As reported on the Red Bull website, this week the DOTA 2 eSPorts scene crossed a watermark with the total prize winnings handed out going over the 100 million mark. This is a significant day in the short history of the eSports landscape as a whole, as DOTA 2 leads the pack with regards to the number of events and the amount of prize money that has been awarded.
For those of you who are just hearing about eSports recently, this figure may seem staggering, but the space has been growing significantly over the last few years, especially in Asia. Those of us old enough to remember when online poker had its boom in 2003 can already sense what is going to happen with eSPorts – massive growth rates over the next decade as the field grows internationally and as more games are entered into the competitive matrix.
Further reading of the Red Bull piece uncovers some incredible stats that break down the rise of DOTA 2 to the 100 million mark. For example, the $100 million in prizes was awarded in 743 individual tournaments, with an average of just over $135,000 in each event. This figure does include the major event The International, which alone awarded 20 million last year. By comparison, the Main Event of the World Series of Poker had a prize pool of approximately $8 million in 2016.
The stat that was even more incredible is that of the $100 million in DOTA 2 prizing, almost one quarter was won by only two teams, EG and Wings Gaming. These two eSports legends collected over $15 million alone for winning the last two International Championships. Wings Gaming is now defunct, having broken up into separate squads recently.
Not surprisingly, Chinese teams have won over $38 million of the DOTA 2 prizes. The eSports phenomenon started in Asia and has been dominated across the board by Asian players. The North American scene is growing rapidly, however, and that can be seen in the results of the more recent competitions.
In an interesting twist, you would likely be shocked to find out that only $5 million in prizes has been awarded in online-only competitions. eSports finds itself in a fascinating place right now, as thousands of spectators love to watch these tournaments in person, paying to sit in sports arenas watching the game unfold in real time on the big screens. This is similar to the live poker phenomenon. However the eSPorts matches are far more exciting to watch, so it is bringing a more diverse, intense crowd to the arena.
DOTA 2 is far and away the most successful game in the eSports space, but it won’t be long before other games catch up to their totals. League of Legends, one of the most popular games ever made, already has over $40 million in prize money generated, and it has not been around for nearly as long as DOTA 2.
You can expect to read about significant milestones being hit in the eSports industry on a more regular basis, and we will bring you all the news on this exciting new gaming space as it happens.
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