Counter-Strike finally produced its first batch of millionaires after Astralis emerged victorious at the ECS Season 6 finals
History in the making
Astralis mainstays Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth, Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen, and Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz joined the million dollar club with the ECS prize. The trio are part of the original Astralis roster since 2016, and had been together way back 2015 with organizations Team Dignitas and Team SoloMid.
As per esports site esportsearnings.com, the three stars rose to rank 61st, 62nd, and 65th respectively with ECS rival Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo just about $ 120,000 USD behind them. Interestingly, FalleN and the former SK Gaming core used to lead the cash ranks among CS:GO players before the rise of Astralis.
Xyp9x in an interview from esports site Unikrn said that winning tournaments matters most for them as a team.
“Of course, we wouldn’t be the first esports players to hit that milestone. It proves that we’re pretty good at the game and it proves our legacy. It feels good but what really matters is the tournament wins."
Dupreeh backed his teammate’s statement by stating that thinking about money and prestige together won’t be beneficial for the team as a whole.
"Adding prize money and prestige and that just creates pressure within the team, an unnecessary pressure. We try to see it as any other tournament, just as we did with the Major. Just because it’s a big tournament and there’s a lot of money at stake it doesn’t really change the way the team functions and we try to not have that in the back of our head."
Challenging Dota 2?
The list of esports millionaires are dominated by Dota 2 players largely due to the massive prize pools brought by The International Dota 2 Championships. 59 out of the list’s top 60 are all Dota 2 players with only Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok being the League of Legends player sitting at rank 53.
The annual culmination of Dota 2 – unlike most tournaments – increases its prize pool through crowd funding and they have been annually breaking their own record for the biggest esports prize pool since 2013. This model has not been adapted by CS:GO despite being having Valve sanctioned Majors as well.
More to see from the stars
Astralis all in all have already amassed an astounding amount of $4,534,134 USD from prize winnings since their founding in January 2016. Their winnings are highlighted by two Major titles at the ELEAGUE Major Atlanta 2017 and the most recent FACEIT Major London 2018.
They are looking very well winning a total of eight titles this year alone, and the 'stars' are nowhere else but towards a stronger start come 2019.