In the last decade, or two, eSports tournaments attracted small prize pools and viewership. But with the blossoming of the industry, today, we have significant competitions and contests attracting colossal prize pools and viewership, just like traditional sports.
In this roundup, we have sampled the three biggest eSports tournaments based on the prize pool and viewership.
The International (TI)
Dota 2’s The International (TI) is the biggest eSports tournament. First held in 2013, the tournament’s prize pool is crowdfunded via the in-game battle pass dubbed “Compendium”. The most recent tournament was The International 2022, which attracted a prize pool of around £15 million. The previous tournament, The International 2021, had a £29 million prize pool, with viewership peaking at 2.7 million. The current champions are Tundra Esports.
League of Legends World Championship
Popularised as The Worlds, this is the second biggest eSports tournament that pits the elite League of Legends eSports teams from across the globe. It has been organised since 2011 by Riot Games, LOL’s game developer. In the last tournament held in 2021, LoL Worlds didn’t attract a massive prize pool. Riot Games floated around £6 million, but the viewership was incredible, peaking at around 4.7 million.
CS: GO Major Championships
The third is the CS: GO Major Championships which brings the best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive eSports outfits in a vicious battle for glory. Introduced in 2013 at DreamHack Winter, the tournament doesn’t have a giant kitty. Still, its viewership makes it a cut above the rest. The latest Majors, the PGL Major Stockholm 2021, had a £1.7 million prize pot while viewership peaked at 2.74 million.
Other worthy mentions include the Fortnite World Cup (Fortnite), Honor of Kings Champion Cup (Arena of Valor), and PUBG Mobile Global Championship (PUBG).
As the eSports industry continues growing, expect the prize pools to go even higher now that big brands are splashing money into the industry.