The ten most popular esports in the world currently by way of prize money

The world of eSports continues to thrive in 2021 even through the coronavirus pandemic. Here are the ten most popular eSports in the world currently.

Every Map for Counter-Strike 2 So Far Announced and all information about it, Credit: Counter-Strike
By Arnab Mukherji | Mar 18, 2021 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

The industry of esports is one that has grown and taken plenty of strides over the years and the increasing growth of popularity in video games that has taken place in recent times means that this growth can be expected to continue on in the immediate future. However, the corona virus pandemic of 2020 severely halted the growth of esports; prize money dropped across the board, sometimes by fairly drastic sums. That being said, the online nature of the industry means that one can expect the upward trajectory of the esports industry to carry on even as the world continues to come to grips with the aftereffects of the virus.

Here we look at the top 10 most popular eSports based on prize money.

Rocket League

The car football game handed out $2.63 million in prize money over the course of 2020 thanks to the Rocket League Championship Series. That is a slight drop in the money paid on in 2019, when$3.040M was given out. Still, the game is seen as one that has good growth potential.


The digital card collecting game is the only one of its kind to feature in this list for 2020, handing out $3.73 million and has grown exponentially over the past year or so as it didn’t even make the top 10 in 2019. Whether or not it can sustain this growth in the face of new competition remains to be seen though.


Arguably one of the biggest let-downs on this list as the battle royale game came in fourth on this same list last year. However, a pay-out of $4 million was only a third of what it had handed out in 2019. A combination of factors led to their decline and it remains to be seen how they will bounce back in 2021.


Another game that, like PUBG, saw a massive dip in prize money handed out: from $9.59 million last year to $4.36 million in 2020. The shift to an online mode of play had an adverse impact on the stage-based competition cycle and reducing earnings as a result.

Rainbow Siege

Rainbow Siege actually enjoyed a more successful 2020, paying out $5.02 million as opposed to $4.1 million in 2019. The reason for this was that their world championship was held in February, prior to the lockdowns that happened the world over.

Call of Duty

An old favourite game that retains its popularity, Call of Duty also largely held their own as far as prize money went this year as their CoD League handed out a total of $6.27 million to competitors.


Another popular game that saw a drop in these standings, from the top of the pile no less. The lack of a Fortnite World Cup and the parent company’s disinterest in investing in eSports means the game could lose more ground in the future.

League of Legends

This is a game that largely sees competitors play for pride and prestige but the prize money for 2020 was pretty good: $8 million to be exact, only a slight drop-off from the $9 million paid out last year.

Dota 2

The prize money for this game touched nearly $50 million in 2019 but 2020 was conservative in that regard as only $8.87 million was handed out. Whether this fall continues into the coming year remains to be seen.

Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Topping the list having paid out a grand total of $14.75 million in the year 2020 is the classic Counter-Strike. They adopted better to the online-only nature of 2020 and as a result, their revenue didn’t suffer as much as they could pump out content all year long.