With Gaming Events to Financial Freedom: Prize Money in E-Sports

Gaming is playing an increasingly important role in all our lives. It's not just active gamers who try their hand at the countless challenges of the gaming world. Millions of people admire the best of the best via streaming platforms like Twitch. So it's hardly surprising that e-sports is becoming increasingly important, with one tournament after another luring players with high prize money.

The undisputed number one: Dota 2

The RTS game Dota 2, developed by the American game developer Valve, makes two teams of five gamers compete against each other in a breathtaking fantasy world. The goal is to destroy the opponent's main buildings - the so-called Ancients. To do this, players choose from over a hundred heroes to make their way to the enemy Ancient via three possible paths. There, the heroes encounter bots, defense towers and, of course, the opposing players and use various magical attacks in addition to brute force to reach their goal. Dota 2 is free-to-play, but skins or battle passes can be purchased via microtransactions, which do not bring any gameplay advantages. 25 percent of the resulting revenue goes into the pot for the prize money of the highest-endowed gaming event, The International. In 2014, $10.93 million was paid out, which helped the tournament secure ninth place among the highest prize pools. However, The International has always outdone itself. While it ranked sixth in 2015 with earnings of $18.43 million, it worked its way up each year until it landed at the top of the list in 2021 with prize money of $40.02 million. A total of 174.7 million US dollars has already been paid out over the years, making Dota 2 the undisputed winner among gaming events.

In the fast lane: Fortnite

Epic Games' multiplayer 3rd person battle royale has kept the gaming scene in its grip since its release. One hundred players per game land on a quiet map where they have to fight for their survival. For this, they not only have numerous weapons at their disposal, but also a complex building system that goes far beyond the construction of simple protective walls. For example, if you want to build a bridge high in the sky to attack your opponents from the sky, you can do that in Fortnite. You can use any means to lure your opponents into a trap and be the last one to leave the field. There are no limits to creativity, and this variety of possibilities, which is in no way inferior to a gaming hit like Minecraft, is a guarantee for increasing player numbers. Since its release in 2017, more than 350 million players have registered for the free PvP shooter. So it was only a matter of time until an e-sports scene developed - a scene that still regularly attracts viewers in front of the screen to admire the skills of the pros via Twitch. In busy months, the streaming platform recorded well over 100 million viewer hours. Since 2018, various major events have also taken place around the Battle Royale. The Fortnite World Cup Finals 2019 are certainly one of the highlights of the e-sports tournament history. With prize money of 15.1 million US dollars in the Duo category (8th place) and 15.29 million US dollars in the Solo category (7th place), the tournament took two places among the highest-paying gaming events ever held.

Gaming without borders

If you think that only Dota 2 and Fortnite would find a large following in e-sports, you are mistaken. Ranking 10th is the Honor of Kings World Champion Cup 2021, which revolves around the 5v5 MOBA Arena of Valor. With a prize purse of $7.73 million, it took the final spot in the top 10. It was closely followed by the PGI.S 2021 Main Event for Playerunknown's Battlegrounds. The tournament attracted players with prize money of US$7.07 million and finished in eleventh place. Like Dota 2, League of Legends pits five players against each other to destroy the opponent's base. The action-based strategy game still has a huge following in the gaming scene today, which is why it took three places in a row in the rankings. The LoL 2018 World Championship reached 12th place with prize money of 6.45 million US dollars. 13th place went to the LoL 2016 World Championship (5.07 million US dollars), closely followed by the LoL 2017 World Championship, which secured 14th place thanks to prize money of 4.95 million US dollars. In 15th place, Arena of Valor is once again represented by the Honor of Kings World Champion Cup 2020. 4.61 million US dollars beckoned the winners. A list of highest-paying gaming events would not be the same without this original shooter: the Call of Duty League Championship 2020 awarded 4.6 million US dollars to the tournament winners and thus ranks 16th. 17th place went to Playerunknown's Battleground (PUBG Global Championship 2019) with $4.08 million. Fortnite secured 18th place with the Fall Skirmish Series ($4 million) and 20th place with the 2019 World Cup Finals ($3.25 million). The Season 2 Playoffs of the shooter Overwatch came in at 19th place with prize money of 3.5 million US dollars.


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