The 10 Biggest Esports of the First Half of 2019 by Total Prize Pool – The Esports Observer


For example, newcomer made the list, along with growing , which has already topped its total prize pool for all of 2018. Meanwhile, officially abandoned is nowhere in sight following $6.52M USD in prizing during 2018.

The year’s final ranking could look a lot different with well-funded events such as the World Cup and The International 2019 on the horizon. However, six months in, these are the 10 games that have awarded the most money in 2019, accounting for just over $50M in combined prizing to date.

First Half 2019 Prize Pool: $1.65M

has been expanding the esports reach of its annual soccer simulation with , thanks to various regional leagues and the eChampions League. So far in 2019, $1.65M has been awarded, with the largest share of that—$280K—coming from the eChampions League Finals. FIFA Ultimate Team Champions Cup events have also contributed a significant amount of that total, with a pair of $200K tournaments in the mix.


First Half 2019 Prize Pool: $1.83M

and parent company Hasbro have made a big push with esports in 2019, with to boost the competitive scene of the collectible card game between both its digital and paper versions. Amazingly, the vast majority of that $1.83M esports sum has come from just two events: March’s $1M Mythic Invitational, and June’s $750K Mythic Championship 2019.

Wizards has also hosted a pair of $500K paper Magic Mythic Championship tournaments so far this year, and while they are part of the same circuit as the digital Arena matches, we have not included that prizing in our total above.

 First Half 2019 Prize Pool: $2.26M

Even with a well-funded challenge from Magic: The Gathering Arena, Blizzard’s long-running card game is still chugging along in 2019. $2.26M total so far this year is anchored by April’s $1M 2019 World Championship. That’s the largest event so far this year, but other significant events include the $493K Masters Tour 2019 Las Vegas and $250K Hearthstone Championship Tour Winter Championship.


 First Half 2019 Prize Pool: $2.64M

 Ubisoft’s tactical shooter has already surpassed its entire 2018 prize pool of $1.93M. In fact, the Six Invitational 2019—Rainbow Six Siege‘s de facto world championship—alone surpassed last year’s tally with $2M. That came in large part due to additional revenue generated by in-game purchases, which also benefits teams in the Rainbow Six Pro League. Will Rainbow Six Siege still sit in the Top 10 once the full year is over? It’s off to a good start after six months.


 First Half 2019 Prize Pool: $2.74M

  (PUBG) finished fifth last year with $7.58M in prizing, so 2019’s half-year tally appears to be lagging behind at a glance. Still, there’s quite a bit more money coming ahead for the battle royale shooter, most notably with November’s $2M Global Championship. The $2.74M awarded to date is led by January’s $500K PUBG Asia Invitational 2019 and April’s $400K Global Summit: PUBG Classic.

 First Half 2019 Prize Pool: $3.35M

  is in full swing right now, but surprisingly, the majority of the game’s 2019 prizing to date comes from the second-tier Contenders league. Season 3 of Overwatch Contenders 2018—which completed in January 2019—provided nearly $930K of the total, while Season 1 of Contenders 2019 added another $1.33M to the tally. The Overwatch League itself, meanwhile, has awarded $1M in prizing so far in 2019.


 First Half 2019 Prize Pool: $3.9M

 It has been a busy first half of the year for (LoL), with 68 total tournaments recorded by Esports Earnings to date. The Mid-Season Invitational 2019 provided the largest single-tournament prizing at $1M, with the spring split for various leagues collectively adding another big chunk: $520K for the (LPL) in China, $264K for LoL Champions Korea (LCK), $227K for the (LEC), and $200K for the North American (LCS).

 First Half 2019 Prize Pool: $8.37M

 Dota 2 lands in third place with $8.37M so far in 2019, but that tally will surge with August’s de facto world championship, . As of this writing, the event’s prize pool has raised $23.31M , and is on track to eclipse the $25.5M prize pool for The International 2018.

 While nothing compares to The International, Dota 2 has had a few other big-money tournaments already in 2019. Both and the had a $2M prize pool, while The Chongqing Major 2019 and offered up $1M. Other notable events include the $890K   2018 finals in March 2019 and the $600K Dota 2 Minor Season 2.


 First Half 2019 Prize Pool: $8.6M

  largest annual tournament takes place early in the year, with the Extreme Masters Katowice Major 2019 awarding $2M in total prizing. No other CS:GO tournament so far this year has hit seven figures, although the WESG 2018 finals in March came close at $995K. Other notable events so far this year have included the $766K Pro League Season 9 and $750K (ECS) Season 7.

 First Half 2019 Prize Pool: $14.7M

 Nothing has come close to matching Fortnite‘s continued esports splash, however, with $14.7M awarded so far this year. The 10 weeks of Fortnite World Cup 2019 qualifiers collectively accounted for $12.08M of that, with the ESL Katowice Royale awarding $597K, the Fortnite World Cup Warmup awarding $500K, and the Fortnite Secret Skirmish Series dealing out $500K in prizing.

 Epic Games will award from July 26-28, and another at the event. Will that be enough to secure Fortnite‘s spot atop the list by the time 2019 is all said and done, or will Dota 2‘s growing International 2019 prize pool help it take the lead? We’ll be watching closely in the coming months.

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