Our Esports Earnings List highlights the journey from the early stages of Counter-Strike’s modest prize to the staggering $34 million of The International 2019.

The esports arena has seen an incredible surge in popularity, with global contenders battling it out for some seriously impressive cash rewards. As the esports domain expands, so does the prize money. Let’s dive into the biggest money won in esports in this esports earnings list!

Counter-Strike Tournament Prize Money

Flashback to 2001, Counter-Strike heralded a new era by introducing one of the first substantial prize pools in esports—a cool $150,000. Fast-forward to 2021, and the stakes have been raised monumentally, as evident from the $1 million on offer at the Intel Extreme Masters. Over the years, Counter-Strike has solidified its place among the most popular games in esports, continuously drawing in large audiences and players alike.

Biggest Winners in Dota 2

Another game with a massive prize pool is Dota 2. The largest Dota 2 tournament, The International, has seen its prize pool grow steadily year over year, with the 2019 tournament offering a record-breaking $34 million in cash and prizes. However, both 2022 and 2023 witnessed a notable dip, marking consecutive years of historically low amounts for the event.

  • The International 2019 – Dota 2: With a total prize pool of $34.3 million, The International 2019 is considered to be one of the biggest esports events in history. The winning team, OG, took home $15.6 million for their victory in the Dota 2 tournament.
  • The International 2018 – Dota 2: The International 2018 had a total prize pool of $25.5 million, with the winning team, OG, taking home $11.2 million for their victory in the Dota 2 tournament.

Big Game, Bigger Rewards

Beyond the realm of Counter-Strike, colossal titles like Fortnite, League of Legends, and Valorant are key contributors to the rise in esports earnings. Not only have these games captivated a global audience, but their tournaments also showcase the massive prize pools up for grabs, enticing players with multi-million dollar rewards.

  • Fortnite World Cup 2019: The first-ever Fortnite World Cup had a total prize pool of $30 million, with the winner, Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, taking home $3 million for his victory in the solo competition.
  • League of Legends World Championship 2019: The League of Legends World Championship is one of the most prestigious events in esports, with a prize pool of $6.45 million. The winning team, FunPlus Phoenix, took home $2.28 million for their victory in the 2019 tournament.
  • Call of Duty Championship 2014: The 2014 Call of Duty Championship had a prize pool of $1 million, with the winning team, Complexity, taking home $400,000 for their victory in the tournament.
  • Overwatch League Grand Finals 2019: The Overwatch League Grand Finals had a prize pool of $1.7 million, with the winning team, San Francisco Shock, taking home $1.1 million for their victory in the tournament.

Getting Rich With Video Games

The sums up for grabs in some tournaments can be life-changing. Just take the 2019 Fortnite World Cup: the champion Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf pocketed a jaw-dropping $3 million. And he’s not alone. Dota 2’s Johan ‘N0tail’ Sundstein boasts career takings over $7 million, while League of Legends sensation Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok has raked in over $1.4 million.

With the esports popularity growing, the prize pools only seem to be getting larger. There are more games, more tournaments, and more chances to win than ever before! Additionally, the rise of esports betting platforms has opened up opportunities for enthusiasts to profit by wagering on their favorite teams and players.

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