With the recent spike in popularity for E-Sports, amidst an astounding predicted 454 million viewer base in 2019, many are taken aback by just how much money one can make playing video games.
Just this summer, a tournament for the video game Fortnite gave $30 million divided between 100 total finalists out of 40 million players with an average age of 16. All finalists took home a minimum of $50,000. First place won $3 million, and second, third, and fourth place all become instant millionaires. For comparison, in the 2018 Olympic Games, U.S. Olympic athletes were paid $37,500 for gold medals, $22,500 for silver, and only $15,00 for bronze medals, a mere fraction of what the last place players were given in the Fortnite tournament.
The three day long sold out tournament culminated into Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf winning the $3 million prize. Coming to a total of $3,062,966.67, in total from Fortnite, within the last year.
Another jaw dropping statistic is that in just a single year, with a total of 519, bi-weekly, tournaments, Fortnite has passed the total earnings of Counter Strike: Global Offensive, an extremely popular first person shooter, that has had 4280 tournaments over a seven year period, by $800,000 (currently standing at $84,383,259.51). Fortnite passing Counter Strike is an extraordinary feat that leaves the future of competitive Esports earnings up in the air.
Fortnite is currently encroaching the first place spot held by DOTA 2, or the second installment of the Defense of the Ancients series, a massive multiplayer online strategy game, with an impressive $216 million in 1,200 tournaments. However, because of the large gap and still active tournament scene for DOTA 2, it is tentative on whether Fortnite will pass it anytime soon.