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The Rise of Professionalism In eSports

Gaming attracts large audiences these days.Source: Watbe/Wikimedia

Many commentators in video gaming technology now agree that the rise of electronic sports, or eSports, will mean that the industry reaches a multi-billion dollar level in the near future. This will put the professional video gaming sector into a similar category as some of the world’s most popular sports, such as soccer and American football. Understandably, the prize money, sponsorship deals and acclaim that surround today’s eSports competitions means that more and more gamers will seek to turn to it for a professional career. In case you don’t have the time – or the inclination – to put hundreds or thousands of hours of practice in to become an eSports professional, an online casino offers a much easier way to make a buck. That said, if you are looking for games to take up which offer the biggest purses, then read on.


In 2018, Fortnite: Battle Royale became the eSports platform which offered professional players the largest prize fund to date. The game, which was developed by Epic Games, was subject to a huge $100 million prize pool for the 2017-18 competitive season. Fortnite had been played as a professional eSport before that announcement but the large upscaling of the purse player would be able to get access to really whetted the appetites of many professional gamers. The move was unprecedented, making it the biggest professional eSport – in financial terms, at least – at a stroke. Of course, Fortnite’s makers have enjoyed tremendous amounts of success with their game and its brand. The huge rise in the prize fund for professionals represents as reinvestment in their platform, continuing to attract interest in it from die-hard gamers as well as achieving a great deal of publicity for the platform. Most of the best Fortnite players are located in the United States although more and more are breaking through from other parts of the world.

Fortnite is a very popular eSport game.Source: Sergey Galyonkin/Wikimedia

Dota 2

Published by Valve Corporation, Dota 2 is an online battle arena video game that is not dissimilar from Fortnite in many ways. In 2018, the International, a tournament of 18 teams which featured Dota 2, had a stunning total prize fund of $25.5 million dollars. The competition featured 90 of the world’s top players. The 2018 version of the International topped the prize fund’s history with almost a million dollars more being made available compared with the previous year. This followed an expansion of the tournament from 2016 when only 16 teams were able to compete for the top prize. At that time, the total prize fund was around $20.7 million. As such, Dota 2 – which simply stands for Defense of the Ancients – is one of the biggest games in the world from a the point of view of professional eSports, with some of the most consistent prize money being offered.

Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Another martial game that is near to the top of the prize fund league is Counter Strike: Global Offensive. This particular game may not enjoy the same big tournament money that Dota 2 does, but there are over 3,000 global tournaments that feature this game for players to show off their skills in. Therefore, taken across the entire range of competition, the total prizes that have thus far been won comes in at a whopping $69.8 million. Perhaps that why it was announced as eSports Game of the Year in 2016 by the industry. However, Counter Strike: Global Offensive usually has its tournaments capped so that players have to enter multiple competitions in order to win big. The top prizes for tournaments are usually set at $250,000.


One of the most popular up-and-coming games that is making big strides in the world of eSports is Overwatch. A first-person shooter, Overwatch is played as a team pursuit. It was first released in 2016. Since then, it has seen many professional tournaments spring up. The biggest prize fund of these came in the Season 1 play-offs which featured a total purse of $1.7 million. The regular season in that league also had a prize fund that exceeded the million dollar mark. Most of the top-earning professionals making money from Overwatch are from South Korea but an increasing number of European players are starting to take their share of the game’s prize funds.