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NASL S3 Finals push SC2 earnings over $5m

In a little over two years since beta release, StarCraft 2 has seen players from around the globe pocket over $5,000,000 in prize money from competitive events according to the SC2 Earnings database.

Credit for breaking the five million dollar mark goes to Sunday’s $60,000 payout by the North American Star League at their season three championship in Toronto, Canada. Millennium’s Ilyes “Stephano” Satouri took home the $30,000 first place prize with a 4-0 victory over SlayerS’ Joon Sik "Alicia" Yang.

SK.MCTerran players have taken home the largest amount of winnings at 41.8% compares to 31.6% for Zerg and 26.6% for Protoss. The biggest earner of all-time though, is Protoss Min Chul Jang or as most know him, MC. His earnings clock in at $314,450 and he shared in an interview Saturday with ESFI that his financial winnings are a top motivating factor. He said that he can’t continue being a pro gamer without them because the time he puts into playing StarCraft 2 doesn’t allow for another job.

Overall the largest total payouts have come from the Global StarCraft 2 League (GSL) run by GOMTV at $2,186,020.  Later this month, the GSL will crown its season three champion on Haeundae Beach in Busan, Korea and dole out an additional $147,920.

These large prize pools have attracted many players to switch to StarCraft 2 from other games such as StarCraft: Brood War. Min Chul ‘MC’ Jang said he left Brood War to join StarCraft 2 at his first opportunity because as he described it, the GSL “prize money [is] so big.”

 StarCraft 2's $100K Club
MC Protoss
Mvp Terran
NesTea Zerg
MMA Terran
DongRaeGu Zerg
MarineKing Terran
Stephano Zerg
Polt Terran
PuMa Terran
FruitDealer Zerg

Ten players have reached the exceptional mark of earning over $100,000. They are Min Chul ‘MC’ Jang, Jong Hyeon "Mvp" Jeong, Jae Duk "NesTea" Lim, Seong-Won "MMA" Mun, Soo Ho "DongRaeGu" Park, Jung Hoon "MarineKing"  Lee,  Ilyes "Stephano" Satouri, Seong Hun "Polt" Choi, Ho Joon "PuMa" Lee, and Won Gi "FruitDealer" Kim. Two of these players, Mvp and NesTea, hail from Incredible Miracle. At $629,925, IM holds the record as highest-earning team.

The largest single prize in U.S. dollars ever claimed went to Korean Terran Seong Hun "Polt" Choi for his performance at the GSL Super Tournament last summer. While the event paid out in Korean won, the currency exchange rate at the time would have yielded $92,300.

Big payouts in StarCraft 2 are expected to continue as major competitive events from MLG, DreamHack, GSL, OSL, and Blizzard await in the months ahead.

StarCraft 2 broadcaster Chris Chan of  ChanmanV Productions reflected on the milestone. "Looking back a couple years ago, I think all of us were hoping the Starcraft 2 industry would get to this $5 million mark. Now that we've gotten to this point with tournaments consistently putting up substantial prize pools for the players, it'll be exciting to see if the industry will continue the same trajectory in the next two years."

Source: SC2 Earnings