Top 10 Esports Games – What are the biggest paying esports in 2021?
Esports prize funds are increasing in value, and the industry is growing at an exponential rate. Over 50 million in prize funds have already been awarded in 2021 alone, and we haven’t even reached major level events like LoL Worlds and The International. By the end of 2021, there will be over 100 million paid out in prize funds across 10 titles alone.
Here are the top 10 esports games in 2021, ranked by payouts and tournament numbers. Do keep in mind, this is only a glimpse at a specific point in time and the values change daily if not hourly.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive
Counter Strike Global Offensive is the biggest esport in the world. Played and watched by millions, this title has a global audience and player base. Even though almost all of this year’s tournaments have been played online it has maintained its viewership and sponsors. Not only that but multiple grassroots leagues have popped up as well.
CSGO featured $9,792,965.79 in prize money for 2355 Players across 274 Tournaments.
Player Unknown: Battlegrounds (Mobile and PC)
Player Unknown: Battlegrounds was popular on PC when it first came out. With the rise in popularity of mobile gaming, PUBG mobile has developed its own professional scene. With both of these iterations of the game gaining popularity, it was only a matter of time before it reached the top 10.
PUBG and PUBG mobile combined featured $13,778,898.00 in prize pool for 521 Players across 16 tournaments.
Dota 2 is known for hosting the biggest esports tournament in the world every year: The International. With a massive crowdfunded prize pool and incredible production, Dota 2 dominates the esports news cycle whenever it rolls around. Members of the community take massive pride in this tournament and the entire Dota year revolves around it.
Dota 2 featured $5,471,750.51 in prize pool for 726 Players across 48 Tournaments.
Fortnite blew up in a big way and gathered a massive player base which extended into a large number of viewers on Fortnite livestreams. Livestreamers enjoyed massive amounts of viewers and exposure over a long period of time. Since the game was free to play, people of all ages were able to download and play this game. It was a worldwide phenomenon. It continued on this way for a long time. There are still Fortnite tournaments happening featuring the best players in the world. Though it seems to be declining in popularity, the esports tournament scene seems to be chugging along just fine.
Fortnite featured $6,120,128.30 in prize money for 603 Players across 35 Tournaments.
League of Legends
League of Legends has been around for over twelve years now, growing in popularity every year. With established leagues in Europe, Asia and North America, it is safe to say that League of Legends is a game with consistent worldwide viewership. With that viewership comes money and sponsors. Many players make a living playing this game and that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
League of Legends featured $1,991,947.87 in prize pool for 781 Players across 37 Tournaments.
Rocket League has been on the steady rise for several years now. With a full league and good production surrounding it, this wild and fast paced game is surprisingly fun to watch. Due to how easy it is to learn, fans get a feeling that they can compete with the world’s best players. This leads to fans falling in love with the game and the dream of playing professionally.
Rocket League featured $3,317,697.28 in prize pool for 633 Players across 187 Tournaments.
Valorant hit the ground running when Covid hit, catching the eyes of FPS players across the world. So much so that many 2nd tier and a few 1st tier Counter Strike players switched to play this game professionally. Due to all of the different abilities, fast paced nature and high skill cap, Valorant is the biggest competitor to CSGO. Riot knows this and has been pushing hard to establish themselves in North America. It can be argued that they currently have a more solid hold on the North American First Person Shooter viewership. The game will surely continue to explode with all of the weight Riot is putting behind it.
Valorant featured $2,846,621.80 in prize pool for 1029 Players across 101 Tournaments.
Call of Duty: Warzone
Call of Duty Warzone took the world by storm upon its release. A fun, fast paced and free to play game in the same genre as Fortnite came at just the right time. Taking hold as the top battle royale style game, Warzone quickly developed a professional scene with a large following.
Warzone featured $3,391,186.14 in prize pool for 624 Players across 115 Tournaments.
Rainbow Six: Siege
Siege has been around for a long time now. This game would be considered a cult classic of sorts, where it has a very loyal hardcore playerbase who have dedicated a significant portion of their time to this game. As it is less forgiving for people just starting out, it has not seen the growth of more accessible games. It has stayed consistent due to the loyalty of its grassroots fans and will probably continue this way for the foreseeable future.
Rainbow Six: Siege featured $3,784,702.28 in prize pool for 242 Players across 12 Tournaments.
Though it seems to be in decline in its player base, there is still a healthy professional scene with decent viewership. Though it may soon disappear from the top 10, it brought many revolutionary concept to the battle royale genre that you see in the most popular games today.