5 of the biggest prize pools in eSports

Ever since a group of students at the University of Stanford in the United States gave away a subscription to Rolling Stone magazine in a Spacewars tournament, eSports have continued to grow all around the world. Nowadays, though, prizes are worth a lot more than a humble magazine subscription with some tournaments giving away more than $30 million in cash.

These are some of the tournaments with the biggest prize pools in eSports.


The International - $34.3 million

The International offers the biggest prize pool in eSports
Image source: espn.com

The International is an annual Dota 2 tournament that has been on the go since 2011.

The prize pool is crowdfunded every year with companies, players and teams all contributing to the pot. As the tournament has become more popular, the size of the pot has grown. In 2011 and 2012 the total prize pool stood at just $1.6 million.

We say “just” because that amount has grown exponentially over the years. Last year, the total prize pool up for grabs was an incredible $34.3 million. The International has set the record as the tournament with the highest prize purse for nine consecutive years.

The 2019 Fortnite World Cup – $30.4 million

The Fortnite World Cup is one of the biggest eSports tournaments in the worldImage source: theverge.com

Fortnite has taken the world by storm. There are very few people in the world who won’t know what you’re talking about if you mention the game’s name and we’re willing to bet that every serious gamer has played it at least once.

In 2019, the first ever Fortnite World Cup took place and boasted a shared prize purse of over $30 million. The inaugural tournament was split into two main events, and saw the winner of the “solo” event walk away with $3 million, while the winners of the “duo” event shared another $3 million.

The 2018 League of Legends World Championship – $6.4 million

Invictus Gaming win the League of Legends World Cup
Image source: riftherald.com

While not offering nearly as much in prize money as the Fortnite World Cup or the International, the LoL World Championship still boasts one of the biggest prize amounts in the world.

Developers – Riot Games – allowed players to add to the prize pool by purchasing in-game items which ultimately boosted the pot to over $6 million.

The Grand Prize of $2.4 million was won by China’s Invictus Gaming who managed to completely outplay Europe’s Fnatic in the finals.

Fortnite Fall Skirmish Series – $4 million

The Fortnite Skirmish Series offers one of the biggest prize purses in eSports
Image source: epicgames.com

As we’ve mentioned before, Fortnite is one of the biggest games in the world, so it comes as no surprise that there is more than one tournament offering a multi-million dollar prize pool.

In addition to the $30.4 million set aside for the World Cup, Epic Games made an additional $4 million available for the Fall Skirmish Series.

Both of these prizes form part of a total of $100 million that Epic has committed as prize money for various Fortnite tournaments, which means we could see even bigger prize pools in the future.

The Dota 2 Asia Championship - $3 million

Dota 2 is one of the most popular eSportsImage source: pintrest.com

Acting as a curtain-raiser for the eventual Dota 2 Major circuit, the 2015 Dota 2 Asia Championship’s prize pool of $3,057,000 only edges the Valve Majors out by $57,000.

Taking place in Shanghai, China, the event saw Evil Geniuses’ newly-assembled roster take home the championship in one of the most one-sided grand finals in Dota 2 history. They beat Vici Gaming 3-0.

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Published: 04/14/2020