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Put Your Money Where Your Mouse Is

Twenty years ago, if I had told my Mom that video gaming would become the path to fame and fortune, she would have laughed at me. Of course, 20 years ago we didn’t have online gaming. We didn’t even have Myspace yet. Ten years ago, competitive online gaming was just barely getting started.  

My how the times have changed.

Fast forward to the present. Video gaming has evolved from household LAN parties to international competitive esports.  Basement dwellers have emerged and become stars. Apparently, “getting gud” at a game could now net a player millions of dollars.

Dota 2 characters – courtesy of

Bigger, Better, Richer…Delayed

If you’ve read any of my previous articles, you’ve seen how much esports has grown. In this world, Dota 2 is the 10th most popular game on Twitch. Recently, however, it has become the most lucrative game in the esports world.

“The International” is an annual Dota 2 tournament organized by game developer, Valve. It was first held in 2011 and has been held every year since. Dota 2 has a battle pass system which crowdfunds The International’s prize pool each year. In 2019, the prize pool consisted of over $34 million.

The International 10’s prize pool has just become the biggest esports prize pool in history, pushing past $35 million. That’s a lot of money to play for! Unfortunately, the game’s biggest tournament has been delayed due to COVID-19. Dota 2 players will likely have to wait until 2021 for their chance to grab the prize.

GG EZ – All About That Cash

$35 million is a lot of money, but how does it compare to…well…real sports? The Super Bowl is the most recognized sporting event in the United States. As popular as it is, the winning team only gets $11 million. The US Open tennis tournament in 2019 had a prize pool of $57 million. The World Series has a prize pool of about $66 million. Ultimately, the UEFA Champions League gives out the most money with a gigantic prize pool of over $1.3 billion!

Putting this all into perspective, this means that Dota 2 has officially landed in the top 10 of largest prize pools in all of sports.

Esports Arena – courtesy of Johanna Geron

Other esports have large prize pools as well. League of Legends, the most popular esport to date, dished out $6.4 million in 2018. The 2019 Fortnite World Cup had over $30 million up for grabs. Even Apex Legends, which isn’t even two years old, is about to host a circuit with $500,000 at stake.

I don’t know about you, but I think I need to start brushing up on my gaming skills!

There is no mistake. Esports is on the rise. It’s easy for anyone to pick up a game, and if a player is good enough, they can stake their own claim on the prizes ahead. I said it once, and I’ll say it again: esports is the future of sports. In just a few years, esports has made its mark and shown that it can compete with established sporting events in terms of audience and money. Imagine where it will be in a few more.

For more esports and gaming news, be sure to stay tuned! Don’t forget, PAX Online is just around the corner as well and we’ll be on top of it all. Go follow us on Facebook and Twitter so you don’t miss a single thing!

Until next time, stay geeky, my friends.


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