The Most Lucrative Esports In 2024: Most Popular, Esports Salaries, Biggest Tournaments

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Esports, once a niche hobby, has exploded into a global phenomenon, boasting millions of viewers, passionate fans, and staggering prize pools. With 2024 already 2 months through, let’s dive into The Most Lucrative Esports In 2024 where pros truly strike gold.

The Most Lucrative Esports In 2024

By The Numbers:

  • Overall prize pool: As of February 2024, Dota 2 still reigns supreme with a whopping $311 million awarded throughout its history, followed by CS:GO ($291 million) and League of Legends ($242 million).
  • Most lucrative tournament: The International 2021 holds the crown with a mind-blowing $40 million prize pool, although no 2023 iteration managed to reach that height.
  • Mobile dominance: PUBG Mobile leads the pack in mobile esports, distributing over $83 million in prize money, surpassing giants like Honor of Kings and Arena of Valor.

Top Contenders:

  • Dota 2: Despite experiencing smaller prize pools lately, Dota 2’s longevity and immense historical pool secure its top spot. The International still draws massive attention and remains the esports pinnacle for many.
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO): This tactical shooter offers intense, strategic gameplay and boasts dedicated sponsors and a vibrant ecosystem. With consistently high prize pools, CS:GO attracts top talent and continues to be a lucrative option.
  • League of Legends (LoL): With a massive global player base and established leagues like the LCS and LEC, LoL offers stable salaries and high tournament payouts. It remains one of the most popular and financially secure esports.
  • Fortnite: Despite a recent decline in competitive focus, Fortnite still holds significant prize pools and attracts sponsorships. Its unique battle royale format and large viewership base make it a financially viable option for pro players.
  • PUBG Mobile: This mobile sensation proves that mobile esports can be just as lucrative as PC/console titles. With a booming global audience and accessible nature, PUBG Mobile offers substantial prize pools and is poised for further growth.

Beyond The Prize Pool:

While prize money is a significant factor, it’s not the only measure of an esports’ financial success. Consider these factors:

  • Sponsorship deals: Top players and teams secure lucrative contracts with brands, boosting their overall earnings.
  • Streaming revenue: Popular players can earn considerable income through streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube.
  • Salary and benefits: Established leagues and organizations offer fixed salaries and benefits to players, providing financial stability.

The Future Landscape:

Esports is expected to continue its upward trajectory, with mobile gaming and emerging titles playing a key role. We can expect:

  • Increased investments: Sponsorships and investments in esports are expected to rise significantly, leading to bigger prize pools and player salaries.
  • Mobile esports growth: Mobile titles like PUBG Mobile and Free Fire will likely see even higher levels of prize money and viewership.
  • New titles emerging: Innovative games with strategic depth and competitive potential could create new lucrative esports scenes.

What Are The Most Popular Esports To Watch?

Esports, or competitive video gaming, has exploded in popularity, attracting millions of viewers worldwide. With so many titles vying for attention, choosing which ones to watch can be overwhelming. Analyzing their viewership, gameplay, and unique features:

1. League of Legends (LoL):

  • King of the esports scene, boasting record-breaking viewership (1.2 million peak in 2024).
  • Complex MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) where teams of 5 strategize and battle across fantastical maps.
  • Thriving professional scene with global leagues and the prestigious World Championship.
  • Offers intense action, deep character pools, and strategic depth, appealing to both casual and hardcore viewers.

2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO):

  • Legendary tactical shooter known for its competitive depth and skill-based gameplay.
  • Teams of 5 strive to plant or defuse a bomb, requiring precise aim, teamwork, and strategic execution.
  • Established esports scene with numerous tournaments and a passionate community.
  • Offers thrilling tactical shootouts, high stakes matches, and iconic maps like Dust2 and Inferno.

3. Valorant:

  • Rising tactical shooter from Riot Games, attracting a large viewership (589,800 peak in 2024).
  • Similar to CS:GO but features unique character abilities, adding another layer of complexity.
  • Fast-paced, action-packed matches with diverse gunplay and character roles.
  • Offers a fresh take on the tactical shooter genre with a growing professional scene and engaged community.

4. Minecraft:

  • Unexpectedly popular, captivating viewers with its creative and competitive aspects.
  • Speedrunning, PvP matches, and build competitions draw millions of online spectators.
  • Offers diverse gameplay experiences, from relaxing building to intense challenges.
  • Appeals to a broad audience, including families and younger viewers, with its unique charm and accessibility.

