Esports tournaments and events are slowly returning. While nowhere near 2019 numbers, multiple games have earned over a million dollars in the first half of 2021.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive leads with $7.98 million in prize pool earnings. The top 10 games are:
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – $7.98 million
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds(PUBG) – $7.8 million
- Fortnite – $6.12 million
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile – $5.97 million
- DOTA 2: $5.42 million
- Rainbow Six Siege: $3.63 million
- Arena of Valor: $3.33 million
- Rocket League: $3.01 million
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War: $2.78 million
- Valorant: $2.75 million
More than one of those games have held major tournaments so far in 2021, including Rainbow Six Siege, PUBG, and Valorant. PUBG has awarded more money this year than in the entire 2020, and the mobile version is expected to have a bigger pool in the second half of the year.
DOTA 2, the game with the highest all-time prize pool, has its world championship, which boasts over $40 million, later on this year. Valorant’s pool is also expected to increase in the second half due to tournaments, world championships, and a large third-party ecosystem.
Fortnite and CS: GO are a bit different from the rest in terms of award money. Fortnite gives out larger awards for non-championship and online events than other games.
Meanwhile, CS: GO, the game with the most concurrent players on Steam, has a different ecosystem than the rest. The game is the least controlled by its publisher, Valve, and organizes the most third-party high-prize tournaments.
So far, the No.1 game of 2021 is also the only major game that is expected to match its 2020 prize pool, while all the rest are likely to beat it.
When it comes to teams that have earned the most money, Atlanta Faze leads in 2021, with $1.93 million earned from Call of Duty. Natus Vincere comes second with $1.7 million, accumulated from multiple games, but mostly CS: GO and DOTA 2.