It's not just Fortnite champs who are making conventional sports players seem underpaid. OG has won Valve's The International Dota 2 tournament for the second year in a row (the first time any team has won back-to-back), pulling in a record-setting $15,603,133 out of an even larger $34,292,599 prize pool. That's not just the largest top prize in esports history -- it could also be a windfall for each of the five team members.
Esports consultant Rod Breslau pointed out that an equal split of the $15.6 million prize would give each OG player about $3.1 million. Tiger Woods, for context, 'only' pulled in $2.07 million at the 2019 Masters. Even the Wimbledon singles champs Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep took home $2.9 million each. While golf and tennis frontrunners may be more famous overall, there's little doubt that it's very lucrative to be a top-tier esports player.
Even the runners up, Team Liquid, raked in a collective $4,458,038. That's slightly short of $892,000 per person.
Before you drop your racquet and pick up a keyboard and mouse, it's important to remember the caveats. The International may be huge, but it's only one major event -- top-level tennis has three other Grand Slams besides Wimbledon. And unlike tennis or golf, even the most successful esports careers tend to be short as the necessary hyper-fast reflexes fade quickly. Nonetheless, it's hard to look at these figures without at least raising an eyebrow. Competitive gaming now involves massive amounts of money, and that makes it difficult to ignore.
For the first time in Dota history the reigning champions have defended their crown. The team that defied the odds to win last year, has reclaimed the Aegis of Champions in The International 2019. OG close the Grand Final series in a commanding 3-1 finish. #Dota2 #TI9 pic.twitter.com/ESaHeRjkpP
— The International (@dota2ti) August 25, 2019
winning Wimbledon in 2019: $2.9 Million
winning The Masters in 2019: $2 Million
winning Indy 500 in 2019: $2.6 Million
winning the Fortnite World Cup in 2019: $3 Million
winning the Dota The International in 2019: $3.1 Million/$15M total
esports is love, esports is life
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) August 25, 2019