2019 was an eventful year in terms of professional e-sports athletes making some solid money playing their favorite video games. A few years back, free-to-play games weren’t buzzing at all. Now with the rise of free-to-play titles like  Apex Legends and Fortnite, developers have understood the value getting more players online rather than just trying to sell games at a higher price. 

What’s equally amazing is the fact that a free-to-play title “Fortnite” leads the charts in the highest amount of prize money allotted to its players. Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at the list of top shooter games with the highest prize money offered to its players. 

1.Fortnite 

Fortnite Battle Royale

Fortnite made its mark in 2018 but the developers hosted their first ever “World Cup” tournament in 2019. Professional players from all over the globe were flown over to compete for a share of the total $30 million USD. “Bugha” a player from the United States bagged a whopping 3 million USD and became the highest paid player for a single tournament in esports history. 

With the Winter Royale tournament set to take place towards the end of the month, Epic games has spent approximately  $64 million USD in 2019 for prizes in various tournaments. A total of more than 2200+ players participated in the finals of various tournaments hosted throughout 2019. 349 tournaments were played globally with custom playlists for all types of players. 

Fortnite is in still in BETA with suggestions of the final release to happen sometime in 2020. As of now, this is the hottest game title as far as tournaments and winnings are concerned. Kids just over the age of 12 years are competing in the highest level and making a living off it. 

Take a look at the world cup event being hosted in packed stadium below,

2. Counter Strike Global Offensive!

Counter Strike : Global Offensive!

The most senior game in this list would be “Counter Strike: GO”. CS:GO has been the bread and butter for many professional esports players for over a decade now. Fortnite hosted a total of 349 tournaments whereas Counter Strike hosted a whopping 620 tournaments in 2019 alone. 

Here’s a preview of how CS:GO tournaments are played out between teams,

CS:GO isn’t cross platform and is limited to being played only on PC. The game developers are still able to fetch players from all over the globe compete against each other in their historic multiplayer maps. Counter Strike fans show up in number as 3500+ players participated in tournaments as compared to 2200+ Fortnite players (participation in finals and not online qualifiers).


Almost every major E-sport franchise started off by hiring CS:Go professionals and sending them cross the globe to participate in international tournaments. This trend continues as CS:GO still continues to host the most number of tournaments in a year making it the most played  competitive game in history. Broadcasts of various tournaments held worldwide have been attracting upwards of 400k+ viewers on Twitch, only the likes of Overwatch and Call of Duty have done better this year. 

3. PlayersUnknown’s Battleground

Also known as PUBG, PlayersUnknown’s Battleground is what spread the whole battle royale craze in the gaming industry. PUBG has an exclusive edition for mobile and separate tournaments for mobile. While PUBG mobile hosted tournaments for a total prize pot of above $2 million USD, the PC edition of the game allotted a whopping $12 million USD in prize money throughout 2019. 

Unlike Fortnite and CS:GO where the developers hosts hundreds of tournaments, PUBG tournaments were restricted to 66 in 2019. Over 1000 players participating in various tournaments all over the globe with Asia and Europe attracting the most number of tournaments for the game. 

Here’s a preview of the Global championship PUBG hosted,

PUBG mobile is now running it’s 10th season but the number of users playing the game have declined drastically. The introduction of Call of Duty – mobile (another free play mobile game) has impacted PUBG drastically with a major share of it’s users now switching over to COD mobile. Will it dominate as much in 2020? We’ll have to wait and see!

Which game would you like to compete in? Are there any specific shooter games you’re looking out for in 2020? Post your comments and thoughts below.

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