Esports Prize Pools Cheat Sheet

Top 5 Highest Paying Esports in the US (2024 Prize Money)

Esport Prize Money

Top 5 Highest Paying Esports in the US (2024 Prize Money)

You can make a lot of esports prize money if you look in the right places. 

The esports arena is booming, drawing in millions of players and fans alike.

But for those new to the scene, the sheer number of games and the whirlwind of hype can be overwhelming.

Which games are truly worth your time and attention? Which ones are shaping the future of competitive gaming?

This blog is your essential starting point, cutting through the noise to reveal the top 5 most popular esports games in the United States.

We’ll look into the data, from jaw-dropping prize pools to massive player bases, to uncover the games that are not just entertaining but are also driving the esports industry forward.

Whether you’re a budding pro player, an eager fan, or simply curious about this explosive industry, consider this your official cheat sheet to understanding the esports landscape.

1. Counter-Strike 2

For seasoned veterans and newcomers alike, Counter-Strike 2 is the tactical first person shooter that never gets old.

It’s the heart-pounding action, the strategy, and the thrill of outsmarting your opponents that keep players coming back for more.

If you’re looking for an esport where precision and teamwork reign supreme, look no further.

  • Key Features:
    • Tactical 5v5 gameplay
    • Diverse map pool with iconic locations
    • Wide array of weapons and equipment
    • Thriving skin trading market
    • Massive global player base

Prizes & Notes: With a staggering $162 million+ in prize money awarded across tons of tournaments, CS2 isn’t just a game; it’s a career path for skilled players.

Just ask Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, who’s amassed over $2 million in winnings and is considered one of the greatest CS:GO (and now CS2) players of all time.


PUBG ignited the battle royale craze and continues to be a force in the esports scene.

Its massive open worlds, realistic gunplay, and the heart-stopping tension of being the last player (or team) standing make it a fan favorite.

If you crave the adrenaline rush of survival and the thrill of victory against all odds, PUBG is your arena.

  • Key Features:
    • Vast, detailed maps
    • Realistic weapon mechanics and ballistics
    • Varied vehicles and equipment
    • Intense solo, duo, and squad modes
    • Regular updates and content drops

Prizes & Notes: PUBG boasts nearly $140 million in prize money and a thriving pro scene.

Teams like FaZe Clan and Gen.G have built empires in PUBG esports, with players earning six-figure salaries and competing in international tournaments with massive prize pools.

3. Dota 2

Dota 2 is a complex, strategic MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) that rewards mastery and teamwork.

With its vast hero pool, diverse item builds, and incredibly high skill ceiling, Dota 2 offers endless possibilities for players seeking a deep and rewarding competitive experience.

  • Key Features:
    • 124 unique heroes with distinct abilities
    • Complex map and objective-based gameplay
    • Extensive itemization options
    • Intense 5v5 team battles
    • Annual “The International” tournament with the biggest prize pool in esports

Prizes & Notes: Dota 2 holds the record for the highest esports prize pool ever, with The International 2021 awarding a mind-blowing $40 million.

This makes Dota 2 a lucrative esport for top players, with some earning millions in their careers.

4. Fortnite

Fortnite is the cultural phenomenon that took the world by storm.

Its colorful visuals, fast-paced action, and constantly evolving world make it a hit with players of all ages.

With its massive player base and accessible gameplay, Fortnite has become a gateway to esports for many, fostering a vibrant competitive scene.

  • Key Features:
    • Building mechanics for creative combat and defense
    • Frequent updates and events with new content
    • Cross-platform play across PC, console, and mobile
    • Extensive cosmetic customization options
    • Massive, ever-changing map

Prizes & Notes: While Fortnite’s esports scene is still evolving, it’s already awarded over $177 million in prize money, and the game’s popularity ensures a bright future for its competitive landscape.

Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf made history in 2019 by winning the Fortnite World Cup Solo Finals and a huge prize pool at just 16 years old.

5. League of Legends

League of Legends is the undisputed king of MOBAs, boasting a global player base and a thriving esports scene.

Its strategic depth, diverse champion roster, and spectacular team fights make it a captivating spectacle for players and viewers alike.

League of Legends offers a competitive experience that is both challenging and incredibly rewarding.

  • Key Features:
    • (currently) 167 unique champions with varied playstyles
    • Strategic 5v5 gameplay with multiple lanes and objectives
    • Thriving pro scene with leagues around the world
    • Annual World Championship with massive viewership
    • Constant updates and balance changes

Prizes & Notes: League of Legends esports has awarded over $107 million in prize money.

Its annual World Championship is a global phenomenon, attracting millions of viewers and offering a multi-million dollar prize pool.