The Biggest Prize Pools in Esports

The Biggest Prize Pools in Esports

Over the past few years, esports has been gradually catching up with traditional sporting events in many different spaces – selling out tickets to fill huge stadiums, viewership numbers catching up and even surpassing that of the biggest events, the huge player signings, and proposed salary numbers, and even offering some differences by providing all of the biggest games and tournaments for free, separating the two. One area that traditional sporting has held the advantage has been within the prize pools for winning on offer, with esports typically being much lower, but that has started to change – the promise of big prizes brings the punters too as the betting market thrives through sites just like these, but what have the biggest prize pools been?

(Image from redbull.com)

DotA2 and The International – As a modded title for Warcraft, the original Defense of the Ancients was a classic back in 2003 and one of the first titles in what we now know as the MOBA genre, and the continuation with DotA2 gained huge support very quickly.  The International is the yearly “championship” event that takes place for the game, bringing all of the biggest teams in the world to participate, and with the event prize pool being in part crowdfunded by players of the game with the rest coming from the developers, it is well known for the huge money it has on offer – in 2019 the tournament offered $34,330,069.00 in prize money, and after missing out on a 2020 event due to the pandemic, the 2021 pool will boast over $40 million being the biggest esports prize since online play began. 

2019 Fortnite World Cup – At it’s height, Fortnite was certainly looking to be the largest game in the world and the esports side of things took off very quickly too – whilst the competitive side has since shrunk and received some criticisms from the top players that not enough is being done to maintain a healthy competitive side to the game, but that wasn’t true in 2019 when both the solo and duo tournament at the finals offered over $15,000,000. The figure became that much more special when the winner of the top prize, being $3,000,000 for first place, happened to be a sixteen-year-old teenager.

PUBG PGI.S 2021 – Many would expect the big names from the likes of League of Legends or Counter-Strike to be up here, but their big tournament prizes are often much lower, instead the Battle Royale game Player Unknowns Battlegrounds takes third on this list. The 2021 tournament looks to boast a $7 million prize, and despite the game not being as big in the west, the game still holds a huge eastern audience and continues to develop esports in other regions of the world. 

Danny White