Over the years, the eSports industry became a huge revenue-generating machine with almost half a billion viewers who watched their favourite games being played by some of the world’s best gamers.
Although the COVID-19 caused considerable disruption to eSports events and tournaments last year, the leading eSports games still brought multi-million prize pools for the top players and teams.
According to data presented by SafeBettingSites.com, the five biggest eSports games hit $555 million in total prize money, almost a $50 million increase in a year.
The Esports Earnings data show Dota 2, as the biggest eSports game by total winnings, hit almost $230 million in prize money last month, more than the next two titles on the list combined.
Statistics show Dota 2 players competed in 102 tournaments and competitions in the last year and won $11.1 million in prize money. However, that is deep below $52.5 million from 130 events in 2019, as the record year for Dota 2 prize pools. The International 2019 and its $34.3 million worth prize pool still represents the biggest eSports tournament of all time.
With $6.9 million in total prize money, Danish gamer Johan “N0tail” Sundstein ranked as the most successful Dota 2 player globally. Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka and Anathan “ana” Pham follow with $6.4 million and $6 million in total earnings, respectively.
With $109.2 million in combined tournament prize pools or two times less than the leading Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive ranked as the second-biggest eSports game. However, Valve’s tactical first-person shooter game leads in total prize money in the last year.
Statistics show CS:GO players won $18.5 million in 300 events in 2020 and 2021, almost the same as Dota 2 and Fortnite prize money combined. Still, that was 25% less than the total prize money in 2019.
Fortnite players raked in $99.3 million in 673 tournaments so far, ranking third on the biggest eSports games list. The Esports Earnings data revealed that last year, Fortnite events brought $7.9 million in prize money, ten times less than in 2019. The number of competitions also plunged from 118 to only 25.
League of Legends ranked as the fourth-largest eSports game with over $82 million in total prize money, an $8.4 million increase in a year. Blizzard Entertainment`s military SF real-time strategy game, StarCraft II, follows with $34.4 million, respectively.