10 Most Generous Esports Games for Prize Money


by in CS:GO | Mar, 17th 2020

The esports industry is growing more and more each year with new games, more money poured into it, and plenty of players showing their skills in various tournaments and events. The expansion of the industry means a lot of money is given away as well.

Esports Industry Has Given Out Millions and Millions of Dollars

When players compete in various esports events, they are awarded prize money if they do well during the tournament. This is a league standard for most games. The amount of prize money given out since companies started broadcasting their prize pools officially is insane.

Hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars have been given to players who competed in hundreds of games, nearly encroaching on a billion dollars given out thus far. Many games have awarded money to players from first-person shooters to MOBAs to battle royale games and more.

With the industry continuing to grow each year, the prize numbers will likely grow as well. There are some truly generous games in the industry with thousands of players who have competed for a share of the amazing prizes offered.

To help you find out which games have given out the most prize money, we are going to give you our top 10 list of the biggest esports prize pools in the world. Our numbers come from EsportsEarnings, a website that has a comprehensive list of the games that have given the most money ever.

This top 10 list is solely based on how much money the games have given out in their lifetimes. This does mean that some games might have far fewer players than other ones but have given out a lot more money in the process.

Also, this list is only based on public knowledge of these titles and what has been awarded. Without further ado, here’s our top 10 games with the biggest esports prize pools.

Biggest Esports Prize Pools: 10. Counter-Strike/Arena of Valor

Starting from the 10th most generous game in the world, we have an interesting situation with two games. They are within a few thousand dollars of one another, making one the clear winner currently, but the proximity between the two warrants a mention of both.

The original Counter-Strike is the actual number 10 with around $13.48 million given out to players at this time. The game is one of the oldest on this list, being one of the founding members of the esports industry. Valve’s seminal competitive military first-person shooter is still an important part of the industry even today.

While the competitive scene for Counter-Strike isn’t the biggest in the world currently, the legacy it has left on the industry is apparent as you will see with a certain entry later on. Just below it, though, is Arena of Valor with around $13.38 million given out at this point.

Arena of Valor is no surprise either as a rising game that has benefitted from overwhelming popularity around the world. It is the complete opposite of Counter-Strike, being a newer game that is on the rise still. It will likely take over the number 10 spot on this list soon.

9. Heroes of the Storm

While 10 and 11 are close to one another, the number nine game is a leap in prize money. The ninth highest prize money game is Heroes of the Storm. This Blizzard-developed MOBA spin-off game takes advantage of the long history that the company has.

It isn’t just a unique MOBA game with only new characters as it features a fan-favorite roster from across the Warcraft, Diablo, and Starcraft (more on this one in a bit) franchises that Blizzard is well-known for. As such, it is no surprise that it has been an important part of the industry.

While it isn’t quite as popular as the other juggernaut MOBA games that we will get to in a bit, it has carved out its niche. Activision Blizzard has given out some solid prize money since it released a few years ago. In total, it has reportedly given out roughly $18.1 million thus far.

8. Hearthstone

Speaking of Blizzard, the next entry on this is another Activision Blizzard-developed game. Hearthstone is one of the biggest games in the world and easily the most important and most generous card video game to ever release and have official competitions.

Hearthstone, like Heroes of the Storm, features a variety of Warcraft characters from both the original strategy games as well as the famous World of Warcraft MMO. Being the only card game on this list, it has carved out its spot on the top 10 most generous esports games by revolutionizing card games forever.

Part of this includes giving out a ton of money to the players who competed in the official tournaments and events in the past. Hearthstone has given out a solid $20.39 million thus far in its lifetime. Likely, this will increase in the future with pro leagues and other major events happening.

7. Overwatch

If you haven’t figured it out yet, Blizzard is a company that we are going to cover a lot on this list. They are the best at crafting popular and beloved esports games that players enjoy. Such is the case with the next entry on the top 10 games with the biggest esports prize pools: Overwatch.

Whereas Heroes of the Storm was its take on MOBAs and Hearthstone its take on card games, Overwatch is all about Blizzard’s unique spin on the first-person shooter genre. Instead of opting for simple fast-paced action like in most games, it created its ability-based system.

