earning a total of $128,100 USD throughout 2020.
Rising to fame with AVANGAR he has continued to work hard, playing a big role in VP’s comeback towards the end of 2020 which is well reflected by his overall rating of 1.18 in the last three months.
6. Alexey “Qikert” Golubev
Virtus.pro’s entry fragger and the second CS:GO player from Kazakhstan in this list, Qikert has managed to win a total of $128,100 USD in prize money this year. Despite a rough start Virtus.pro slowly found its way back towards the tail end of the year, winning three big tournaments, IEM New York 2020: CIS, Flashpoint Season 2, and DH Open December 2020.
Qikert’s personal performance has sadly been below average when taking the whole year into perspective, it has definitely improved in the last three months or so but the 21-year-old need to put in some work if he wants to see the team succeed in the 2021 season also.
5. Fredrik “roeJ” Jørgensen
The 27-year-old Danish rifler roeJ has managed to grab the fifth place in this ranking after having earned a total of $128,700 USD through CS:GO tournaments for the year 2020. His individual performance this year has been pretty consistent having achieved an overall rating of 1.06 with an impact rating of 1.07, on the back of which MAD Lions were able to bag quite the prize money at the two Flashpoint tournaments that took place in 2020.
4. Rasmus “sjuush” Beck
Another MAD Lions player has managed to make it into the top ten rankings as his rifling skills helped the Danish roster conquer the first season of Flashpoint Season 1 which had a total prize pool of 1 million USD.
Along with the huge half-a-million dollars that MAD Lions won through this tournament, the team managed to perform well in a few more tier-two CS:GO tournament series like Eden Arena - Malta Vibes, Elisa Invitational Fall, and Nine to Five. All this combined has raised the players total tournament earnings to the tunes of $128,700 USD for 2020.
3. Frederik “acoR” Gyldstrand
The Danish AWPer who currently plays with MAD Lions has managed to land third on this list mainly because of a first place finish at Flashpoint Season 1 followed by a less impressive 5th - 6th finish at Flashpoint Season 2.
The two tournaments combined awarded MAD Lions with $535,000 USD in prize money while acoR ended the year with a personal share of $128,700 USD in tournament winnings. This does include prize money from a few other tournaments where the Danish organization failed to achieve success.
2. Mareks “YEKINDAR” Gaļinskis
The 21-year-old who got his first proper break into top-tier CS:GO in May earlier this year with Virtus.pro is second on this list with registered tournament winnings of around with $137,100 USD.
The bulk of that amount has come in the second half of the year having won tournaments like IEM New York 2020: CIS, DreamHack Open December 2020, and Flashpoint Season 2, one of the biggest CS:GO tournaments in terms of the total prize pool that took place in 2020.
1. Lucas “Bubzkji“ Andersen
There have been quite a few discussions about Astralis wasting Bubzkji’s potential by keeping him as the sixth player on their team but despite all the back and forth, he has kept his head down continuing to work hard with the Danish organization.
He tops this list as the highest prize money winning CS:GO player of 2020, mainly because he won the first season of FLASHPOINT along with MAD Lions. That tournament offered a total prize pool of $1,000,000 USD, one of the highest among all CS:GO tournaments that took place this year.
Towards the end of the year, he also won DreamHack Masters Winter 2020 and IEM Global Challenge 2020 which takes his total tournament prize money earning to $174,100 USD, the highest a CS:GO player has earned this year by competing in tournaments.