In 2018 almost $149 million dollars were paid in esports tournaments. We take a look at the biggest esports tournaments this year.

For the fourth year running, leadership in the most rewarding tournaments is held by The International for Dota 2. If in 2014 the prize fund was $11,000,000, in 2018 $25,500,000 were played in the main tournament of the year (although the prize fund compared to 2017 increased only by 1 million).

Following DOTA 2 is the League of Legends world finals with $6,450,000 in prize money. At the WESG 2017 finals in Dota 2 and CS: GO, a total of $ 3,000,000 was awarded.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive had a total of $22,000,000 awarded in prize money this year.

In 2018, Denmark’s Astralis dominated the pro scene. The Danish five for the year won the seventh and eighth season of the ESL Pro League, the fifth and sixth season of the Esports Championship Series, ELEAGUE CS: GO Premier, FaceIT Major London 2018 and took one million dollars in the Intel Grand Slam. Each player has earned approximately $730,000 (prize money only) in the tournament year.

The second place was occupied by the Swedes from fnatic (250 – 280 thousand dollars), who did not have their best year, but won World Electronic Sports Games 2017 and Intel Extreme Masters XII.

Following them are Stewie2k and tarik (273 and 250 thousand), who, as part of Cloud9, won a major in Boston, and then won several prizes for mibr. However, in the near future, players plan to leave the Brazilian organization. Stewie2k plans to join Team Liquid, and Tarik will be sent to the transfer market.

The top also got players from Natus Vincere. Electronic earned about $262,000, and other players of the Ukrainian organization about $235,000. The reason for this was his third place at the WESG 2017 in the Russian team. The Ukrainian national team, not for the first, but not the last time, refused the finals, although it won the European qualifier.

Dota 2 saw a record $41.2 million awarded this year.

The breakthrough of the year from European Union OG (Ana, Topson, 7ckingMad, Notail, jerAx) at The International 2018 put the players in first place in terms of earnings. Each player has earned $2,290,000 this year.

JerAx and Topson will give approximately 60% of the prize money from the main tournament of the year as taxes. This is how the system works in Finland, but the quality of life there is at the level. It is also worth noting that both players attended a reception in honor of Independence Day in Finland, to which they received an invitation from the President of the country. In November, Ana left OG, and his place was taken by former Natus Vincere player Pajkatt.

China’s PSG.LGD finalists also earned a million dollars each. The Chinese squad showed good results throughout the year, including a victory in EPICENTER XL and MDL Changsha Major.

The top three also included players of Russian Federation representing Virtus.pro. The roster went through the majors in 2018 (Katowice, Birmingham, Bucharest, Kuala Lumpur and second place at Chinese Dota2 Supermajor).

Unfortunately, at The International 2018 Virtus.pro took only 5-6th place, losing in the losers’ grid to the Evil Geniuses team. On average, players earned $ 840,000 in prize money, not counting the Mercedes for MVP on the majors. Ukrainian Vladimir “No[o]ne” Minenko earned less than other players in the line-up, as the Russian team won the 2017 WESG final against Brazilians from paiN Gaming.

Fortnite came in third with $ 20 million in prizes up for grabs in 2018. Not left behind and the most popular game of the year. The developers of Epic Games conducted a series of tournaments with huge prize pools.

The top seven positions in earnings in the Battle Royale took the residents of the United States (Tfue, Cloak, Bizzle, NateHill, Poach, 72hrs). Players earned from 250 to 450 thousand dollars each. The developers do not plan to stop sponsoring new tournaments with millions in prize pools.

However, the most famous streamer, Tyler “Ninja” Blave, receives invitations to the most popular show in the US, streams with rapper Drake, and also plans to hold a New Year’s stream marathon in Times Square.

The top also included such games as League of Legends, PUBG, Overwatch, HoTS, Hearthstone, CoD and Starcraft II. Unfortunately, in 2019, Blizzard decided to abandon the esports series HGC and other supported tournaments.

Serral dominated StarCraft II on the professional scene. The Finnish player won about seven WCS tournaments, and most importantly, the WCS world finals. In this case, the player bypassed six Korean players, and earnings in 2018 amounted to $479,000 — not far off the biggest esports titles.

With esports booming, the next year should bring even larger prize pools and even more tournaments. Within the current projections, we could see upwards of $200 million dollars given in prize money in 2019 alone.

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