Which eSports have the biggest prize pots?

Which games have offered the most in prizes to their pro players? You might be surprised...
Written by Philippa Warr
3 min readPublished on
Which eSports have the biggest prize pots?

Which eSports have the biggest prize pots?

© Riot Games

Valve's Dota 2 prize pool has crossed the $6 million mark thanks to digital Compendium sales. But with more than a month left until The International's main event, that figure is only going to get bigger. As well as being a boon to the competition's winners, it'll be more than enough to push Dota 2 to the top spot in terms of the prize money awarded to professional players. Before that shift happens we've headed over to eSports Earnings to see which games are currently in the lead.

5. StarCraft: Brood War

Released in 1998, Blizzard's eSports behemoth has had over 15 years-worth of prize money events – 177 of them bringing a grand total of $5,246,860 to players. The first was the $16,200 PGL Season 3 Starcraft tournament held way back in November 1998 and won by Jason 'Gadianton' Severson. The biggest prize pool so far, though, has been the $126,451 which was up for grabs during 2007's GOMTV MSL Season 2. Kim 'Bisu' Taek Yong beat fellow Protoss player Song 'Stork' Byung Goo to take home the grand prize of just over $54,500.

4. Dota 2

As we said earlier, unless a meteorite somehow takes out the entirety of the Valve digital wizard Compendium economy, Dota 2 will be zooming to the number one spot at the end of July but currently it's occupying fourth position. Over $2.8 million of its $9.1 million prize money total was thanks to 2013's International – currently the highest prize pool for any eSports event. The International has always made waves, though. The first of the annual tournaments took place in 2011. The game hadn't been officially released but that didn't stop Valve serving up a $1.6 million prize pot.

3. Counter-Strike

Hot young properties like League of Legends and Dota 2 might seem hellbent on proving there's a lot of money in them thar eSporting hills as quickly as possible, but Counter-Strike has been distributing a small fortune amongst its pro players for nearly a decade and a half. In case you're wondering, we're talking CS 1.6 here, not Global Offensive or Source. To date it's offered $9,809,841, starting with $8,763 as part of CPL Cologne back in 2000 and peaking at $200,000 at the CPL Summer 2003 event.

2. StarCraft 2

Blizzard's sequel has only built on the popularity of its predecessor and shows the ongoing appeal of the tussles between Zerg, Protoss and Terran. Released in 2010, StarCraft 2 has managed to award $11,191,954 – that's more than twice as much money offered up in four years than Brood War has done in 15, although across far more tournaments. The biggest prize pool so far came courtesy of the WCS 2012 Global Finals – a contest with a $250,000 at stake.

1. League of Legends

Riot's eSports juggernaut currently occupies the number one slot in terms of total prize money – unsurprising given that League of Legends occupies two of the top three slots in terms of largest prize pools for individual events. First up was the $10,000 prize pot at the 2010 World Cyber Games where Counter-Logic scooped the top prize. The biggest, though, was the Season 3 World Championship with its cool $2,050,000 prize pool. First prize there went to SK Telecom T1 who also won the recent All-Star event in Paris. They walked away from Worlds with $1 million to share between themselves.