TI10 Prize Pool Compared to Other Esports and Sports Prize Pools

Daniel Royte
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  • The prize pool for 2021's TI10 has clocked in at just above $40 Million USD in total, surpassing last year’s total pool of $34 Million making it the esports tournament with the highest prize pool in history.
  • Fortnite’s biggest event prize pool was the Fortnite World Cup Finals of 2019 which boasted a $15 Million prize pool. Fortnite is the only other esport than Dota 2 to break the $10 Million prize pool mark which is an impressive feat.
  • The 2020 UEFA Champions League, which is played by teams from the European football Leagues, had a massive prize pool of €2 Billion ($4.27 Billion)l, easily becoming the largest prize pool in any sports event in the world.

The International, Dota 2’s biggest event has always boasted the highest prize pool in esports since the first TI in 2011. Each year’s TI continues to surpass the previous year in terms of prize pool and continues to raise the bar for the highest prize pool in esports. The prize pool for 2021's TI10 has clocked in at just above $40 Million USD in total, surpassing last year’s total pool of $34 Million making it the esports tournament with the highest prize pool in history. Here is a brief look at how TI10’s prize pool compares against that of other esports’ and traditional sports’ biggest prize pools.

How does TI10’s prize pool compare to those of other esports and traditional sports?

Esports

Dota 2 has by far the highest prize pool amongst all other esports titles with TI consistently breaking records every consecutive year. This is only possible due to the yearly Battle Pass that Valve releases during the year, the earnings of which directly fund the prize pool for The International. Spending on exclusive skins and other collectibles is what drives Dota 2's huge prize pool.

League of Legends

The biggest prize pool of a League of Legends tournament was the 2018 LoL World Championship which had $6.4 Million in total prize pool which is quite less in comparison to that of TI10.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

The CS:GO event with the biggest prize pool was WESG 2016 which had a prize pool of $1.5 Million which is quite less in comparison to TI10. CS:GO however somewhat made up the difference with its frequency of such events.

Fortnite

Battle Royale Fortnite’s biggest event prize pool was the Fortnite World Cup Finals of 2019 which boasted a $15 Million prize pool. Fortnite is the only other esport than Dota 2 to break the $10 Million prize pool mark which is an impressive feat.

Apex Legends

The biggest prize pool of an Apex Legends event is only $500,000 from the ApexLegends Preseason Invitational and TwitchCon 2019: Apex Legends. This is not surprising as the game is a newer entry into the esports scene compared to a decade-old title like Dota 2. Apex Legends’ viability as an esport is also under scrutiny considering the gameplay style of the Battle Royale game. 

VALORANT

VALORANT recently held their first LAN and their first international tournament, the VALORANT Champions Tour 2021: Reykjavík, in Iceland which had a prize pool of $600,000. The esport has plenty of room to grow considering the event was the firsts of its kind for the game. The future seems bright for VALORANT esport events. 

Free Fire

Free Fire’s largest prize pool event is the recent Free Fire World Series 2021, Singapore which had a $2 Million prize pool, one of the highest amongst all mobile esports tournaments.

PUBG Mobile

PUBG Mobile’s biggest prize pool event surpasses that of Free Fire’s by only a small margin. The Peacekeeper Elite League 2020 Season 3 had a $2.6 Million prize pool. PUBG Mobile is arguably the biggest mobile esports currently but is highly contested by Free Fire. 

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang

The mobile MOBA esports entry Mobile Legends is currently in competition with League of Legends’ mobile counterpart Wild Rift in the mobile MOBA esports department. Mobile Legends’ biggest prize pool tournament was the M2 World Championship 2021 with a $297,000 prize pool. 

RELATED:  TI10 Is Now The Biggest Prize Pool in Esports History

Sports

Despite having a massive prize pool compared to other esports titles, TI's prize pool is only now beginning to compete against traditional sports tournaments. This is because of the differences in how the ecosystems differ between sports and esports. There are some traditional sports that have existed for decades or centuries. A traditional sport also benefits from non-endemic sponsors, which is rare in the  esports ecosystem. Moreover, esports tournaments are broadcast online for free and do not require a ticket purchase system, which is not the case with traditional sports where you have to pay to watch them, which in turn leads to lucrative media rights deals which help fund massive prize pools for these tournaments. 

Tennis: The Australian Open 2019

The largest prize pool in a Tennis event was the 2019 Australian Open which boasted a hefty $62 Million in total prize pool easily outnumbering esports’ biggest event by a large amount. And this is only a start to the crazy prize pools of traditional sports.

Cricket: IPL 2019

The 2019 season of the Indian Premier League, a professional T-20 Cricket League had a total prize pool of ₹500 million (US$7.0 million), with the winning team netting ₹200 million (US$2.8 million). A significantly lower prize pool than TI10’s considering Cricket’s lesser popularity in traditional sports. 

Soccer: The 2020 UEFA Champions League

Soccer is easily the most popular sport in the world and with its position comes big tournaments with big money. The 2020 UEFA Champions League, which is played by teams from the European football Leagues, had a massive prize pool of €2 Billion ($4.27 Billion)l, easily becoming the largest prize pool in any sports event in the world.

Racing: Formula 1 2021

F1’s 2021 prize money pool has been estimated to be around $797 Million, a huge amount of money that makes it the second-largest sport in prize pool money behind the UEFA Champions League. F1’s total revenue pool with teams and shareholders however is estimated to cross $1 Billion in 2021 which means even more money in the sport.

Baseball: The 2019 MLB World Series

In the 2019 MLB World Series, which was played in the U.S., the total prize pool of the players was $80 Million, making it one of the biggest sports prize pools compared to other sports like cricket and tennis. 

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Daniel is an under-grad and has grown up with esports titles like Dota 2 cultivating a passion for esports. His current beats include in-depth coverage of Dota 2 and Mobile Legends.

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