Dota 2 was the esports title that gave away the most prize money by far this year, with a whopping $41,326,628 won by players spread across 117 different events.
According to esportsearnings.com, Dota 2’s prize money figures this year made up almost 24 percent of the game’s total prize money awarded, which currently stands at a whopping?rom 1040 tournaments.
The biggest contributor to the amount of prize money that Dota 2 gave away was The International 2018 (TI8), the game’s premier tournament. The event had a record-breaking prize pool of over $25 million, the lion’s share (over $11 million) of which went to the winning team, OG.
Other major contributors to this year’s figures were the Dota 2 Majors — such as ESL One Birmingham, the China Dota 2 Supermajor, and the Kuala Lumpur Major, among others — which all had a minimum prize pool of $1 million.
The biggest winners of this year were, of course, the players of the TI8 champion team OG. The team’s captain, Johan “N0tail” Sundstein, now sits as the second overall on the list of the highest earning esports athletes of all time, while his teammates all broke into the Top 15 with Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka listed as 2018’s top earner with over $2.29 million.
N0tail raked in over $2 million this year (most of which came from his cut from OG’s $11 million prize from TI8), which is 60 percent of his lifetime winnings? $3,735,055 from over 100 different tournaments. Due to his success this year, N0tail was even included in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list.
Meanwhile, Kuro “KuroKy” Takhasomi, captain of the TI7 champions Team Liquid, remains the player with the highest overall tournament winnings with a lifetime total of $4.1 million.
Team Liquid placed 4th at TI8, giving them over $1.7 million. Kuroky’s earnings this year amounted to over $600 thousand. He won over $2.4 million in 2017, when he and Team Liquid became the Dota 2 world champions.
Dota 2 has always been the esports title that gave away the most prize money by far, mostly due to just how big the prize pools for TI can get.
Dota 2’s total of over $41 million this year dwarfed that of its rival League of Legends, which gave away120 events, even if the latter has proven to be more popular.