Dota 2 has become the first esport to hand out over $100m in prize money.
That’s the figure according to EsportsEarnings.com, who say that $100m+ has been given out to 1952 players over 741 tournaments. In second place is League of Legends, which has handed out $41m+ over 1866 tournaments. It seems it’s a good time to be a Dota player, with players earning more money, generally, than athletes in any other esport.
A large part of this is that Valve crowdfunds the prizes for its big Dota tournaments. Valve gave away $20m in prizes at its biggest tournament, The International, in 2016. Currently the prize pool for The International in 2017 is hovering around $14.5m, but with several weeks still remaining before the tournament, it’s possible that this year’s event will trend even higher.
Moving away from the tentpole event, each of Valve’s Dota Major’s hand out $3m, with premium events handing out somewhere in the region of $300,000 to $500,000. All of this information is grabbed from the Dota2.Prizetrac.kr
On the flip-side, looking at the two closest competitors League of Legends, LoL’s biggest international tournament, Worlds, handed out just $5m. This isn’t an inconsequential amount, but it pales in comparison to that offered by Dota.
There are 31 players in esports that have earned over $1m in prize money. 30 of these are Dota 2 players, and the final one is League of Legends superstar Lee ‘Faker’ Sang Hyeok. Considering Sang Hyeok is called God by the League of Legends community for his skill, it says a lot about the difference in cash incentives between Dota 2 and League of Legends.
While Riot Games’ MOBA is now crowdsourcing prizes for major tournaments itself, it still has a long way to go before it can hand out as much cash as Dota 2 has handed out, which is, frankly, a phenomenal amount of money.