Since the invention of videogames, competition among players has been a major factor in driving both initial interest and subsequent engagement.
This helps explain the meteoric rise in popularity of e-sports and other forms of competitive video gaming. Video game tournaments of every variety can now be found in just about any city on the planet.
As interest in E-sports grows, more and more thriving competitions will spring up in different parts of the world.
Here are the best of the best when it comes to video game tournaments from around the world.
Naturally, as E-sports grows in size, quality, and popularity, so will the amount of money up for grabs in competitions.
|Convention on||Dota 2||>$34,000,000||Various||2011|
|Cup of Fortnite||Fortnite||>$30,000,000||U.S.A. / New York||2019|
|The Major of League of Legends||The League of Legends||>$6,000,000||Various||2011|
|Battle Royale Game World Cup||Battlegrounds for the Anonymous Players||>$5,000,000||U.S.A., California||2018|
|League of Legends||Overwatch||>$3,000,000||From the USA, a Variety||2016|
The International is the most prestigious event in the history of electronic sports. It’s possible that a tournament with a larger total pot will emerge in the future, but no other tournament currently comes close to The International. With its inception in 2011, The International is tied for the longest running E-sports competition on our list.
The fact that The International crowdfunds 25% of its pot is a big reason why it has become such a large tournament. As a result, the total amount in the pot keeps increasing annually. So far, each year’s competition has been held in a different location around the world. Seattle (on two separate occasions, in two different Seattle arenas), Vancouver, and Shanghai are just some of the historic locations that have played host.
At The International, everyone is playing Dota 2, also known as “Defense of the Ancients 2.” Twitch is where most of the game coverage takes place. The winner takes home the shield-shaped Aegis of Champions trophy and the majority of the prize money.
Contrary to popular belief, Dota 2 is not the most played of these titles. However, it has a large and devoted fan base, just like its close relative League of Legends. The International attracts millions of viewers each year.
The beauty of The International, and one of the reasons it has grown to be such a massive event, is that the prize pool is funded entirely by online donations. To raise additional funds for the yearly pot, they implement a system known as the battle pass, which is essentially a shop within the game itself. In essence, 25% of the proceeds from the sale of any eligible item purchased through the system are added to the pot.
Despite being less well-known than some of the other games in this lineup, this is the main reason why The International is such a massive video game tournament. Thousands of people certainly play Dota 2, but the game doesn’t get nearly the attention paid to games like Overwatch and Fortnite.
Fortnite World Cup
Fortnite is a popular game, but it’s not ancient. Even though it didn’t take place until 2019, the Fortnite World Cup is the number two most anticipated esports event of all time. Over $30 million was provided by Fortnite for the World Cup competition, which featured separate brackets for teams of two, solo players, and those who wanted to show off their creative side.
The impact that Fortnite has made for a game that has been out for a tiny fraction of the time that Dota 2 has is staggering. More than any other competition, the World Cup has helped to bring E-sports into the limelight.
Most significantly, unlike Dota 2, the World Cup in Fortnite did not rely on crowd funding for any of its revenue. That’s not to say that crowdsourcing is bad, but it does highlight the financial benefits. Fortnite players’ contributions during its meteoric launch.
Much of Fortnite’s success can be attributed to the fact that it has captivated its audience ever since it was first released. In addition to the millions of players who were hooked by the game’s battle royale mechanics, the game’s free-to-play model is largely responsible for its meteoric rise to fame.
The Fortnite World Cup is one-of-a-kind because it features multiple divisions. As we’ve already mentioned, the main competition was split into two parts: individual players and teams. One person or group emerges victorious from each bracket. There are also a number of side competitions that put competitors to the test in unique ways, such as a creative building competition.
LoL World Championship
League of Legends has been around for a long time and is one of the most popular multiplayer online battle arenas. For this reason, we felt it was only fitting to include it among the largest and most prestigious gaming tournaments ever held. Even though they don’t have a huge jackpot, the prizes are still respectable.
Teams of players compete in the League of Legends World Championship to win the game. The winners take home the majority of the cash prize and the coveted “summoner’s cup” trophy. The cup used by summoners weighs 70 pounds, making it too heavy for a single person to lift.
League of Legends, like Dota 2, has traditionally relied on its player base to fund a portion of its prize pool. For instance, some players have auctioned off rare skins to add to the kitty. It is unclear if League of Legends will continue to hold the title of most watched videogame and most prestigious tournament in the near future.
The League of Legends World Championship is so popular that it is held annually in a different location in a different country. Past locations for the tournament include Beijing, California, Shanghai, Seoul, and more.
The prize pool for League of Legends’ World Champion may pale in comparison to those of Dota 2 and Fortnite, but the excitement surrounding the LoL competition is on par with or even greater than that of the other two.
PUBG Global Championship
PUBG, like Fortnite, is a battle royale game that has amassed a huge fan base. Even though Fortnite popularized the battle royale genre first, PUBG has a more diverse player base because of its unique gameplay style and paid model.
Therefore, the prize pool for the PUBG Global Championship has not been as large as the one for the Fortnite World Cup.
Nonetheless, the game’s participants and designers have managed to collect enough for a substantial pot. Much like in Dota 2, PUBG’s pot was funded primarily through the sale of cosmetic in-game items. Twenty-five percent of the take from each eligible purchase went into the pot.
The remaining 50% was split amongst the competing teams, while the remaining 25% was allocated to a unique challenge competition.
