Over the past two decades, esports athletes have received some astronomical rewards. While the total amount of a prize pool does not define the status of an event, it is undoubtedly one of the most important variables that players consider when deciding whether or not to attend.
Dennis "Thresh" Fong won Quake creator John Carmac's red Ferrari 328 as the first esports prize in 1997. Johan "Toxjq" Quick earned a Rolex in the WSVG Quake 4 tournament in 2006. Those were impressive at the time, but today's prize pools are so enormous that players may frequently retire after winning them.
The popularity of crowdsourcing is responsible for a large portion of the increase in prize money. To boost the size of the total prize pool, developers have started to give special in-game goods to their large player bases.
Valve, the creators of Dota 2 and CS:GO, is currently the most successful business to use the concept. Its flagship Dota 2 tournament, The International, has seen significant development over the last ten years of competition.
The following are the industry's largest reward pools. However, since Dota 2 and League of Legends make up the bulk of the top 10, the ranking has been split into two categories: The biggest prize pool in esports history, as well as the highest prize pool per event series.
Prize pools for each tournament series are totaled.
- 1) The International 9 – $34.3 million
- 2) The 2019 Fortnite World Cup Finals – $30.4 million
- 3) PUBG Global Invitational.S 2021- $7.1 million
- 4) The 2018 League of Legends World Championship – $6.4 million
- 5) The 2020 Honor of Kings World Champion Cup – $4.6 million
- 6) The 2020 Call of Duty League Championship – $4.6 million
- 7) Fortnite Fall Skirmish Series – Clubs Standings – $4 million
- 8) PUBG Global Championship 2019 – $4 million
- 9) Overwatch League 2019 – Playoffs – $3.5 million
- 10) The Dota 2 Asia Championship – $3 million
1) The International 9 – $34.3 million
For the ninth year in a row, Valve's annual Dota 2 global championship has surpassed the record for esports prize pools. While the tournament offered a total prize pool of $1.6 million in 2011 and 2012, it has been the most successful example of crowdfunded prize pools in esports history since 2013.
2) The 2019 Fortnite World Cup Finals – $30.4 million
Epic's inaugural Fortnite World Cup Finals has one of the largest prize pools in the history of esports.
There were two major events at the inaugural competition. Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf took home $3 million in the solo finals, while David "aqua" W and Emil "Nyhrox" Bergquist Pedersen split $3 million in the pair finals.
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3) PUBG Global Invitational.S 2021- $7.1 million
One of the largest prize pools in esports history was awarded during the opening event of the 2021 PUBG season. Susquehanna Soniqs won $1,296,189 at the PUBG Global Invitational.S 2021, which was held partially online and partly offline in Incheon, South Korea.
4) The 2018 League of Legends World Championship – $6.4 million
For the first time in 2017, Riot Games enabled League of Legends supporters to boost the total prize pool of the tournament by purchasing in-game goods. The prize pool was raised to $6.4 million total a year later, making it the biggest reward pool in the game's history.
After beating Europe's Fnatic 3-0 in the grand finals, China's Invictus Gaming took home $2.4 million of the prize pool.
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5) The 2020 Honor of Kings World Champion Cup – $4.6 million
China hosted the largest mobile esports competition in history despite the 2020 COVID-19 epidemic.
The Honor of Kings World Champion Cup saw 12 of the finest Honor of Kings teams compete for the top position in Shanghai and Beijing. After a back-and-forth group stage, Turnso Gaming emerged victorious, barely defeating Dynamite Gaming in the grand finals.
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6) The 2020 Call of Duty League Championship – $4.6 million
Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the Call of Duty League's first season was mostly conducted online. Regardless of the conditions, the league's playoff round featured one of the largest prize pools in esports history.
The Dallas Empire defeated Atlanta FaZe in the grand finals after a close victory in the winner's bracket and took home $1.5 million for winning CDL Champs 2020.
7) Fortnite Fall Skirmish Series – Clubs Standings – $4 million
Fortnite's popularity has skyrocketed in recent years. Epic Games announced a $100 million prize pool for esports tournament prize pools in the first year of competitive play, coinciding with the popularity of the popular battle royale. The Fall Skirmish Series - Club Standings was responsible for a large portion of the money.
8) PUBG Global Championship 2019 – $4 million
At the 2019 PUBG Global Championship, Gen.G earned $2,239,808 in prize money. Throughout the season, the squad enjoyed a run of back-to-back victories, winning tournament after tournament. The World Championship was the icing on the cake.
9) Overwatch League 2019 – Playoffs – $3.5 million
The total prize fund for the Overwatch league's second playoffs was raised to $3.5 million. The San Francisco Shock defeated the Vancouver Titans to win the championship at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
10) The Dota 2 Asia Championship – $3 million
The 2015 Dota 2 Asia Championship, which served as a warm-up for the final Dota 2 Major circuit, had a prize pool of $3,057,000, only $57,000 more than the Valve Majors. The tournament, which took place in Shanghai, China, saw Evil Geniuses' freshly formed lineup win the title in one of Dota 2's most one-sided grand finals. Vici Gaming was defeated 3-0.