Counter-Strike 2 professional player STYKO has opened up about his total salary and earnings from the 2023 season, offering a rare glimpse into the financial side of esports.
In a detailed breakdown shared on his YouTube channel, Martin “STYKO” Styk, a seasoned player with nearly a decade in the professional scene, shared that his total income for 2023 was a staggering €461,253 ($509,089).
This figure includes his base salary of €150,000 ($165,468) from Apeks, his team at the time, amounting to around €12,500 per month ($13,793).
However, it’s not just the salary that makes up a pro gamer’s income. Prize money, sponsorships, and other sources like social media and personal endorsements play a significant role.
His prize money for 2023, although he was benched mid-September, totaled €13,500. This was a 50/50 split between Apeks and the players plus the coach, a common arrangement in esports teams.
But the most significant chunk of his income came from other sources, including sticker money from the last CS:GO major, social media, YouTube, Twitch, and personal sponsorships, totaling €297,753.
STYKO’s transparency in sharing these figures is rare in the esports world. He emphasizes the importance of understanding the financial dynamics of gaming, especially for young aspirants and their parents.
The variability in earnings between top-ranked teams and those lower in the rankings is vast, and STYKO’s experience highlights this disparity.
In his video, STYKO also touches upon the exponential growth in esports salaries over the years. He recalls starting with a $500 monthly salary in 2015, a figure that has since skyrocketed in the industry.
This growth is a reflection of the increasing professionalism in esports, with players now adopting routines akin to traditional athletes, including nutrition, exercise, and mental preparation.
Despite these impressive figures, STYKO reminds viewers of the expenses that come with being a professional player.
Taxes, agency fees, content creation costs, and company expenses significantly cut into these earnings. He offers to delve deeper into these aspects if there’s interest, promising even more transparency.
STYKO’s journey and financial success in 2023, especially with his recent return to Apeks for the 2024 season, is not just a personal triumph but a marker of the growth and potential of esports as a lucrative career choice.
What do you think about STYKO’s earnings and the financial landscape of esports? Share your thoughts in the comments below.