Covid-19 has caused a massive hit to eSports events and tournaments worldwide, melting prize pools and cutting down viewership. The world’s leading eSports game by total prize money, Dota 2, shows just how big that hit was.
According to data presented by Safe Betting Sites, The International 11, Dota’s 2022 championship saw the lowest prize pool in six years of $18.9 million, down from $40 million a year ago.
The International Viewership Dropped by 36% YoY
The Esports Earnings data show The International prize pool has been continuously growing for the last decade. Between 2011 and 2016, it swelled by a jaw-dropping 1,200%, rising from $1.6 million to $20.7 million. Then, it practically doubled in the next five years, reaching a massive $40 million in 2021.
However, in 2022, the prize pool decreased for the first time in the championship history, with the International 11 bringing merely half the prize money seen last year. But, besides its prize pool melting down, the event also witnessed a huge drop in peak viewership.
The 2022 edition of the Dota 2 championship took place in Singapore last month and was streamed by viewers for almost 67.7 million hours across all platforms, down from 107.2 million a year ago.
According to Valve and Esports Charts data, the International 11 attracted around 1.75 million concurrent viewers in its peak viewership, 36% less than The International 10. Statistics show that most viewers, or 70%, watched the games unfold on Twitch. Another 21% watched them on YouTube, and only 5% on Facebook.
Dota 2 Still Tops in Total Prize Money
Despite a significant drop in its 2022 championship prize money, Dota 2 is still the highest-awarding eSports game globally. The Esports Earnings data show the popular multiplayer online battle arena game hit $310.4 million in total prize money, and Chinese players won one-fifth of that value.
Dota 2 players have competed in 1,709 tournaments and competitions so far and won more prize money than CS: GO and Fortnite players combined.
Fortnite is the second highest-paid eSports game, with $145.1 million in total prize money. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive follows, with over $142 million, respectively.