According to data analyzed and published by Safe Betting Sites Canada, the prize pool for The International 10 exceeded the $30 million mark towards the end of July. It is currently worth approximately $33,456,363 million and counting.
The same source shows a total prize pool of $34,330,068 for 2019, a target that the current cash pot is likely to exceed. In the meantime, the 2019 prize pool remains the highest amount that has ever been offered for a single event in eSports.
Compared to the 2018 total of $25,532,177, there is already an increment of over $8 million on the current bounty. Moreover, by surpassing the $30 million mark, it now sits ahead of the Fortnite World Cup 2019 which was worth $30.3 million (both Solo and Duo).
One of the factors making this one of the biggest prize pools in eSports is the contribution model on which it works. Every year since 2014, fans have been able to build it up from a base of $1.6 million. They do so by purchasing in-game products like the Battle Pass, as well as its upgrades, with 25% of all sales going into the prize pool.
Over the years, this model has seen The International offer one of the most lucrative winning opportunities in eSports. For instance, the very first tournament in the lineup had a total of $10,931,105 in 2014. In 2015, it went up to $18.4 million and further up to $20.7 million in 2016, rising even higher to hit $24.7 million in 2017.
Taking into consideration the tens of other tournaments played in DOTA 2, the total won in cash prizes over the years amount to $165,403,373.
Highest Paid Player Earned Over $3.75 million From DOTA 2
Interestingly, the entire list of the top 10 highest paid eSports players features players whose highest earnings came from DOTA 2. The highest earning player during the period between 2018 and 2020 was Johan Sundstein, better known in the community by the alias N0tail.
His overall earnings for the duration were $3,752,055.59. From this amount, $2,246,831.60 came from The International 2018, DOTA 2. Coming in second was Jesse Vainikka, JerAx, who made $3,323,463.82 and third, Anatham Pham who made a total of $6,000,411.96 – both from DOTA 2.
Similarly, the highest paid players from a number of countries where gaming is popular also got their biggest prizes from DOTA 2. These include Djardel Jicko Mamputsi from the Philippines, with $791,597.31, Lu Yao from China, who made $2,977,042.44 and Artour Babaev from Canada with $2,253,053.21.
DOTA 2 2019 Prize Pool Surpasses CS:GO, Battlegrounds and Overwatch Combined
According to a 2019 ranking of the top eSports games globally by prize pool, DOTA 2 had the second highest prize pool behind Fortnite with $46.97 million. It is noteworthy too that the prize pool for DOTA 2 alone surpasses that of CS:GO, Battlegrounds and Overwatch combined.
The latter three took the third, fourth and fifth positions, with $21.77 million, $13.18 million and $9.59 million respectively.
A similar trend is seen when it comes to the top teams globally, where DOTA 2 gained the title of the highest paid single game in the world in 2019. Data from GoldenCasinoNews.com reveals that the top 10 teams in eSports made a cumulative total of $148.5 million from DOTA 2 alone.
OG, the leading team in terms of revenue made $33.4 million from 53 DOTA 2 tournaments. The second one, Team Liquid, made $22.6 million from 85 tournaments and Evil Geniuses took the third spot making $19.8 million from 109 tournaments.
eSports Ecosystem Revenues Predicted to Surpass $1.59 Billion by 2022
Generally speaking, the eSports space has experienced incredible growth over the years. For instance, in terms of viewership, the year 2017 saw a 19.3% increase YoY. Back then, the total audience numbered approximately 335 million, with 143 million enthusiasts and 192 million casual viewers.
The number of viewers in 2018 grew to 380 million, with 165 million enthusiasts and 215 million casual viewers. Based on Newzoo’s prediction, the number of enthusiasts could rise to 250 million and casual viewers to 307 million in 2021, making a total of 557 million viewers.
As data from Statista shows, awareness has also been on the rise, from a humble 800,000 in 2015, to 1.43 billion in 2018 and a projected 1.57 billion people in 2019. Courtesy of the huge cash pots, viewership and sponsorships, the eSports sector has plenty of room for growth.
Newzoo estimates that it might in fact generate over $1.59 billion by 2023. This is impressive considering that it was worth $776.4 million in 2018, going up to $957.5 million in 2019. And in 2020, it is worth $1.059 billion.
Given that the vast majority of the fanbase consists of persons in their teens up to the thirties, the eSports space still holds massive growth potential.