Fortnite passes CSGO on list of total esports prize money awarded

Brent H. September 26, 2019

Fortnite has overtaken Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to take the number two spot on the list of total prize money awarded by games in esports competitions.

Fortnite is already on pace to overtake Dota 2 as the top esport in terms of prize money awarded. With only 495 tournaments played thus far, Fortnite has awarded an average of $167,493 per tournament. Dota 2 averages $173,828 per tournament.

If you’ve followed esports metrics then you’ll know that some of the most cited statistics are hours watched, total views, and concurrent viewers. Often these are used as a way for someone to rate the strength or weakness of the competitive esports scene for a particular game.

Years ago, the top sport was tossed back and forth between Starcraft: Brood War and Counter-Strike.

Eventually, League of Legends burst onto the scene, followed by Dota 2 taking the overall lead in dramatic fashion thanks to The International, arguably the biggest annual tournament in esports and certainly the biggest in terms of prize pool, with 2019’s prize pool totalling over $34-million. It is the crown jewel in the Dota 2 competitive scene and largely responsible for the game’s number one ranking.

Dota 2 is still well ahead of Fortnite with more than $216 million dollars awarded over 1,245 tournaments, but Fortnite has managed to take the number two spot with just under 500 events played in a short period of time.

CS:GO held the second spot on the list for a good while and was only recently overtaken by Fortnite. Fortnite exploded onto the competitive esports scene with massive prize pools for many of their earliest competitive tournaments. They recently awarded $30 million in prize money for their Fortnite World Cup event as part of their promised $100 million given in prize money in 2019.

That event saw one player, Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, take home the solo championship and a $3,000,000 first-place prize. 

Fortnite has awarded $82,909,282 in prize money already. CS:GO sits just behind with $82,728,806. With Fortnite developer Epic Games pumping money into the title’s competitive scene, that gap is likely to widen in the future.

Dota 2 had held the top spot since the summer of 2014 when The International prize pool first topped $10 million. The previous year’s edition of the tournament had a prize pool of just under $3 million.

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