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eSport prize pools exploded in 2020, Honor of Kings World Champion Cup up 56% in 2021 to $7.7m


eSports prize pools in 2021 will be characterized by major changes, as was the case in 2020. However, this time around, the changes will be highly anticipated as major publishers have announced considerable prize pot increments.

According to the research data analyzed and published by Safe Betting Sites, Tencent’s TiMi Studios announced a 1 billion RMB ($154M) investment in the 2021 Honor of Kings ecosystem. Its top global competition, the Honor of Kings World Champion Cup (KCC) will receive a 56% prize pool boost. From 32 million RMB ($4.9M) in 2020, the 2021 prize pool will total 50 million RMB ($7.7M). 

Honor of Kings was the second most profitable game globally in 2020. A report from Sensor Tower states that it generated $2.5 billion in revenue, second to PUBG Mobile’s $2.6 billion.

Fortnite prize pool increased to $20m from $17m in 2020

Fortnite developer Epic Games also announced an increase in its 2021 prize pot, from $17 million in 2020 to $20 million this year. 

The Fortnite Champion Series, set to start on February 4, 2021, will be the largest source of prize money. It will have four seasons, each attracting a $3 million prize pool. At the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice 2021, 24 CS:GO teams will battle it out for a $1 million prize pool, up from $500,000 in 2020. 

In 2020, the global eSports ecosystem saw a 15.7% jump in profits, from $950.6 million to $1.1 billion according to Newzoo. It is projected to grow to $1.6 billion by 2023. Around 75% of the 2020 revenue, which was $822.4 million, came from media rights and sponsorships. The global eSports audience grew by 11.7% year-over-year (YoY) to reach 495 million.

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