The prize pools in eSports are growing at a rapid pace. Nine years ago at The International 2011, Valve distributed a million dollars in prize money to professional Dota 2 players. Moving ahead to 2019, two eSports championships today will together have a prize pool in excess of $60 million. In this article, we will look at the ten eSports tournaments with the most significant prize funds. The ranking takes into account only competitions that play out in LAN-finals.
The International 2019
The International 2019 takes first place, reaching a total prize fund of $30 million. This was largely thanks to the community, who bought the Battle Passes and the levels whose proceeds contributed to the total. Valve moves 25% of earnings from each transaction to the prize fund, and they also invested an initial amount of $1.6 million.
Fortnite World Cup
Second place goes to the Fortnite World Cup, where the payout will be a staggering $30 million. This prize fund is fully-funded by the developers. It is to be divided amongst the best players in two modes: solo and duo.
The next five places are won by previous Dota 2 TI tournaments. After that, the League of Legends World Championships round out the list. Finally, the list ends with the Overwatch League 2019, hosting a prize pool of $5 million.
Top 10 tournaments
- The International 2019 – greater than $30 million
- Fortnite World Cup – $30 million
- The International 2018 – $25.5 million
- The International 2017 – $24.6 million
- The International 2016 – $20.7 million
- The International 2015 – $18.4 million
- The International 2014 – $10.9 million
- 2018 World Championship (League of Legends) – $6.4 million
- 2016 World Championship (League of Legends) – $5 million
- Overwatch League 2019 – $5 million
eSports against the world
eSports tournaments are comparable to championships in traditional sports in terms of prize size, but they are yet to match the top disciplines. For example, the winner of the World Cup in 2018 received $38 million, and a total prize pool of $400 million was paid out by the tournament. The prize money for the US Open 2019 tennis championship was $57 million.
At the end of the day, it is great to see that the eSports industry progressing by leaps and bounds. This progress ensures luxurious careers for the players who sacrifice their time and energy to play these games at the highest level. Who knows, in the next couple of years, this list could be dominated by titles that are currently in development.
Future of Apex Legends
We believe that in the next few months, we could see Apex Legends breaking onto the list. Since it has only recently introduced a ranked mode, played by millions of players from across the globe, 2019 may be too soon, but in 2020 we recommend you to keep an eye on this Respawn title. They would surely love to compete among the top ranks.