Esports was not as popular as it is now, and back in the days everyone looked down upon esports and gaming as a whole to be a waste of time. However, the path riddled with obstacles didn’t stop esports from getting bigger and better, the growth of the esports industry has been exponential and over the years it has grown to be a multi-million dollar industry with tournaments and events being conducted which teases prize pools bigger than current major sporting events. The growth of esports has drawn many huge companies into investing in it seeing its potential and appeal, media slowly changed its tone for esports and became supportive of it as its popularity grew over the years and now esports is actually a big thing around the world.

The popularity of esports has skyrocketed around the globe at this point and the prize money for major esports events have reached limits that rival bars set by traditional popular sports all thanks to the investments coming from big organizations and the active involvement of massive game producing companies like Valve and Riot Games in the scene.

Here is the list of esports events ranked in the order of highest payouts for you to get an idea how big the industry has become as compared to its initial days and what are the most lucrative games on the market right now. The following data proves the fact that the investment and attention put into esports has allowed it to be one of the most profitable things out there.

RankGameEvent Prize pool Year
1Dota 2The International$34,330,069.002019
2Dota 2The International$25,532,177.002018
3Dota 2The International
4Dota 2The International$20,770,460.002016
5Dota 2The International$18,429,613.052015
6FortniteWorld Cup: Solos$15,287,500.002019
7FortniteWorld Cup: Duos$15,100,000.002019
8Dota 2The International$10,931,103.002014
9League of LegendsWorlds 2018$6,450,000.002018
10League of LegendsWorlds 2016$5,070,000.002016
11League of LegendsWorlds 2017$4,946,969.002017
12FortniteFortnite Fall Skirmish Series$4,000,000.002018
13FortniteWorld Cup: Creative$3,250,000.002019
14Dota 2Asia Championships$3,057,521.002015
15Dota 2Boston Major$3,000,000.002016
16Dota 2Frankfurt Major$3,000,000.002015
17Dota 2Kiev Major$3,000,000.002017
18Dota 2Manila Major$3,000,000.002016
19Dota 2Shanghai Major$3,000,000.002016
20Dota 2The International $2,874,381.002013

The most notable event above is The International (TI) with is massive prize pool, during every TI Valve pitches in a percentage of its own money for the event as its prize pool while the rest of it is crowdfunded. Valve releases purchasable Battle Pass for its F2P title DOTA 2 in a yearly fashion and on every consumer purchase 25% of the payment goes into The International prize pool thus making up for its crowdfunded portion. This business model allows The International to boast huge prize pools which far outclass its competition every year.

The above data necessarily proves that currently DOTA 2 is the most rewarding game in the esports scene and makes it obvious why so many pros and organizations take an active interest in the game. The list of organizations ranked according to the highest overall lifetime earning are mostly topped by DOTA 2 based ones as expected aside from the multi lineup teams such as Team Liquid which are part of multiple esport titles and events like DOTA 2, CSGO and PUBG.

RankOrganizationEarnings Number of tournaments
1Team Liquid$33,708,806.211601
3Evil Geniuses$22,858,319.11790
7Vici Gaming$12,185,473.01266
8Team Secret$10,938,648.13194
9LGD Gaming$10,752,003.42131
10Invictus Gaming$10,674,800.62428
11Natus Vincere$9,759,224.90424
12Wings Gaming$9,745,472.2227
14SK Telecom T1$9,093,858.98247
15Paris Saint-German Esports$8,994,818.5956
16OpTic Gaming$7,810,017.71290
17FaZe Clan$7,559,934.51274
19Team EnVyUs$6,478,343.47317
20SK Gaming$6,292,140.16650

Every organization is represented by its players and the story is no different even for the players when we consider the lucrative prize pool that DOTA 2 has to offer. The two most recent events where players earned big sums of money at esport events would be Redbull.OG winning The International twice in a row and making history and setting a new bar for excellence in the DOTA 2 scene and Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf getting the sweet Victory Royale bagging his solo win at the Fortnite World Cup effectively making him the only pro among the Top 20 highest-earning pros who is not a DOTA 2 player. Here is the list of the highest-earning esports pros of all time ranked as per their lifetime overall earnings and without a single doubt DOTA 2 is all over the list as the choice of game for the pros on the list.

RankNameTitleNationality Earnings
1Johan ‘N0tail’ SundsteinDota 2Danish$6,889,591.79
2Jesse ‘JerAx’ VainikkaDota 2Finnish$6,469,000.02
3Anathan ‘ana’ PhamDota 2Australian$5,999,411.96
4Sébastien ‘Ceb’ DebsDota 2French$5,488,233.01
5Topias ‘Topson’ TaavitsainenDota 2Finnish$5,413,446.17
6Kuro ‘KuroKy’ TakhasomiDota 2German$5,128,788.15
7Amer ‘Miracle-‘ Al-BarkawiDota 2Jordanian$4,692,418.88
8Ivan ‘MinD_ContRoL’ IvanovDota 2Bulgarian$4,483,493.36
9Maroun ‘GH’ MerhejDota 2Lebanese$4,086,426.44
10Sumail ‘SumaiL’ HassanDota 2Pakistani $3,590,225.34
11Lasse ‘Matumbaman’ UrpalainenDota 2Finnish$3,557,781.04
12Saahil ‘UNiVeRsE’ AroraDota 2American$3,038,937.67
13Kyle ‘Bugha’ GiersdorfFortniteAmerican$3,034,400.00
14Peter ‘ppd’ DagerDota 2American$3,001,531.36
15Lu ‘Somnus丶M’ YaoDota 2Chinese$2,916,865.42
16Xu ‘fy’ LinsenDota 2Chinese$2,825,674.64
17Clement ‘Puppey’ IvanovDota 2Estonian$2,655,686.23
18Clinton ‘Fear’ LoomisDota 2American$2,531,840.19
19Gustav ‘s4’ MagnussonDota 2Swedish$2,502,654.11
20Ludwig ‘Zai’ WåhlbergDota 2Swedish$2,315,218.85

The presented data just makes it obvious how humongous the growth rate for esports has been and this is not the end of its growth. Esports is no more a waste of time and right now it is a very lucrative career option. In the coming years, it is excepted that the prize pool and the stakes at the event will go even higher thanks to the growing popularity of the scene worldwide and investments pouring in. From small LAN parties to events like The International, the journey of esports has been majestic in itself and we at talkesport will remain to witness the rest of its journey as esports takes over the world.

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