Every day we hear more and more about the phenomenon of eSports. The increase in popularity of the professional gaming industry has allowed for their tournaments to become extremely lucrative for its players. Even if you don’t know much about eSports, you’ve probably heard that there is a lot of money involved, but how much money are we talking exactly?
1. DOTA 2
DOTA 2’s tournaments undoubtedly offer the most bountiful cash rewards. DOTA 2 is a stand-alone sequel to a classic and popular mod for Blizzard’s video game World of Warcraft III. The name DOTA stands for Defense of the Ancients, and the original DOTA is the very first MOBA style game ever released.
Valve, the company behind DOTA’s successful sequel, definitely does not skimp out on tournament prizes for their players. The money pool for DOTA 2 tournaments has only been increasing since 2015, and the 2021 International Championships had a massive prize pool of a whopping 40 million USD, with the winning team taking over 18 million USD.
Soon after the release of Fortnite’s battle-royale mode, Fortnite sky-rocketed into becoming the most talked-about video game of the late 2010s. Such interest quickly helped fund the game’s generous championship prize pools.
During the 2019 Fortnite World Cup Finals, the 1st place was able to win a clean 3 million USD, for both the solo and duo category, wherein the duo category, the reward had to be shared between two winning teammate participants. The 2019 prize pool totaled at over 30 million USD, with the minimal reward being 100,000 USD for as low as the 64th place.
3. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
CS:GO, is the latest title in the Counter-Strike series. Similar to DOTA 2, Counter-Strike started as a mod for another game and on top of that, the newest instalments have been all released by Valve – the same company behind DOTA 2.
Counter-Strike is one of the world’s most popular first-person shooter games, and since its release in 2012, it has kept a steady fanbase. Certainly, the game’s long-lasting relevancy can be accredited to its design that is perfect for esport.
CS:GO’s highest prize pool for a single event was 2 million USD, with the best team winning half of the entire pool. While this might seem as not that much in comparison to other games in this list, CS:GO’ has held a stunning amount of around 6400 tournaments since 2012. The total prize money awarded for all tournaments is currently almost 140 million USD.
4. League of Legends
League of Legends, or LoL for short, was a stand-alone project inspired by the original DotA game. With its release in 2009, LoL has been dominating the world of eSports for over a decade.
League of Legends’s all-time highest single event prize money was ~6.5 million USD. It this 2018 World Championship, the winning team took home almost 2.5 million USD.
5. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegroungs
Even though Fortnite’s rise to success was a direct hit to PUBG’s popularity, this video game is standing strong. PUBG is considered as the first battle-royale type game and a product to set the market for a new trend.
PUBG’s highest single event prize pool totaled over 7 million USD, with the first place taking almost 1.3 million USD. Both the PC and the mobile version of the game can be a very lucrative investment to the professional players.
Overwatch is an objective-based team first-person shooter game by Blizzard Entertainment. The game, originally released in 2016, is currently regaining its popularity due to the release of the new edition of the game – Overwatch 2, which replaced the original title and offers a lot of new features.
Overwatch’s popularity has been slowly declining of the years prior to the release of Overwatch 2, however it didn’t mean that the company behind Overwatch League, would skimp out on monetary prizes for its participants.
Overwatch’s total money awarded to the players since 2016, is almost 35 million USD, with the highest single event prize pool being 3.5 million USD, where the winning team has been awarded 1.1 million USD.
|#||GAME||PRIZE MONEY TOTAL||Number of Tournaments|
|4||League of Legends||$95,944,675.41||2745|
|5||PUBG (PC only)||$48,748,397.38||548|