It’s been almost 50 years since the first video game competition. It was 1972 when Rolling Stone magazine decided to sponsor, in conjunction with the University of Harward, the first Spacewar tournament. Back then, the winner was given a year’s subscription to the magazine. Almost 50 years after that first event, eSports have become a mass phenomenon. In fact, in 2021, it is estimated that the eSports market revenue will be over $1.084 million (US). A figure that is expected to further rise by 60% in the next three years. But what are the games that from 2000 to 2020 had higher total rewards for players? This and other data we are going to analyze in this new article. Top E-Sports Games by Prize Money
Top ESports Games by Prize Money (2000-2020)
Let’s start by answering a first question. What are the best E-Sports games based on prize money from 2000 to 2020? According to esportearnings data, in 2020, the top game in the world in terms of prize money was Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The value of prizes in this game was $15,937,064.57. A total of 591 official tournaments were played and 2979 players participated. In second place in this special ranking is Arena Of Valor. The prize value of this game was almost 10 million dollars. To be precise $9,500,997.45. In this case the players involved in the tournaments were much less, 255, and the tournaments 13. But the prizes were very high. In third position we find Dota 2 with a figure above 9 million and in fourth position Fortnite, which has been at the top of the ranking for a few years now. The prizes awarded worldwide for Fortnite were $8,876,401.39. There were 1681 players involved and 127 tournaments played. The 2020 top 15 also included League Of Legends, Call of Duty and many others. Apex Legends closes the top 15 with $2,224,469.
And what about in 2000, 21 years ago? It was certainly different when it came to the amounts of money to be won. The top game in terms of prizes in 2000 was Quake III Arena with a figure of $415,000. In 2000, Quake III Arena saw 28 tournaments played around the world and 97 players involved. In second place we find StarCraft: Brood War with 133 thousand dollars and in third place the mythical Age Of Empires II. In fourth place is FIFA 2000. This saga, thanks to the annual publication of the games, will often be in the top 15 worldwide. In general, in addition to the data of the individual games, it is interesting to note that the Total Prize Money in 2000 was around $745,000. In 2020 this figure rose to $121,414,185.92.
Top E-Sports Games of 2021 by Prize Money
The figures for 2021 are still partial. There is still a quarter to go before we can fully understand which games will have the highest jackpots. However, thanks to the data in various databases, it is possible to find out which games are the top ones. Counter-Strike: Global leads the partial ranking for 2021. The value of this game’s prizes is already 12,661,549 today, and if this trend continues, the 2021 value will easily surpass that of 2020. In second place is Arena of Valor, while Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds has had a leap forward since the beginning of the year with a value of $7,854,153.00. In fourth and fifth place are confirmed Fortnite and Dota 2.
In the tree map above you can see the distribution of the top E-sports games by Prize Money in the first eight months of 20201. The top five games – up to Dota 2 – occupy almost 50% of the total distribution of the top 30 games.
E-sports: a booming market
The figures speak for themselves. The eSports market is and will be growing very rapidly in recent years. If in 2019 the total between casual viewers and “eSports enthsiasts” was already almost 400 million people worldwide, it is estimated that in 2024 this figure could reach 577 million, with a not very distant growth of +50%. Casual viewers are expected to rise from 200 million in 2019 to 291.6 in 2024. If we think about it, this figure has already grown by +20% in just two years with 240 million occasional users in 2021. The number of esports enthusiasts will also increase considerably, from 197 million to 285.7 million. Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1109956/global-esports-audience/
The trend, for those in doubt, is also confirmed by the jump in the number of streamers on Twitch in recent months. In January 2021, the number of active streamers on Twitch worldwide was almost 10 million. That’s a huge increase from 2.97 million just three years earlier.
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If you liked this article, I recommend you also read: Best selling Console of all time – 1972/2021
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