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We will start this list with the lowest (or is it..) prize pool tournament. But first, let's see what is eSports, for all the readers who aren't familiar with it.
eSports (also known as electronic sports, eSports, e-sports, competitive (video) gaming, professional (video) gaming, or pro gaming) is a form of competition using video games Most commonly, eSports take the form of organized, multiplayer video game competitions, particularly between professional players. The most common video game genres associated with eSports are a real-time strategy, fighting, first-person shooter (FPS), and multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA).
So let's start.
The third largest eSports tournament is called ELEAGUE Season 1. It features the game called Counter-Strike Global: Offensive which is a multiplayer first-person shooter video game.
ELEAGUE is the first Counter-Strike: Global Offensive league to be streamed on cable television.
The tournament alone was broadcasted with 5 analysts, 2 interviewers, 4 commentators, 2 observers and one producer.
The prize pool was spread like this:
Place $ USD Team
1st $400,000 Virtus.pro
2nd $140,000 Fnatic
3rd-4th $70,000 mousesports
3rd-4th $60,000 Natus Vincere
Second most paid eSports tournament was the League of Legends 2016 World Championship. It was the sixth world championship for League of Legends, a video game developed by Riot Games.
It was the first time that the tournament prize pool was partly crowd-funded, the first prize pool was somewhere around $2,130,000 and was increased later by the purchase of all in-game skins for champions.
16 teams competed for the prize pool, and 3 of them were from China, 3 from Korea, 3 from Europe, 3 from North America, 2 from Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macao, 2 from International Wildcard.
The tournament's overall peak was 28,263,260 viewers!
The prize pool was distributed like this:
Places Team Prize (USD)
1st SK Telecom T1 $2,680,000
2nd Samsung Galaxy $1,005,000
3rd–4th ROX Tigers $502,500
The tournament was broadcasted by 2 hosts, 8 commentators, and 13 analysts.
And now the most prominent eSports tournament in the history of eSports is the one and only, the magnificent “The International 2017: Dota 2 Championships“.
Dota 2 is free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game.
This tournament is the seventh to bear its name “The International.” Also, one interesting fact is that Dota 2 takes places from 1-4 on the list of biggest tournaments, all of them bear the nickname TI (The International).
2 Hosts broadcasted the tournament, 2 observers, 2 interviewers, 14 commentators, 5 analysts, 2 content creators, 1 newbie stream, 2 all-star match commentators, 2 en/cn interpreters and + that much broadcasters for foreign languages.
“An Interesting fact is that in just two days the prize pool raised for $6 million only from selling the Battle Pass. Over 1,3 million Dota 2 players purchased it.”
The prize pool was spread like this:
PLACE $ USD PERCENT
1st $ 10,862,683 44%
2nd $ 3,950,067 16%
3rd $ 2,592,231 10,5%
4th $ 1,728,154 7%
5th – 6th $ 1,110,956 4,5%
7th – 8th $ 617,198 2,5%
9th – 12th $ 370,319 1,5%
13th – 16th $ 123,440 0,5%
17th – 18th $ 61,720 0,25%
eSports is a beast of a niche; it is growing and growing each day, many famous people, companies, sports teams are investing in it, so we can only expect that in the years to come we will see more and more tournaments with abundant prize pools.