For many gamers out there, being paid to play video games may seem like a pipe dream. But thanks to the rise of eSports, this dream is slowly becoming a reality. And no, we’re not talking a small amount of money. If you’re good enough, you might end up earning thousands, if not millions of dollars.
Number 10: Call of Duty: WWII
In 2018, Activision’s Call of Duty: WWII was chosen as the franchise’s annual entry for the World League season. With its fast-paced combat, it sure is one of the most challenging first-person shooting game in many competitions.
At the time, Evil Geniuses was hailed the grand champion. The prize pool? A whopping $4.17 million.
Number 9: StarCraft II
Despite being the oldest game on Blizzard Entertainment’s list, StarCraft II still has one of the highest pot money in eSports. Last year, the game awarded over $4.5 million in total. There were 12 tournaments with at least $100,000 prize pool.
Blizzard’s very own StarCraft II World Championship Series finals at BlizzCon awarded the highest prize amounting to $1.4 million. Joona “Serral” Sotala won the WCS Global Finals, making him an instant millionaire.
Number 8: Hearthstone
Another Blizzard game generous enough to give a massive prize pool is Hearthstone. In 2018, the game saw a 42.3% increase in prizing. It also has five other tournaments with prize pools reaching over $500,000 each. In total, Hearthstone’s prize pool reached $4.95 million.
Number 7: Heroes of the Storm
Although this game has lessen its prize money, it’s still considered one of the highest paying ones. Heroes of the Storm awarded $6.52 million in 2018, a drop from 2017’s $6.7 million prize pot.
Apparently, the reason behind this is the end of Heroes of the Storm Global Championship. That being said, it is expected that the prize pool this year will dramatically decrease as well.
Number 6: Overwatch
Fans of this highly-popular game are probably aware of the Overwatch League. Its launch nearly doubled its prize pool to a whopping $6.7 million last year.
Next season, it is expected that Blizzard’s Overwatch League will nudge its prize a bit higher than 2018.
Number 5: PUBG
PlayerUnknown’s Battleground, more popularly known as PUBG, made its mark in the eSports field in 2018. The battle royale shooter game awarded $2 million in prize at the PUBG Global Invitational. It also doled out another $586,000 during qualifiers. In total, the prize pool reached $6.73 million.
With the game’s increasing popularity, it is expected that to see a significant international expansion for eSports. It might also increase its prize even more.
Number 4: League of Legends
League of Legends, also known as LoL, is one of the most popular MOBA games out there. It’s so popular that it continues to gain more players each passing year.
In 2018, LoL awarded a whopping $14.12 million. That’s a massive jump from its prize pool in 2017. And with its popularity, it is expected to increase even more this year.
Number 3: Fortnite
This game is definitely one of the most popular video games to date. Initially, Epic Games committed $100 million to Fortnite prize pools during the 2018-19 season. But the game’s popularity amongst gamers made the prize pool nearly $20 million before the end of 2018.
If the game’s current trend continues, it is expected to increase its prize at least fourfold this year.
Number 2: Counter-Strike Global Offensive
In 2018, Counter-Strike Global Offensive, also known as CS:GO, held at least 370 tournaments. The World Electronic Sports Games in 2017 awarded $1.67 million for men’s and women’s competition. On top of that, there were at least six more events with prize pools reaching $1 million each. In total, CS:Go’s prize reached a whopping $22.47 million.
Number 1: DOTA 2
Easily making it to number one is none other than DOTA 2. This widely-popular game definitely holds the most all-time prize money to date.
In fact, each year, The International tournament increases its pool – thanks to crowdfunding. In 2018 alone, the pot money reached a staggering $25.5 million. There were also nine other DOTA 2 tournaments with prizes amounting to at least $1 million each.
In total, 2018’s prize pool was at $41.26 million and it is expected to see a dramatic increase this year.