In 2020, esports stars are hardly strapped for cash. While pro gamers were fighting for minuscule amounts of money and peripherals just a decade or so ago, today’s players at the highest level fight for millions of dollars each year.
In the last decade, thanks in large part to the popularization of Twitch, fans have started tuning into esports events at a prodigious rate. The growth has been impressive for each consecutive year since, and it doesn’t look to be slowing down. That growth in viewership has gone hand in hand with a massive increase in prize money on offer.
In 2019 alone, more than $215 million was awarded across more than 4,600 tournaments. That’s compared to just $13.8 million recorded by tracking website Esports Earnings in 2012.
Nearly a quarter of the 2019 total was awarded at the seventh edition of Valve’s annual Dota 2 event, The International. A whopping $34.3 million was shared across the 18 participating teams, with eventual champions OG netting a total of $15.6 million.
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