Top 5 interesting facts about esports tournaments

It is not a false statement to say that the scale of esports tournaments has been continuously growing. Esports events had evolved from the old days when players competed in LAN cafes for gaming gear. Esports competitions nowadays are the real deal, as the best players in their respective games compete for millions of dollars in prize money. Millions of viewers are also spectating the matches live to add more pressure. It was a long journey to get to where esports tournaments are today, so let us recap some of the most exciting facts and achievements with different esports championships.

1. Dota 2’s tournament, The International 2021, surpassed $40 million in prize pools

Dota 2 fans celebrate every year with the presence of the annual event, The International, or Ti for short. There have been ten occurrences of The International, which started in 2011. Valve Corporation, the tournament creators, pinch in $1,600,000 million to the prize pool, and the rest is purely crowd funded by Dota 2 players. 

Valve releases a “Battle Pass” before every Ti, which Dota 2 players can buy to get extra rewards and cosmetics. 25% of the sales go directly into the tournament’s prize pool. The amount raised from crowdfunding has continued to rise every year. For The International 10, the community broke the prize pool record. Dota 2 fans were able to raise $38,418,195 from battle pass sales. Added onto the $1,600,000 that Valve provides, competitors of The International competed for a staggering prize pool of $40,018,195! Underdogs Team Spirit ended up winning the tournament and took home $18,208,300! Winning this one singular event immediately made each Team Spirit player a millionaire.

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Courtesy Valve

2. Over $1.2 billion has been distributed as tournament prize winnings 

Suppose people are yet to believe that the esports industry is growing rapidly. In that case, they should understand that according to EsportsEarnings, over $1,208,985,141 have been paid out to more than 100,000 players as tournament prize money. This money increases as dozens of million-dollar tournaments happen annually, which you track and find on! More than 120 esports players have become millionaires from tournament prize winnings alone. Twenty years ago, would you believe me if I told you that people could make millions just by clicking buttons on a computer? We are currently living in this reality, as players who can place high in esports competitions can be taking home hundreds of thousands of dollars!

The prize pools of esports tournaments continue to grow each year, with more sponsors and investments seeing the potential of esports. Methods such as crowdfunding also allow for esports events to have increased prize pools!

3. 73.8 million peak concurrent viewers were present for League of Legends Worlds 2021 Grand Final

Just like traditional sports events, esports events are being spectated live by people from all around the globe. This viewership means that many people watch esport matches live on different platforms such as Twitch and YouTube. Esports tournaments have begun to become regular sources of entertainment for esports fans, as they get to see the best players compete against each other.

Viewership numbers start spiking on significant events, such as annual tournaments for which professional teams have been preparing their entire year. And for the case of the League of Legends World Championships 2021, millions of viewers showed up to watch the Grand Final match between Edward Gaming and Damwon Gaming. A record-breaking 73,860,742 peak concurrent viewers tuned in to watch the game live on stream.

Edward Gaming ended up victorious and lifted the trophy in front of the 70 million viewers watching online. This viewership record is an incredible achievement that esports fans can be proud of.


Courtesy Red Bull

4. Gamers Without Borders is a charity tournament donating $10 million worth of prize money to charities around the world

Gamers Without Borders is a charity organization that has started to enter the esports world. In 2022, the organization has prepared $10,000,000 in prize money that will be donated to charities. Teams are invited to compete in the tournament. The tournament winners can pick which charity they would like to donate to. 

Gamers Without Borders aims to raise awareness of charitable causes by having the best teams compete with each other. To get the maximum amount of audience, tournaments consisting of different esport games are held, with titles such as Dota 2, Rocket League, and FIFA in the mix. Events held by Gamers Without Borders should be supported by esports watchers, as we get to watch an event that distributes prize money to a good cause.

5. Age is just a number – SumaiL won an $18 million tournament at the age of 16

Companies look for older employees in their day-to-day job as they will often have more work experience. However, esports destroys that idea, as a wide age range is wholly accepted in esports. Young prodigies and old veterans can compete on the same playing field, and age is completely ignored once you have entered the game.

Syed Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan, a professional Dota 2 player born in 1999, was 16 years old, coming into The International 2015. This was his first appearance in The International, as he had yet to attend one previously. The lack of experience didn’t phase him at all, as SumaiL could ignore the pressure and focus on the game. He destroyed all the veterans covering his path to victory. He was able to claim the title of being a champion of an $18 million esports tournament.  

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Courtesy Liquipedia

SumaiL’s journey is one of the many pieces of evidence that no matter how young or old you are, you will be able to compete at esports tournaments on an equal playing field. In the world of esports events, age is just a number! More young prodigies such as Ilya “m0NESY” Osipov have risen.


In conclusion, players participating in esports championships are playing at increasing stakes as the years go by. Prize pools and viewer counts continuously grow as more and more people, and sponsors are getting involved in the esports scene. Esports events schedules continue to get more packed as more tournaments are regularly introduced, including interesting charity tournaments!

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Sujeet Kumar
Gamer, Enjoy Anime and Admin.

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