he eSports industry continues surging, with more people than ever watching live or streamed tournaments and brands investing millions in eSports advertising and sponsorships. Today, close to 600 million people watch eSports events, an impressive figure which has largely contributed to their rapidly swelling tournament prize pools.
According to data presented by Casinos En Ligne, the five highest-paid eSports games hit $775 million in total prize money, and Dota 2 tournaments make practically half of that value.
Dota 2 Hit $311M in Total Prize Money, more than Fortnite and CS:GO Combined
The International 2022 saw the lowest prize pool in six years of $18.9 million, down from $40 million a year before that. But, despite a significant drop in its 2022 championship prize money, Dota 2 is still the highest-awarding eSports game globally.
The Esports Earnings data show the popular multiplayer online battle arena game hit $311 million in cumulative prize money, and Chinese players won one-fifth of that value. Dota 2 players have competed in 1,735 tournaments and competitions so far and won more prize money than CS: GO and Fortnite players combined.
Moreover, statistics show Dota 2 also leads in 2022 prize money. Last year, the popular gaming title brought $32.8 million worth of prize pools, $100,000 more than Counter-Strike: Global Offensive as the second highest-paid game.
With $148.4 million in cumulative prize money, Fortnite is the second highest-paid eSports game. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive closely follows, with over $145.5 million. League of Legends and Arena of Valour close the top five list, with $98.7 million and $70.4 million, respectively.
Combined Prize Pools of the Top Five Games Increased by $220M in Two Years
The eSports industry has come a long way since the first official video game competition in 1972, which awarded the grand prize of one year’s subscription to Rolling Stone magazine to the highest-scoring player of Spacewar. In fact, some of the most incredible payouts have been made over the past few years.
In 2020, the cumulative prize money of the five highest-paid eSports games stood at around $500 million. A year later, this figure jumped to $555 million. Statistics show the combined prize pools of the top five games have grown by an impressive $220 million in the last two years, before reaching $775 million this month.