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Want to make money playing games competitively? These titles pay the most.

Want to make money playing games competitively? These titles pay the most.

Tuesday 27 August 2019
Want to make money playing games competitively? These titles pay the most.

Esports is currently the big buzzword around the world, with traditional sports prize pools and viewership numbers dwarfed in comparison to competitive video games. However, not all video games are created equal. If you plan to take your video game habit pro, these are the gaming titles you would ideally want to focus on, because they tend to pay out the biggest winnings. 

Dota 2 

Each year Dota 2 hosts The International (TI). TI is predominantly funded by the community that plays the game, through in-game purchases that then contribute to the prize pool. The International 2019 saw a historic prize pool of more than $34 million. Yup, 34 million dollhairs! What?! The final prize pool amount was confirmed only hours before the two teams left in the competition battled it out, coming in at a cool $34 292 599.

The winning team, OG, took home the first prize purse which was $15 603 133. There are 5 players in a Dota 2 team and if they were allowed to pocket all the prize money, that would mean each player walked away with about $3.1 million. That is more than R47 million. First prize isn’t the only attractive one, second-placed Team Liquid claimed $4 458 038 which works out to around $892 000 per player. So roughly R13 million for second place? Who wouldn’t take it? 


Popular gaming title Fortnite made mainstream media earlier this year when 16-year-old Kyle Giersdorf took home $3 025 900 for winning the 2019 Fortnite World Championship. That’s more than Tiger Woods won for winning the 2019 Masters and more than 2019 Wimbledon winner, Novak Djokovic secured. The popular Battle Royale title has become a worldwide phenomenon, with Bloomberg reporting that the game has more than 200 million players worldwide across PC, console and mobile.  

What about South Africa? 

Is it time to throw your life into Dota or play more Fortnite? Don’t get too excited just yet. The current biggest prize pool for a solo title recorded in South Africa was the 2018 VS Gaming Fifa Gaming Tournament, which was alleged to be the second biggest Fifa tournament in the world, at the time. The total prize pool was R1.5 million with competitions happening on both Xbox and Playstation 4. The individual first-place finishers on each console pocketed a sweet R400 000.

The PlayStation winner, Thabo “Yvng Savage” Moloi, was a relatively unknown player at the time and only 16 years old. Since then Yvng Savage has signed to a professional gaming organisation called Goliath Gaming and has his sights set on global domination. South African Fortnite player from Bravado Gaming, 15-year-old Kareem “Listed Squeaker” Khan told media in June 2019 that he had won an estimated R90 000 in six months playing the title locally. 
However, do not quit your day job. Many South African esports players complain of late prize money pay-outs, having to wait months to see their money and sometimes watching as the tournament organisers shut down before paying out what is owed. In a fledgeling industry still playing catch up with the international scene, you will not be able to make gaming a full-time career in South Africa …. yet. 

Article by Sam Wright | Tech Girl 

Image courtesy of Epic Games