One of the most anticipated StarCraft 2 tournaments is just around the corner, with the world's best players getting ready to fight for their share of $500,000 in prize money.
A legendary esports event, the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice is a CS:GO tournament held in Poland. In this guide, we'll go over all the participating teams, details about the schedule, as well as everything you need to know about IEM CS:GO betting!
The Dota Pro Circuit is in full flow. The next big tournament in this seasonal circuit is the PGL Arlington Major. Texas is the location, Esports Stadium Arlington is the venue of choice, and seventeen brilliant Dota 2 teams will be eyeing their chances here.
The LEC (League of Legends European Championship) is entering a new decade starting with the inaugural Winter split. From team rosters to an all-new tournament format, the league will be seeing much more competition.
With the rise in esports' popularity came equally-impressive esports prize pool figures, with many going into the millions. Having become as prominent as any other sports, with hundreds of teams competing in numerous tournaments across a wide range of games available, esports is here to stay.
Here, we dive deeper into esports prize pools and the highest-earning teams.
Now that we’ve seen the various different esports tournaments spread across numerous esports games, it’s time to take a look the top ten biggest overall esports prize pools:
As you can see, Dota 2’s most famous esports tournament, The International, holds eight out of ten positions in the list, with Fortnite’s World Cup Finals 2019 taking the third spot and the Honor of Kings World Champion Cup 2021 taking the 10th spot.
There’s no arguing that Valve has cemented its style of creating large prize pools, so let’s find out how they’ve managed to achieve this.
Valve’s approach to prize pools involves them providing a portion of the prize pool before the tournament begins, and in most cases, this amount is around a few million. The rest of the prize pool is generated from battle pass sales.
In essence, the final prize pool is determined by the sum of Valve’s investment and a percentage of the total battle pass income for Valve. The most drastic and impressive example of how this system works can be seen in The International 10.
The initial prize pool was $1,600,000, but with 25% of the battle pass sales going into the prize pool, we ended up with a total of more than $40 million. This means that $38.5 million was ‘donated’ by fans of the game, the teams, and the esports countries that these teams represent.
Dota 2 is the only esports game that features such a prize pool system; it has enabled the Dota 2 esports players and teams to provide us with some of the fiercest, most chaotic matches known to esports.
This also makes Dota 2 one of the most popular games to bet on as well, but it’s not always easy, especially if you’re a beginner. We recommend learning about common esports terms first before diving deeper into the world of Dota 2 esports betting.
Due to the sheer number of games that esports organisations have teams participating in, it’s evident that some of them have managed to accumulate huge swathes of money from prize pool earnings. Here are the top 20 highest-earning teams in esports:
This title belongs to Dota 2; the chances of any other game overtaking it are virtually zero, simply because The International consistently has massive prize pools, comparable to the total yearly prize pool of some other games.
In total, Dota 2’s prize pools equal almost $310 million, given across 1,695 tournaments (but realistically, the majority of the total prize pool is because of The International).
High prize pools are inherently good for esports – the more money teams and players can win, the better they’ll compete. This leads to some genuinely marvelous instances of gameplay and team performances.
However, the downside of large prize pools is that they enter the realm of absurdity. The biggest danger lies in the event failing to fulfill its expectations while the organisers have spent millions upon millions of dollars to make it work.
Luckily, such occasions are rare in esports, as due to intense gameplay and interest from sponsors, most tournament organisers can sustain the process of creating high prize pools, which is definitely a good sign for the future of esports.
In the end, it’s safe to say that esports is still going strong and there are no signs of slowing down. Where old games begin to shut down, new ones pop up and expand the esports ecosystem even more.
We’re likely to keep seeing large prize pools in esports, but judging by the current trends, it seems that mobile esports gaming will overtake traditional PC/console esports tournaments as far as prize pools are concerned. Still, we’ll need to wait a bit longer before seeing whether or not this will turn out to be fact.
Very big! In fact, the largest esports prize pool ever recorded equals around $40 million. The tournament in question was The International 10, held in 2021.
This depends on the tournament organisers and how they’ve envisioned the prize pool split. The split also depends on the tournament format; certain formats require different prize pool splits to make it fair for all teams. In most cases, however, the winner receives 35%-45% of the total prize pool amount.
Out of the top 50 players that have earned the most competing in esports tournaments, 46 of them play Dota 2. However, the player that has earned the most in esports is Johan Sundstein, (otherwise known as N0tail), having won more than $7 million playing Dota 2 throughout his career of over 11 years!
Certain forms of esports events such as qualifiers, regional playoffs, and ‘for fun’ events do not have prize pools. Instead, their primary purpose is to provide a ‘jumping board’ of sorts to help players qualify for the main events. However, what they lack in prize pools, they gain in competitiveness because teams must go through these events and usually come out on top if they want to advance to the main part of the tournament.
While esports is a huge part of the gaming world, it seems that certain games are experiencing slight reductions in prize pool amounts. The reasons for this can range from the game reducing in popularity to the organisers spreading their total prize pool amounts over more tournaments.
On the other hand, it seems that mobile esports gaming is on the rise and we’ve already begun seeing prize pools upwards of $5 million, especially in the Asian market.
Through our in-depth guides and reviews, we are focused on providing the best insights into esports betting.