We’re just over halfway through 2021, yet there were already over 1400 esports tournaments played across the globe. With plenty of opportunities for esports organizations to show off their quality also came opportunities to fill their bank accounts with tournament winnings.
Six months into 2021, there are already five esports organizations that have earned over $1,000,000 in tournament winnings. However, with the biggest and most lucrative tournaments scheduled for the end of the year, the top-earning ladder will look much different as we approach 2022.
Susquehanna Soniqs At the Forefront
Susquehanna Soniqs are the highest-earning esports organization of the year. They’re leading the list with $1,331,189.00 in tournament winnings across 11 esports tournaments.
That’s an impressive feat for an organization that competes in only four esports titles, including Apex Legends, Rainbow Six Siege, Rocket League, and PlayerUnkwnown’s Battlegrounds.
Although all four are world-renowned teams, the largest portion of Susquehanna Soniqs’s 2021 earnings came from their PUBG roster. The latter have won the PUBG Global Invitational.S 2021 in March 2021 and secured $1,296,189 in tournament winnings, amounting to 97.3% of Susquehanna Soniqs’s total earnings.
Team Liquid and Ninjas in Pyjamas Closing In
Sitting close behind the Susquehanna Soniqs on the 2021 esports earnings are two of the oldest and most successful esports organizations in history. Team Liquid are second with 1,251,809 in esports tournament winnings on the year, followed by Ninjas in Pyjamas in third with $1,167,175 to their name.
Seeing Team Liquid compete for the title as the top-earner of 2021 isn’t too shocking. The North American esports organization are one of the most successful teams in the world, having fielded rosters in almost all esports titles.
The two teams Liquid is most known for, however, are its League of Legends and Dota 2 teams. While their Dota 2 team hasn’t had much success this year, the LoL roster achieved a lot in the first half of the season.
They won the LoL Championship Series (LCS) Lock-In tournament, finished third in the LCS 2021 Spring regular season, and reached the finals of the LCS 2021 Mid-Season Invitational. Between the three tournaments, Liquid’s LoL team earned $250,000 in tournament winnings.
However, most of Liquid’s tournament winnings of 2021 came from a runner-up finish at the Rainbow Six Siege Six Invitational 2021, where they pocketed $450,000 in tournament winnings. They finished behind Ninjas in Pyjamas, who secured $1,000,000, which makes up 85% of their yearly earnings.
Gen.G and NaVi Side-By-Side in Fourth-Fifth
Gen.G and Natus Vincere are the only two remaining esports teams who have won over $1,000,000 in tournament winnings in 2021. Gen.G have secured $1,097,884, which is only a few bucjs over NaVi in fifth with $1,097,309.
Gen. G’s highest-earning project of the year was their PUBG team, who finished third at PUBG Global Invitational.S 2021 and won $928,182 in tournament winnings. The team later added just over $45,000 in prize pools with a second-place finish at PUBG WEEKLY SERIES: EAST ASIA Phase 1, and fifth at the Battlegrounds Smash Cup Season 4.
The Ukrainian esports organization have historically depended on the success of their Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams. And this year is no different.
NaVi’s most lucrative project proved to be their CS:GO team, who have won BLAST Premier: Global Final 2020 and finished inside the top three at BLAST Premier: Spring Groups 2021 to secure a combined $625,000 in tournament winnings.
They added an additional $167,000 through February-June with a fifth-sixth place finish at Intel Extreme Masters XV – World Championship ($40,000), ninth-12th at ESL Pro League Season 13 ($25,000), and a gold medal from DreamHack Masters Spring 2021 ($100,000).
NaVi’s CS:GO team is currently still in the race for the grand prize of $225,000 at BLAST Premier: Spring Finals 2021, where they have made it to the upper bracket finals.
NaVi’s next match at the BLAST Premier: Spring Finals 2021 is scheduled for Saturday, June 19, when they’ll clash with world no.1 team Gambit Esports. The esports bookmakers have NaVi priced as underdogs (+225); however, with the form they’ve been showing, a title isn’t entirely unlikely.