Over the past few years, eSports prize pools have started reaching some staggering totals as more sponsorship money and funds raised through in-game microtransactions have been put into tournaments. Even people who don't follow the video game industry have started to hear about some of the massive amounts of cash that winning teams have been able to earn through their gaming prowess.
With new records for total available winnings seeming to get broken every year it can be hard to keep track of which competition currently holds the title. So with this in mind, we decided to round up and rank the ten biggest eSports prizes ever.
10 Dota 2 Asia Championships 2015 ($3,057,521)
The 2015 Dota 2 Asian Championships were held in Shanghai and took place from January 5th to February 9th. Players were battling over a total prize pool of $3,057,521 that was in part raised by a purchasable compendium of cosmetics released in Dota 2 for the tournament. The compendium also offered additional rewards for players once certain funding goals had been met.
Evil Geniuses left the Asian Championships as the victorious team that year and brought back with them $1,284,158 in winnings. Vici Gaming came in second earning the group $366,902, and Team Secret ended up in third with $275,177 of the prize pool.
9 2018 Fortnite Fall Skirmish Series - Clubs Standings ($4,000,000)
The club portion of the 2018 Fortnite Fall Skirmish Series was a six-week competition that saw five clubs play for $4,000,000. The teams were each made up of 100 players that had been invited to the tournament by Epic Games, and the clubs earned points by completing weekly trials and high skill challenges.
Taking the top prize of $1,500,000 was the Dusty Dogs, with the Rift Raiders and Fort Knights earning $1,000,000 and $750,000 respectively for second and third place finishes.
8 League of Legends 2017 World Championship ($4,946,969)
Taking place in Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing, the League of Legends 2017 World Championship was held from September 23 to November 11 of the same year. The competition had a total prize pool of $4,946,969, which in part was raised by the sales of a unique Ashe skin.
The Samsung Galaxy managed to win the tournament and claimed $1,855,114 of the pot. In second the SK Telecom T1 took home $667,841, and in third Royal Never Give Up won $346,288.
7 League of Legends 2016 World Championship ($5,070,000)
Surprisingly the League of Legends 2016 World Championship had a $5,070,000 prize pool which was slightly higher than the 2017 tournament. The competition held matches in San Francisco, Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles and it was the first year fans could contribute to the tournament's prize pool via in-game purchases
In first place, SK Telecom T1 were crowned world champions and earned themselves $2,028,000. Behind SK in second place Samsung Galaxy received $760,500, and in third H2k-Gaming won $380,250.
6 League of Legends 2018 World Championship ($6,450,000)
Making up for the lower prize pool in 2017, the League of Legends 2018 World Championship had a sizeable increase in money with a total of $6,450,000 up for grabs. The 2018 tournament took place in the South Korean cities of Seoul, Busan, Gwangju, and Incheon. Once again the prize money was raised in part by sales of exclusive Championship skins.
Invictus Gaming won $2,418,750 of the prize pool as the 2018 winners, followed by Fnatic who took home $870,750 for finishing in second, and the third place team Cloud9 received $451,500.
5 The International 2014: Dota 2 Championships ($10,931,103)
The International 2014 was Dota 2's fourth International and at the time the tournament blew away past eSports prize pools with a massive $10,931,103 being fought over by teams from around the world. A large amount of this money was raised via the purchasable 2014 interactive compendium for the competition which boosted the original $1,600,000 pot to $6,000,000 in the first eleven days.
The champions of the Fourth International were Newbee who ended up winning a whopping $5,028,308. In second place Vici Gaming received $1,475,699, and Evil Geniuses won $1,038,455 in third.
4 The International 2015: Dota 2 Championships ($18,429,613)
After the huge success that was the 2014 International compendium, Valve released a new compendium of in-game cosmetics for the 2015 tournament and managed to get the prize pool all the way up to $18,429,613. This increase means that the fifth International's pot grew by $7,498,510 over the past year's $10,931,103.
For the 2015 competition, Evil Geniuses ended up in first and took home $6,634,660.68 after finishing third the previous year. CDEC Gaming placed second earning $2,856,590.02, and LGD Gaming found themselves in third having won $2,211,553.56.
3 The International 2016: Dota 2 Championships ($20,770,460)
Continuing to get bigger and bigger the 2016 International added an additional $2,340,847 for a total prize pool of $20,770,460. Valve continued to sell the compendium as it had it past years, but for 2016 the company rebranded the collection and began referring to it as The International Battle Pass. The battle pass was largely the same as past compendiums, but the funding stretch goals of previous tournaments were removed.
2016's Dota champions were Wings Gaming who earned an incredible $9,139,002, in second place was Digital Chaos winning $3,427,126.00, and back in third Evil Geniuses received $2,180,898.
2 The International 2017: Dota 2 Championships ($24,687,919)
Dota 2's 2017 championships' prize pool built off of the past year's success and managed to reach an astonishing $24,687,919. This continued growth was likely in large part due to the new addition of an exclusive multiplayer campaign to this tournament's battle pass. Titled Siltbreaker, the new mode tasked teams of four players with a variety of objectives throughout two acts.
As for The International 2017's winners, Team Liquid returned from the competition victorious and with $10,862,683 in winnings. In second were the 2014 champions Newbee who earned $3,950,067, and third place LGD.Forever Young won $2,592,231.
1 The International 2018: Dota 2 Championships ($25,532,177)
As you might have expected at this point the largest eSports prize pool ever was The International 2018's staggering $25,532,177. Not only is this close to a million dollar increase over the previous year, but it is also more than double the pot of the 2014 tournament. Once again Valve was selling a battle pass for the competition, but the 2018 version brought with it an exclusive dungeon brawl, Mutation Mode queue, and ranked match party system for challenging opponents with higher ratings.
The 2018 tournament's top three teams were OG who won $11,234,158 as champions, PSG.LGD came in second to earn $4,085,148, and once again in third were Evil Geniuses who brought home $2,680,879.