U.S.: eSports Prize Earnings, by year
YearPrize money,
in million USD
202328.94
202228.84
202128.58
202024.93
201945.85
201830.12
201715.45
201615.49
201513.22
20144.05
20133.73
  • Region: United States
  • Time period: 2013 to 2023
  • Published: Mar 2024

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Mar 28, 2024 | Published by: Statistico

Prize Money Peak in 2019

The eSports prize winnings in the U.S. reached their zenith in 2019 with a total of 45.85 million USD, marking the highest payout in the data provided. This figure stands out as a significant surge compared to other years, illustrating a unique peak in the eSports prize distribution landscape.

Growth Trend Post-2017

Starting from 2017, the eSports prize money in the U.S. exhibited a consistent upward trajectory, escalating from 15.45 million USD to 28.94 million USD by 2023. This growth indicates a robust expansion phase for the eSports industry over these years, reflecting increased investment and interest in competitive gaming.

Pandemic's Impact and Recovery

The prize money saw a dip in 2020 to 24.93 million USD, likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on live events and competitions. However, a swift recovery was observed in subsequent years, with prize pools nearly returning to pre-pandemic levels by 2021 and showing resilience in the industry.

Stability in Recent Years

Between 2021 and 2023, the prize money in the eSports industry in the U.S. has stabilized, showcasing minor fluctuations with an overall increase from 28.58 million USD to 28.94 million USD. This period demonstrates a phase of consolidation and sustained interest in eSports.

Significant Increase from 2013 to 2014

The period between 2013 and 2014 saw a remarkable growth in prize money, jumping from 3.73 million USD to 4.05 million USD. This increase of over 8% signifies the early stages of rapid growth and investment in the eSports sector.

Comparative Analysis of Growth Rates

The most dramatic year-over-year growth was observed from 2014 to 2015, with prize money escalating from 4.05 million USD to 13.22 million USD. This represents a growth rate of approximately 226%, indicating a pivotal moment in the U.S. eSports scene's expansion.

Minimal Increase in Recent Competitions

Comparing the most recent years, from 2022 to 2023, there was a minimal increase in prize money, moving from 28.84 million USD to 28.94 million USD. This marginal growth of 0.1 million USD suggests a potential plateau in prize money growth or a phase of market stabilization.

Frequently Asked Questions

When did eSports prize winnings reach their peak in the U.S. and what was the total payout?

The eSports prize winnings peaked in the U.S in 2019 with a total payout of 45.85 million USD.

What has been the trend in eSports prize money in the U.S since 2017?

Since 2017, the eSports prize money in the U.S. has consistently escalated from 15.45 million USD to 28.94 million USD by 2023.

How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect the prize money and recovery in eSports?

In 2020, the prize money dipped to 24.93 million USD due to the pandemic, but nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels by 2021.

Terms and Definitions

eSports, also known as electronic sports, refers to a form of competition that involves video gaming. These are often organized, multiplayer video game events that typically involve professional players competing either individually or in teams.

In the context of eSports, prize earnings refer to the amount of financial rewards or prizes that gamers or teams earn from competing and winning in eSports tournaments. This includes both cash prizes from tournament victories and additional bonuses from sponsors.

A multiplayer video game is a type of game where multiple players can participate and interact concurrently, often in a virtual game environment. There are different types of multiplayer video game systems, including local multiplayer and online multiplayer games.

Professional players, in eSports context, refers to gamers who are officially recognized and paid to play video games in competitive settings, typically for a certain eSports organization. They often participate in tournaments and online matches and are usually compensated through sponsorships, contracts, and prize earnings.

eSports tournaments are organized competitive video gaming events where players or teams compete against one another to win. These tournaments can range from local and national tournaments to international tournaments with participants from all over the world.

In eSports, sponsorships are partnerships between companies and eSports teams or individual players, where the company provides financial support in exchange for advertising and promotional opportunities. The support can be used for multiple purposes, including covering the costs of training, equipment and travel expenses.

An eSports organization is a professional organization that is dedicated to hosting eSports events, managing teams of professional players, and often providing training facilities for them. These organizations commonly generate revenue through sponsorships, advertising, and a share of prize money earned by their players in competitive matches.

In eSports, contracts refer to the formal agreements between players or teams and organizations or sponsors. These contracts usually detail the rights, obligations, and financial arrangements among the parties, including salaries, duration of service, and expectations around participation and performance.

Online matches in eSports refer to competitive games that are played between teams or individual players over the internet, irrespective of geographical location of the competitors. They are an essential part of professional eSports, often forming the basis for larger, live tournaments.
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