League of Legends , Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) and DotA 2 are the current phenomenons of esports and have promoted tournaments with millionaire prizes. But it was not always so. From the early 2000s onwards , many games went through the competitive landscape and allowed the growth of electronic sports. To make you go back in time, we ran a ranking of the top six cash games in the year 2005.

6 – Counter-Strike: Source

2005 was marked as the first competitive year of Counter-Strike: Source. The game had a total of 12 tournaments in the year and distributed around $ 150,500 in prizes to 103 participating players. The numbers are high for the time and put the game in the sixth position of the ranking.


Credits: G2play

Counter-Strike: Source is the remake of the 2000 classic Counter-Strike produced by Valve . However, the game failed to achieve CS’s competitive glory and historically rewarded less than its predecessor.

5 – Halo 2

The Halo 2 console shooter also made a great competitive breakthrough in 2005: there were 38 tournaments and $ 197.8 in prizes for 65 players. The title was originally released by Microsoft for Xbox in November 2004. Ten years later, in 2014, the game was re-released in the Halo: The Master Chief Collection.


Credits: Polygon

4 – Warcraft III

Warcraft III is one of the defining games of the RTS (real-time strategy) genre. Success in the competitive scene, the game had a solid scenario of competitions in 2005. Altogether, $ 438,000 was distributed to 93 players in 41 Warcraft III tournaments this year alone.

Credits: Wccftech

Released in 2002, Blizzard’s single-player game sold about one million copies in its first month alone. Recently, the developer announced a remastered version of the game, titled “Warcraft III: Reforged”.

3 – StarCraft: Brood War

The expansion of the original StarCraft also promoted several tournaments in 2005. There were in all 28 competitions that distributed $ 592,700 among 88 players. The Blizzard RTS was released in March 1998 and received the “Brood War” expansion pack in November of that year.


Credits: MOD DB

2 – Painkiller

This is probably the biggest surprise on the list. FPS Painkiller was the second game with the highest award in 2005, distributing $ 960,000 to 42 players in ten tournaments. The high and unexpected value comes from the presence of the game in the cast of the CPL World Tour of 2005: the professional circuit rode the world with Painkiller in its line up. The Polish game was launched in 2004 and has received numerous expansions over the years.

1 – Counter-Strike

The great champion of the list is the original Counter-Strike. The shooter that generated one of the most profitable franchises in the history of video games is the only one in the ranking to have distributed more than one million dollars in 2005, reaching the mark of US $ 1.1 million for 591 players in 74 tournaments.

The game, released in 2000, has remained in vogue competitively even after two new games (Counter-Strike: Source and Counter-Strike: Condition Zero) have been released. It was replaced only with the arrival of CS:GO.