Did you know that the video-game industry is bigger and more profitable than both the movie and music industries, combined? It’s can be hard to believe but it’s true. A big thanks for this achievement comes from Esports. In 2021, the global Esport market pushed just over a billion dollars in revenue, with this number expected to double in just a few years. The industry’s five highest-paying Esports games are responsible for a large portion of this weight, although numerous other games also contribute.
Evidently, the sport’s biggest games, and its most notable players, are making a comfy amount of pocket change. 2022 is no exception as it’s projected to be one of the highest-paying years in Esports history. That begs for us to know what are the highest paying Esport games in 2022, and with that what their top players are walking away with. So, if you’re on the fence about quitting your job to become an Esports pro, after reading this list, you might just want to follow through.
5. Arena of Valor
Arena of Valor is a competitive MOBA that is similar to League of Legends (LoL) except the Esports entirely mobile. So despite it not quite hitting the astronomical numbers LoL doe’s every year, it’s still an impressively close race. Neither title comes close to competing with the ultimate MOBA, DOTA 2 in terms of prize money, but there is still a good chunk of cash awarded. In 2022, the Arena of Valor World International Championship features a $2 million dollar prize pool.
That’s not even the biggest tournament either. The 2022 Arena of Valor World Cup is breaking records this year by offering a total $10 million dollar payout, the highest it’s ever been. I can’t forget to mention a healthy $3.5 million of that going to the victors. For being a mobile Esport, the game is bringing in an absurd amount of money. With the top individual players making easily over half a million a year and the top 100, over six figures. Even players that fall below the top 100 mark are amounting a liveable income off the game.
4. PlayerUnkown’s Battlegrounds Mobile
The mobile version of PlayerUnkown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG Mobile), is another competing mobile game on the Esports scene. For some odd reason, the mobile version of the game is pulling in more prize pool money in Esports than its PC and console counterparts. The highest professional league for the game in China, the Peacekeeper Elite League (PEL) is bringing an annual $10 million in 2022 for its prize pool. Which has been the case for multiple years in a row.
The second biggest tournament for the mobile version is the PMGC, and in 2022 its prize pool is just under $3.5 million. With the winner, winner, chicken dinner walking away with $1.5 million. Not bad a bad income for a game played entirely on mobile. So it’s no question that PUBG Mobile will only grow its prize pool every year, as the game is continuously raking in the money.
So far this year its top five players have already made over three-hundred thousand in under four months. By the end of the year, the game’s top players make just over a million a year, with the rest filling up the top 100 making no less than two-hundred and fifty thousand a year. In fact, over the last three years, give or take, the top 300 players are making over six figures.
3. League of Legends
To no one’s surprise, League of Legends (LoL) is once again set to be one of the highest-paying Esports games in 2022. Its largest tournament, the LoL World Championship has a constantly fluctuating prize pool, with last year around $2 million, and in 2022 it looks like it’s shaping up to be the same. Despite LoL not having the biggest prize pool for its biggest tournament, it definitely has the most events. Add all of these together and LoL amounts to some of the biggest prize pool money each year of all Esports games.
The game is also one of the highest paying Esports games to its players. The game’s current top players like Faker, Duke, and Bengi are consistently making over $1 million a year. With the top 50 players pulling easily over half a million. This isn’t even to account for sponsorships, team bonuses, and streaming revenue, which could easily double if not triple these profits.
2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
It’s only fitting that an FPS like Counter-Strike Global: Offensive (CS:GO) is the consistent runner-up for the highest-paying Esports game, every year. In 2021 the game’s total prize pool amounted to just under $22 million, with 2022 expected to top that number by a fair amount. It looks like CS:GO Esports is already off to a good start, as the game already is showing impressive prize pools.
We are still early into the year, but two big-name tournaments have already dropped their prize pool. IEM Katowice 2022 is opening with a $1 million dollar prize pool, and the BLAST Premier is set at $2.47 million across all its events. Not bad considering we are only one-third through the year, with many more events to come.
Despite players having to dice up and split a majority of the prize money, CS:GO is one of the most profitable Esports of 2022. So far, its top five players have already made over six figures, and are projected to fly past half a million by the end of the year.
1. Dota 2
For the last nine years, Dota 2 has been the highest-paying Esports game. If it can achieve that record again this year, which it undoubtedly will, their decade-long reign of being the highest paying Esports game, will be complete. And something leads me to believe, that it will achieve this with flying colors.
Last year in 2021, Dota 2’s biggest tournament, known as The International, broke a record for the largest prize pool for an Esports game, with just over $40 million. And if the money pattern continues, The International 2022 should be able to surpass $50 million this year.
Now if you really want to see some jaw-dropping numbers, take a look at this. in 2021 the Esport’s top five players all made over $3 million in individual profit. With its top twenty players pulling in over half a million. That’s an absurd amount of money to be circulating around one game, but I guess where it rains, it pours. With Dota 2 continuously pushing its Esports profit, there’s a promising chance it will break more records in 2022 for the highest-paying Esports game.
So after reading, are you considering becoming a pro in some of the highest paying Esports games? Let us know in the comments below or over on our socials here!