Looking at the enormous prizes offered by the top esports games, it’s hard to believe that they were once dismissed as a passing trend.
No longer. Today, esports pros rival middle-ranking athletes and movie actors in earnings.
The top 10
1. Fortnite World Cup
|Prize fund:||$100m pledged by Epic|
|Number of players:||200 in the finals|
|Major players:||Kyle Giersdorf, Emil Bergquist Pedersen & David Wang|
Topping the list is the Fortnite World Cup. This gaming sensation shows no signs of easing, and frankly, there hasn’t been another game like it since its release in 2017.
A great blend of fast action and rewarding players who develop their skills and strategies, Fornite has become one of the top competition games.
The Fortnite World Cup is hosted at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, New York. The lucky person who finishes first wins $30 million.
2. The International (Dota 2)
|Prize fund:||$25 million|
|Number of teams:||20 in the finals|
|Major teams:||OG (Europe), PSG.LGD (China), Evil Geniuses (USA)|
Valve’s sequel to Defense of the Ancients, Dota 2, was launched in 2013. Its fast and furious gameplay keeps it among the top performers in terms of prize money and popularity.
3. Call of Duty World League
|Prize fund:||$6 million over more than 30 tournaments|
|Number of teams:||32 in CoD Championship 2019|
|Major teams:||eUnited (USA), 100 Thieves (USA), OpTic Gaming (USA)|
Over time, Call of Duty has continually reinvented itself, becoming a gaming staple on all platforms. The League has been running since 2015.
4. The Overwatch League
|Prize fund:||$5 million|
|Number of teams:||20|
|Major teams:||Vancouver Titans, San Francisco Shock, Shanghai Dragons, New York Excelsior|
The hero shooter Overwatch is a relative newcomer to the scene, having become an esport in 2018.
Since then, it’s earned a place in our top 10. Its generous pot makes it highly attractive to gamers.
5. Halo Championship Series
Played on Halo 2, the Halo Championship Series is the most prestigious event for this Microsoft classic shooter. Its large prize pool is spread over several tournaments.
|Prize fund:||$2.5 million|
|Number of teams:||16|
|Major teams:||Tox Gaming (USA), Splyce (USA), Team Reciprocity (USA)|
6. PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Mobile Club Open
|Prize fund:||$2 million|
|Number of teams:||32|
|Major teams:||FaZe Clan (Europe), Team Liquid (Europe), Natus Vincere (Ukraine)|
The massive Fortnite rival PUBG might not match the former in terms of prize money, but its immense fan base is undeterred — players battle it out from November 23rd.
7. League of Legends World Championship
|Number of teams:||24 in the finals|
|Major teams:||Invictus Gaming (China), Fnatic (Europe), Cloud9 (USA)|
Now in its 10th year, this fantasy epic remains immensely popular, with prize pots to make all that practice worthwhile. 200 million fans watched the 2018 final.
8. Clash Royale League
|Number of teams:||10|
|Major teams:||SK Gaming (Europe), Team Liquid (USA), Team Queso (Spain)|
The mobile game that started out as a Clash of Clans spin-off took on a life of its own and has since raised over a billion dollars for its developer Supercell.
It’s now a firm fixture in the esports world. Skrill’s sponsored team, QLASH, will be competing.
9. Intel Extreme Masters
|Prize fund:||$1 million|
|Number of teams:||24 in the finals|
|Major teams:||Astralis (Denmark), ENCE (Finland), MIBR (Brazil), Natus Vincere (Ukraine)|
This tournament includes titles such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Quake Live. It was held in Katowice, Poland in 2019, with a stadium full of screaming fans and millions more watching online.
10. Fortnite Secret Skirmish
|Number of players:||100|
|Major players:||72hrs (USA), Pearl (USA), Saf (USA)|
This invite-only ‘secret’ competition offered a tempting prize pot to the 100 hand-picked elite players, who battled it out at an undisclosed location.
… And it’s only going to get bigger
By our calculations, the top 10 games alone have put up $150 million this year. When you consider all the esports tournaments that didn’t make the top 10, it’s clear that an enormous amount of prize money is up for grabs.
Tip: Keep an eye out for QLASH, the esports team Skrill proudly sponsors – they’ve already won the Italian FIFA19 championship, and the team is always widening its list of games and players.