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.
The first eSports event happened all the way back in the October of 1972 at Stamford University where students competed on the video game Spacewar. The grand prize for the winner was a year long subscription to the Rolling Stones magazine.
In 1997, the Red Annihilation tournament for the former famous “Quake game” was held which dew in about 2000 participants. It is widely regarded as the world’s first eSports event. The winner also got to drive off in John Cormack’s (lead developer of Quake) Ferrari as the grand prize.
Since then there is a massive change in the gaming industry. The crowdfunding became the part of the prize pool and a major growth has been seen in esports events prize pool. The Valve's Dota 2's world championship "The International" is the major example of crowd funding prize pool.
10 Biggest prize pool tournaments-
1. Dota 2 The International 10 - $40 million
Valve's most successful title Dota 2's annual world championship "The international" holds the 8 spot in the top 10 list of biggest prize pool esports events. The 10th annual edition will be having a whooping $40 million as prize pool. It was supposed to be happen in 2020 but due to Covid-19 it postponed an will be happening in August 2021.
The TI 9 had $34.3 million as prize pool which was the former biggest prize pool event. Majority of the prize pool is crowdfunded.
2. The Fortnite World Cup Finals 2019 - $30.4 million
Epic's Battle Royale Fortnite not only was the most grossing game of 2019 but also had one of the biggest esports event ever.
The inaugural tournament was split into two main events. Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf earned $3 million in the solo finals, while David “aqua” W and Emil “Nyhrox” Bergquist Pedersen shared $3 million after winning the duo finals.
3. 2021 Honor of Kings World Champion Cup - $7.7 million
The sixth Honor of Kings Champion Cup series tournament will be the biggest mobile esports event as it will surpass its own $4.6 milion prize pool in 2020.
Honor of kings is a Chinese mobile only MOBA. As of June 16th, 2021, from the Tencent Conference, Honor of Kings World Champion Cup 2021 will be held through 6 cities: including Shanghai, Nanjing, Chongqing, Qingdao, Wuhan and Beijing.
4. League of Legends World Championship 2018 – $6.4 million
Riot's MOBA League of Legends seen its biggest championship in 2018. the overall prize pool of the event increased from initial $2.25 million to $6.4 million through in-game item purchased by fans.
China’s Invictus Gaming took home $2.4 million of the prize pool after defeating Europe’s Fnatic 3-0 in the grand finals.
5. PUBG Global Championship 2019 – $6 million
The initial prize pool of the tournament was $2,000,000 USD.
The total prize pool (incl. PGC sales) reached $4,000,000 USD + $2,000,000 USD in the PGC Pick'Em Challenge event.
The Korean team Gen.G win the competition and take home $2,239,808 in earnings
6. The 2020 Call of Duty League Championship – $4.6 million
This was the first ever COD League which was held online due to Covid-19.
Dallas Empire won the grand finals and took home $1.5 million for coming in first place at CDL Champs 2020.
7. Fortnite Fall Skirmish Series – Clubs Standings – $4 million
Epic revealed $100 million for esports tournament prize pools in the first year of competitive play. A good chunk of that money was awarded through the Fall Skirmish Series – Club Standings.
8. Overwatch League 2019 – Playoffs – $3.5 million
Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, Wells Fargo Center hosted the second playoffs of the Overwatch league saw the tournament’s overall prize pool increased to $3.5 million.
San Francisco Shock wont he playoffs and took $1,100,000 million with them.
9. The Dota 2 Asia Championship 2015 – $3 million
The inaugural season of Dota 2 Asia Championship had the 2nd highest Dota 2 prize pool at that time. The starting prize pool was set at $250,000 USD, but viewers were able to increase it via Compendium purchases and it increased to $3,057,519.
The north American roster Evil Geniuses won and took $1,284,158 with them.
10. The Dota 2 Valve Majors – $3 million
The first Valve-sponsored Dota Major Championship Event, The Frankfurt Major, was announced in September 2015. It featured a fixed prize pool of $3,000,000
Through 2015-2016 Dota 2 seen 5 majors having prize pool of $3 million each. OG won 4 of them and one major gone to Secret. Since then the structure of Dota 2 had been changed .