Valve has announced that ESL One Cologne teams received $4,2 million in prize money and sticker/signature money.
ESL One Cologne has set a new milestone for Counter-Strike events, with a viewing audience of over 27 million people for the entire four-day event and a peak viewership during the grand final between fnatic and EnVyUs of 1,3 million people.
In terms of amount of money earned by the participating teams, the Cologne major has surpassed the previous Valve-sponsored events as $4,2 million were given away in the form of prize money, team stickers or player signatures.
This represents a 180% increase from the crowdfunding money generated from ESL One Katowice, where teams earned $1,5 million through prize money and team stickers.
ESL One Cologne gave away $4,2 million
But despite the numbers, not everyone seems to be happy with the system in place as players and fans alike have asked for a bigger portion of the money raised by the community to be channeled towards increasing the prize purse - which, after six majors, remains at $250,000. And, as Virtus.pro's Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas pointed out, the distribution of the money generated from team stickers and player signatures depends on brand value and popularity.
Many have called on Counter-Strike majors to adopt a system that is closer to that of Dota 2's The International, whose 2015 edition gave away over $18 million, raised from fans of the game via crowdfunding.