What Is The Biggest Esports Tournament? – Prize Pools & Viewers
Esports has come a long way in popularity and profitability. From its humble beginnings, the industry weathered countless bouts of stigma and desolation to become one of the fastest-growing sources of entertainment in the world. Asking “What is the biggest esports tournament?” it’s a more than legitimate question and below you will find your answer. Some people might be surprised by how big these tournaments can get but if they were following this industry for long enough then they would not have been caught off guard with such an obvious response to their inquiry.
Relative to the evolution of video games, esports underwent various eras that eventually led to the current condition it inhabits. From the cramped halls of college dorms in the 1970s to the mega indoor stadiums of the 2020s, esports’ appeal and esports history grew to transcend the old stereotype that branded players as hopeless social rejects.
No longer do these rejects reside in their mother’s basement to play their favorite games. They compete and practice in the same realm as traditional athletes and hold the interest of prominent investors. Nowadays, when people hear esports, they don’t think of it as a putrid pastime. They treat it as a bonafide money-making venture coming from the esport biggest prize pool.
Though esports is flourishing at an all-time high, how does the industry continue to grow amidst its unending audience? It does so by organizing major tournaments with the excess amount of winnings, of course.
What are the biggest esports tournaments in terms of prize pool and viewership? Here is a list of the four biggest esports events as of 2021.
1. The International (Dota 2)
The International coming into first place is no surprise to anyone familiar with esports. The Dota 2’s centerpiece event cracks in the list as the biggest esports tournament around. Boasting the biggest esports prize pool in $40 million-plus for its tenth edition. Valve looks set to distribute the winnings to each of the participating 18 teams based in six regions. The winner will take home nearly $18 million.
The two-week-long celebration was originally slated for August 2020 in Stockholm, Sweden, but it was postponed for next year due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Later, to complicate matters, the Swedish government failed to designate esports as an official sport, prompting Valve to relocate the event to Bucharest, Romania.
Pending further changes, TI10 will occur on October 7-17, approximately two months after its original date.
2. Fortnite World Cup Finals (Fortnite)
Epic Games threw their first major esports event for their flagship game with a massive bang. With $30 million up for grabs in two events (solo and duo), the Fortnite World Cup Finals hosted 200 eager players who looked to make their mark on the game’s nascent history.
With the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, New York serving as the main setting, Fortnite crowned Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf as its first world champion after winning the singles event, beating 99 other players. Additionally, he won $3 million in prize money, becoming one of esports richest players overnight.
In the duos, Europeans Emil “nyhrox” Pederson and David “aqua” Wang outlasted 49 other pairs to win $3 million of their own.
3. PUBG Global Invitational.S 2021 (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds)
From February 5 to March 28, PUBG held its first major event of the 2021 season with the PUBG Global Invitational.S, a 32-team tournament with $7.1 million in prize money, the largest in the game’s history.
The original prize pool was $3.5 million, but thanks to crowdfunding and other monetary guarantees, it doubled to $7.1 million. With teams participating in three distinct locations, PGI.S lasted for two months of league play, culminating in an extraordinary finale.
When the dust settled, NA’s Susquehanna Soniqs became world champions and earned the $1,296,189 grand prize.
4. League of Legends Worlds Championship
LoL Worlds is likely the most watched esports event in history. With its 2018 iteration attracting nearly a hundred million viewers, it is by far the largest esports tournament by audience count. The prize purse for Worlds is never high enough to compete with the likes of The International of the Fortnite World Cup, but was still a “decent” $6.7 million in 2018 up from $4.5 million in 2017.
Riot Games objective was never to award huge prize purses, as most teams in the competitive ecosystem already have franchised leagues and profit sharing deals. However, with such a huge audience count, their “humble” prize funds are still up there among the biggest prize pools in esports history.
This year, the tournament heads back to China for a multi-city multi-venue extravaganza starting on the 27th of September.
The Top Esports Tournaments for Esports Betting
Similar to the growth of tournaments, esports betting is increasing in popularity as well. With the creation of various esports betting websites, fans can wager their money with the potential of incurring a hefty profit. Even so, the appeal of accurately predicting the winner of a match isn’t the only thing in esports betting. People can also wager on specific situations to happen in a game, such as in traditional sports.
Although people can bet in whatever tournament they prefer to cover, it doesn’t hurt for them to try their luck in the biggest events esports has to offer. With this perspective, the possibilities of betting are practically endless.
Such contests include Dota 2’s The International, the League of Legends World Championship, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s catalogue of majors, and the Overwatch League.