Epic Games, maker of the immensely popular cross-platform multiplayer game Fortnite, announced on Monday that it will provide $100 million in prize money for Fortnite competitions in its first season of competitive play which is set to start later this year.
This unprecedented prize pool will put Fortnite among the most lucrative eSports games right off the bat, with only one game having had more prize money awarded during its lifetime as a competitive game so far. As the following chart illustrates, Dota 2, a game that has been around for years, has drawn total prize money of $141 million, edging out second-placed Counter-Strike: Global Offensive by a huge margin.
In recent years, eSports events have become bigger and bigger, with the largest tournaments awarding prize money
on par with the largest “real world” sporting events. The reason for this trend is rather simple: with millions of video game enthusiasts watching
, eSports events draw advertising dollars and sponsorship deals the same way other sporting events do. And just as in professional sports, an increase in sponsorship and TV/advertising money is reflected in the potential earnings of the players/athletes.