In PUBG, competition was conducted solely on a team basis, in contrast to Fortnite. Teams competed against one another in a round-robin tournament format with winners and losers determined at the end.
With its player-driven funding model, PUBG already has a large player base and the potential to grow even larger in the coming years. However, it lacks both the widespread appeal of Fortnite and the enduring popularity of Dota 2.
The Overwatch League is a collection of separate Overwatch competitions spread out over a number of weeks. Overwatch’s playoffs and championships have the potential to attract huge audiences and prize pools; the Season 2 Overwatch Playoffs, for instance, attracted a total prize pool of $3.5 million.
Unlike the other events on our schedule, the Overwatch League takes place on multiple dates throughout the year rather than all at once. Despite this, the prospect of winning such a large sum on a single playoff date is tantalizing. They could make a lot more money at the championship game if they can get to $3.5 million for a playoff date.
Overwatch, as you probably already know, is a first-person, cooperative shooter. Rather than being named after a specific country or some other arbitrary symbol, teams are based in specific cities, just like in the world of professional sports. The Vancouver Titans and the Los Angeles Gladiators are just two examples of possible team names.
Teams of six players face off against one another in the Overwatch League. Teams must have two tanks, two damage dealers, and two supports, but within those parameters, they are free to choose their champions.
Overall prize pools per tournament series
1) The International 10 – $40 million
Valve’s annual Dota 2 world championship has set a new standard for esports prize pools for the past ten years running. In its first two years, the tournament offered a combined $1.6 million in prize money. However, after switching to a crowdfunded model in 2013, the tournament has become the largest in esports.
2) The 2019 Fortnite World Cup Finals – $30.4 million
The inaugural Fortnite World Cup Finals hosted by Epic featured a record-breaking prize pool for competitive video gaming.
The first-ever tournament featured two separate championship rounds. Winning the solo finals was worth $3 million to Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, and winning the duo finals was worth $3 million to David “aqua” W and Emil “Nyhrox” Bergquist Pedersen.
3) The 2021 Honor of Kings World Champion Cup – $7.7 million
In Beijing, at the Honor of Kings World Champion Cup, 12 of the best Honor of Kings teams competed to see who would be crowned world champion. After a close match in the group stage, QG Happy went on to crush Gank Gaming in the finals to claim victory.
4) PUBG Global Invitational.S 2021- $7.1 million
The first PUBG tournament of the 2021 season featured a record-breaking prize pool for competitive video gaming. The PUBG Global Invitational.S 2021 was held in part online and part offline in Incheon, South Korea, and the winner, Susquehanna Soniqs, took home a cool $1,296,189.
5) The 2018 League of Legends World Championship – $6.4 million
In 2017, Riot Games introduced the option for League of Legends players to contribute to the tournament’s prize pool by purchasing virtual goods within the game itself. The following year, the total prize pool was raised to $6.4 million, making it the largest tournament in the game’s history.
After sweeping Europe’s Fnatic 3-0 in the finals, China’s Invictus Gaming took home $2.4 million.
6) The 2020 Call of Duty League Championship – $4.6 million
The Call of Duty League’s inaugural season took place almost entirely online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, despite the setbacks, the league’s postseason featured one of the largest prize pools in esports history.
Dallas Empire won CDL Champs 2020 after a close victory in the winner’s bracket and then crushed Atlanta FaZe in the finals to take home $1.5 million.
7) PUBG Global Championship 2021 – $4.4 million
The PUBG Global Championship 2021 awarded NewHappy a total of $1,378,264. The Chinese team had a streak of consecutive victories that lasted the entirety of the season. The World Cup was the icing on the cake.
8) Fortnite Fall Skirmish Series – Clubs Standings – $4 million
Over the past few years, Fortnite’s popularity has skyrocketed. In light of Fortnite’s meteoric rise to popularity, Epic announced $100 million in prize money for its inaugural year of esports competitions. A significant portion of that cash was distributed based on the Club Standings from the Fall Skirmish Series.
9) Overwatch League 2019 – Playoffs – $3.5 million
The total prize pool for the Overwatch league playoffs has grown to $3.5 million. The San Francisco Shock defeated the Vancouver Titans in the championship game, which took place at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
10) The Dota 2 Asia Championship – $3 million
The 2015 Dota 2 Asia Championship, a forerunner to the Dota 2 Major circuit, had a $3,057,000 prize pool, surpassing the Valve Majors by only $57,000. One of the most lopsided grand finals in Dota 2 history took place in Shanghai, China, and the champions were the recently reformed Evil Geniuses. They swept Vici Gaming by a score of 3-0.
Overall largest prize pools
- Investing $40 million in The International 10
- $34.3 million was spent on the International 9
- Finals of the 2019 Fortnite World Cup: $30,4,000,000
- The World’s Top 8 Soccer Teams – $25,5 Million
- The Seven Wonders of the World: $24.7 Million
- $20,7 million for the International Six
- The International Five – $18.4 million
- Ten and a half million dollars for The International 4.
- World Champion Cup for the Honor of Kings, 2021 – $7.7
- $7.1 million for the PUBG Global Invitational.S 2021.
The above information suggests that The International, a Dota 2 tournament, is the largest video game tournament ever, in terms of prize money. That could, of course, change at any time. It’s possible (and likely) that the top rankings will continue to change in the future as E-sports continue to develop, what with Fortnite following closely on Dota 2’s heels.