5. Rocket League:

  • High-octane blend of soccer and vehicular combat with acrobatic maneuvers and strategic depth.
  • Teams of 3 compete in arena-based matches, requiring coordination and mechanical skill.
  • Active esports scene with global leagues and dedicated fans.
  • Offers fast-paced action, spectacular goals, and a unique blend of genres, appealing to both sports and gaming enthusiasts.

Esports Salaries: How Much Do Pro Gamers Earn?

Esports, the competitive world of video gaming, has exploded in popularity in recent years. This growth has led to many wondering: how much do professional gamers actually earn? The answer, like many things in esports, is complex and depends on several factors.

The Big Picture:

  • Average esports player: Earns around $60,000 per year. This includes salary, prize money, and other income streams.
  • Top players: Can rake in millions annually. For example, Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, a League of Legends star, earned over $1.2 million in 2023.
  • Monthly income: Varies greatly. Some pro gamers earn $1,000-$5,000 per month, while others make significantly more.

Factors Affecting Earnings:

  • Game: Different esports titles have varying popularity and prize pools. Top games like League of Legends, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive offer higher potential earnings.
  • Region: Salaries can differ based on location. North America and Europe generally have higher payouts compared to other regions.
  • Team: Top-tier teams with sponsorships and large fanbases can offer bigger salaries and benefits.
  • Performance: Individual performance and team success significantly impact earnings through prize money and bonuses.
  • Streaming & Sponsorships: Popular players can earn additional income through streaming platforms like Twitch and sponsorships with brands.

Which Games Have The Biggest Esports Tournaments?

The world of esports continues to explode in popularity, attracting millions of viewers and boasting massive prize pools for top competitors. But with so many games vying for attention, which ones actually host the biggest and most impressive tournaments?

Here’s a deep dive into the esports landscape to discover the games generating the most buzz and competition:

By Prize Pool:

  • Dota 2: The International, hosted by Valve, consistently claims the crown for the largest prize pool in esports history. In 2023, it soared past $40 million, with the winning team taking home a whopping $11.2 million. Crowdfunding through in-game purchases plays a significant role in this massive pool.
  • Fortnite World Cup: In its short time on the scene, Fortnite has built a massive esports presence. The 2019 Fortnite World Cup offered a staggering $30 million prize pool, attracting millions of viewers worldwide. However, since then, Epic Games has shifted its focus to smaller, more frequent tournaments.
  • League of Legends World Championship: Riot Games’ annual League of Legends World Championship consistently boasts a multi-million dollar prize pool, often exceeding $2 million. Teams battle it out on the global stage, with the event drawing millions of viewers.
  • Call of Duty: Mobile World Championship: The mobile gaming scene is booming, and Call of Duty: Mobile leads the charge. Its World Championship boasts a prize pool exceeding $2 million, showcasing the growing potential of mobile esports.
  • CS:GO Majors: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Majors, organized by ESL, feature a multi-million dollar prize pool spread across the top teams. These prestigious tournaments regularly draw high viewership and intense competition.

By Viewership:

  • League of Legends: League of Legends consistently tops the charts for overall viewership, with the World Championship often exceeding 1 million peak viewers. Its global reach and dedicated fanbase contribute to its dominance.
  • Counter-Strike: CS:GO Majors and other major tournaments regularly attract hundreds of thousands of viewers, thanks to its fast-paced action and established esports legacy.
  • Valorant: Riot Games’ tactical shooter, Valorant, has quickly gained popularity in the esports scene. Major tournaments like Champions Tour events draw hundreds of thousands of viewers, showcasing its growing potential.
  • Minecraft: While not primarily known for competitive play, Minecraft Championships and other events generate surprisingly high viewership, often exceeding hundreds of thousands, thanks to its dedicated community and creative gameplay.
  • Rocket League: This high-octane blend of soccer and cars consistently attracts viewership in the hundreds of thousands, with major tournaments like the Rocket League Championship Series reaching large audiences.

Conclusion

The esports landscape is dynamic, and financial opportunities constantly evolve. While Dota 2, CS:GO, and LoL remain prominent, mobile titles and new contenders are shaking things up. Understanding these trends is crucial for players, organizers, and anyone interested in the future of this exciting industry.