Characters are split into classes like tank and so on that have different functions on the battlefield. Even within the classes, though, each character has unique abilities that help them stand out. It is a wonderful way of changing the FPS genre.

With major events like the Overwatch League and more, it is no surprise that Blizzard has given out more than $21 million to the players who have competed in its events. And the craziest part is that it is still not the biggest Blizzard esports game in terms of money.

6. PUBG

The first battle royale game on this list, we have PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. A recurring theme, as you can see in this list, PUBG was the revolutionary battle royale game. While not technically the first, it was the first that most people in the industry found out about.

PUBG took the battle royale formula of the last person or squad standing and made it a global success. It is has succeeded not just on the console and PC main versions of the game, but also on the standalone mobile version that is slightly different from its original incarnation.

In this way, PUBG is quite unlike other games on this list. In this way, it is no surprise that it was able to make it to the number six spot on this list with more than $22.28 million given out during its lifetime. With an increasingly growing esports scene, this will likely continue to get bigger.

5. Starcraft II

We are now in the top five most generous esports games of all-time. These top five are on a different level than all the other games that came previously. For one, the amount of prize money that each of them has given out is on a whole new level and the popularity of them reflect this as well.

It starts with Starcraft II, the final game on this list from Activision Blizzard. Starcraft II is an older game at this point compared to some of them on this list but it has remained one of the most important games in the industry. After all, it is the only RTS game even to be here.

It has given out a solid $32.72 million throughout its history with more than 2,000 pro players who have competed in well over 5,000 tournaments. Those are nice stats for a game that is only scratching the surface of what this elite group of esports games has accomplished.

4. League of Legends

Next up on this list: League of Legends. While it is a much bigger game than the other one, it has given out a fraction of the money. Even still, the amount of money that League of Legends has given out is rather impressive.

Riot Games, along with the help of other companies like Tencent, has crafted one of the greatest games ever made. League of Legends is a MOBA game that has somehow kept its popularity throughout the years and has no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

With increasing popularity and success all around the world, it is a unique situation that most games, even on this list, haven’t been able to accomplish. League of Legends has given away $73.5 million thus far and counting across 6,830 players and in more than 2,400 tournament events.

3. Fortnite

This list wouldn’t be complete without the biggest battle royale game in the world: Fortnite. Giving away more than $84 million to its 3,200 and counting pro players, this is the most generous battle royale title that we have ever seen. It has shown in its overwhelming fame and success.

You would be hard-pressed to find a video game player or even non-game fans that don’t know Fortnite battle royale. Celebrities have played it; it has given whole careers and millions of dollars to content creators like Ninja and more.

Fortnite has the least number of tournaments of the top five games on this list. While it has given more than $80 million, it has only around 500 tournament events that have happened in the last couple of years compared to the thousands for the other games in the top five.

2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

The runner-up in second place has the benefit of being around for some time. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is the second game on this list from Valve and it has vastly overpassed its predecessor. It has given just shy of $100 million to players at around $93 million and counting.

Because of the long legacy of CS:GO, it has given out that money to more than 12,000 players. It is unbelievable considering other esports games in the top five haven’t even touched this number. It also has a lot of events with around 4,800 tournaments currently.

CS:GO has been going for a long time. It will likely continue for years to come. Well, at least until Valve eventually releases a new game in the series that will succeed it. With the release of Half-Life: Alyx this year, we could possibly see a new Counter-Strike in the future.

1. Dota 2

Without a doubt, the most generous esports game in the history of gaming thus far is Dota 2. Valve has outdone any record and game on this list. It is the only game on this list to reportedly reach more than $100 million given out, according to EsportsEarnings.

Not only has it reached more than $100 million, but it also smashed those numbers and more than doubled that. It has somehow overwhelmingly surpassed the other games by giving out more than $222 million to its players during its lifetime.

That is unbelievable. It’s even crazier because the number of players and tournaments are pretty on par with the other games. Valve’s MOBA game has given that money to around 3,500 players and through only 1,300 tournaments, which is surprising given the insane prize money. It is, without a doubt, the most generous esports game in the world currently.

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