What genre comes to mind the most when you think of esports? You probably think of FPS, MOBA or RTS. Did IceFrog, the creator of the MOBA genre, which came out as a mod for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, predicted that it could become such a big genre?
Today, we will look at the five games that gave the most prizes in the MOBA genre, the long version of which is Multiplayer Online Battle Arena.
Fifth on our list is SMITE, which made its official release in 2014. When SMITE released, it attracted the attention of many players with its first-person perspective and therefore the motto "Not your typical MOBA". The game, which experienced its heyday in the field of esports in 2015, never reached the audience it wanted. However, with its loyal players, the game itself, and its presence in the esports field continues. $9,250,112.75 prizes were distributed in a total of 97 tournaments organized. Of course, the tournaments with the most prizes were the Smite World Championships, organized by Hi-Rez Studios, the developer of the game. It has attracted the attention of esports players in countries such as the USA, Sweden, United Kingdom, Canada, Denmark. SMITE's team with the highest share of this prize pool is COGnitive Gaming with earnings amounting to $1,896,962.59. The disbandment of the team at the beginning of 2016 also proves that SMITE had a brilliant 2015 compared to today.
4. Heroes of the Storm
We can say that the game, whose number of members in the developer team has been considerably reduced and esports investments have been stopped, is now in a position that is left to its fate. Some of the fans left Heroes of the Storm helplessly with these decisions. Those who still continue to play, of course, are not to be underestimated. Heroes of the Storm had its best times in esports between 2016 and 2018. The Heroes of the Storm Global Championship, BlizzCon and DreamHack Summer tournaments had huge prize pools and gave esports lovers a great time. A total of 478 tournaments were organized, and $18,280,006.65 was distributed. South Korea, China, USA and Sweden were the countries that showed the most interest in the esports side of the game. Considering the prize won, the most successful team in the game’s esports scene was Gen.G Esports, which won $1,360,000.00.
3. Arena of Valor (Honor of Kings)
In the middle of our list is the TiMi Studio game, known as Honor of Kings in China and Arena of Valor in the international arena. It is a game where incredible prizes are distributed, especially in the Honor of Kings World Champion Cups. For instance, the prize pool of the Honor of Kings World Champion Cup in 2021 on its own was $7,728,000.00, almost as much as SMITE's total prize pool. Among the countries most interested in this game and its esports, China is by far the first. Countries such as Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, and South Korea are among other interested countries. The country with the most prizes won outside of Asia is the United States. Although the number of organized tournaments is lower than both SMITE and Heroes of the Storm, a total of $38,934,819.01 prize was distributed in 71 tournaments of the game. The team that has won the most prizes is the Qiao Gu Reapers. They have won $4,971,283.43 in just 9 tournaments.
2. League of Legends
Just before the summit, we encounter Riot Games' League of Legends. With the World Championships organized by Riot Games, League of Legends fans are watching great matches. Also, these tournaments have huge prize pools. In League of Legends, the game with the most tournaments on the list, $89,671,892.98 was distributed in 2655 tournaments. In terms of prize pools, League of Legends, whose most productive times were around 2018, is also thought to have reached its peak of esports in those years by most people. However, we can say that even today it continues on its way with magnificent tournaments without breaking stride. Still, considering that the Worlds tournament with the biggest prize pool was Worlds 2018 with a prize pool of $6,450,000.00, and the prize pool of the last Worlds, Worlds 2021, was $2,225,000.00, so we can at least say it's a budget cut. T1 is the most awarded team of the game, which attracts the most attention from South Korea, China, Taiwan and United States professionals. T1 earned exactly $7,435,586.51 from League of Legends tournaments.
1. Dota 2
Here is the game that offers the biggest prize pool to esports players, Valve's Dota 2, by a huge margin. When we add up the prize pools of all the other games on the list, those games barely surpass half of Dota 2's prize pool. We are talking about a huge amount of $276,964,226.83 distributed in 1567 tournaments. Of course, one of the biggest reasons behind this is that Dota 2 fans have a huge impact on the prize pools of The Internationals, the most prestigious tournament series of Dota 2, with their purchases. For example, while the base prize pool was $1,600,000 in The International 10, which has the largest prize pool in both MOBAs and the entire esports industry, the tournament's prize has increased to a whopping $40,018,195 with the support of the community. The team that won the most prizes in Dota 2, which attracted the attention of professional players from countries such as China, Russia, Finland, Ukraine, USA, Sweden, Denmark, Malaysia, is OG. Having earned $34,932,226.13 in 74 tournaments, OG ranks second among all teams in the esports industry, behind Team Liquid, with only Dota 2 prizes.
We have come to the end of our list. In general, the first of the list will probably not change for a long time, maybe not at all. Each The International's prize pool is bigger than the previous one, especially with the help of the fans, so it's unlikely that Dota 2 will lose its throne. In the last League of Legends World Championships, the reward is lower and fixed compared to the previous ones. The prize pool distributed in Arena of Valor tournaments is increasing day by day. Therefore, we may see a clash between Arena of Valor and League of Legends in the future. Since there are no tournaments for Heroes of the Storm anymore, SMITE may rise to fourth place in the future, but we can say that SMITE's prize pool is getting smaller and smaller.
It is unlikely that a new game will be included in the list anytime soon. The sixth-ranked Heroes of Newerth is currently on the dusty pages of history.
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