A 50 Million Dollar eSports Prize Pool?

Biggest eSports prize pool ever

Imagine playing your favourite videogame for a 50 million dollar eSports prize pool. You win, lift the trophy and get handed a cheque. You just earned 20 million dollars for winning first place. Crazy fantasy, right?

This tournament might actually happen in the next five years. Prize pools in all eSports are rising. The biggest tournaments of the year make their winners millionaires. The biggest of them all is The International. This is the yearly Dota 2 world championship. The International 2017 had a total eSports prize pool of 25 million dollars. Team Liquid took home 10 million dollars for winning first place.

A 50 Million Dollar eSports Prize Pool? - Team Liquid

An eSports Revolution

The International had its first edition in 2011. Valve, developer of Dota 2, funded the 1.6 million dollar prize pool. This was a revolutionary eSports prize pool in 2011. Almost no eSports tournament ever exceeded 100.000 dollars, and certainly not 1 million! Na’Vi won 1 million dollars for first place and became legends. But this was just the start.

In 2013, everything changed. Valve introduced crowdfunding to increase the prize pool. Players could purchase in-game items, and 25% of sales were added to the prize pool. These items included the ‘Compendium’ and ‘Battle Pass’ and gave in-game benefits. The total increased to 2.8 million dollars, again the biggest in eSports history. But this was just the beginning. Each next year saw a massive increase: 10 million in 2014, 18 million in 2015, 20 million in 2016 and finally 25 million in 2017.

A 50 Million Dollar eSports Prize Pool? - TI7 prize pool

Bigger than the Super Bowl

If The International continues to grow, 2022 might feature a 50 million dollar prize pool. This would be more than the Super Bowl! However, it is unlikely that Dota 2 will keep growing at the same rate. Experts predict that The International won’t grow as much in the next years. So, is a 50 million dollar eSports prize pool still a crazy fantasy?

No! Dota 2 might never hit 50 million. But new eSports games will emerge and become even more popular. The International showed us how to run successful crowdfunding campaigns. Maybe in five or ten years, Dota 3 will launch and set new records. The prestigious 50 million tournament will happen within ten years, you can count on that.

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A 50 Million Dollar eSports Prize Pool? - eSports prize money

ESL Pro League Finals Preview

This week in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive features the ESL Pro League Finals. The best 12 EU and NA teams have fought their way to the live finals in Denmark. The event will take six days. The total prize pool is $750,000. You too can earn a lot of money with Master Mazuma betting. Read on to find out what the best odds are in the ESL Pro League Finals.

ESL Pro League Finals betting: The best teams in CS:GO

G2 eSports won last year’s ESL Pro League Finals but failed to qualify this year. The favourites to win it all are SK Gaming and FaZe Clan. But there are many strong dark horse teams at this event. There is a lot of games to play and a lot of games to bet on.

Will SK follow up their recent success with another win in Denmark? Or will FaZe step up to their potential and take home their share of $750,000? These are two potential outcomes, but there are many strong teams at the event.

The teams are placed into two groups of six teams. Both groups have clear favourites, so we might see less group stage upsets. It might be best to play safe until the group stage is over. The quarterfinals will definitely feature much closer matches.

Each team will play one game against every other team in their group. This means a total of five games for each team. The team that finishes as number one in their group immediately goes to the semifinals. The second and third place teams play each other in the quarterfinals. The bottom three teams are eliminated from the event. The quarterfinals and semifinals become best-of-three matches. The finals will be a best-of-five.

ESL Pro League Finals Schedule

Who will win the group stage?

The 12 teams in the ESL Pro League Finals have been put in Group A or Group B. Both groups contain teams who can win the tournament. Let’s analyse the groups  to see which teams are most likely to win it.

Group A

  1. Fnatic
  2. FaZe Clan
  3. Astralis
  4. Liquid
  5. Hellraisers
  6. Luminosity Gaming

Group A has three clear favourites: Fnatic, FaZe Clan and Astralis. All group stage matches are best-of-one though, which means it’s easier to cause upsets. Team Liquid and Hellraisers have both proven that they are capable of upsets. Luminosity is the weakest team and has the worst odds.

The top three teams in this group are all playing well. FaZe has the most individual talent in the world. Based on recent results, FaZe might be the favourite to win the tournament. Read more about FaZe Clan in the Spotlight article.

Astralis still misses its star player dev1ce. The team still finished second at BLAST Pro Series last week without him, behind the strong SK Gaming. Astralis also has the home crowd advantage, since they’re a Danish team. This might be the best place to make it far into the tournament.

Fnatic is one of the most improved teams of the year. The Swedish team has the talent to make it far, but has to prove itself against the best teams in the world. Expect great results in the group stage. The playoffs is where it gets hard though.

Group B

  1. OpTiC Gaming
  2. SK Gaming
  3. North
  4. Ninjas in Pyjamas
  5. Misfits
  6. NRG eSports

Group B has two favourites for qualification; SK Gaming and Ninjas in Pyjamas. The third spot is up for grabs for North or OpTic Gaming.

SK Gaming comes into this tournament with recent wins at BLAST Pro Series and EPICENTER. The Brazilians might be the best team in the world. They beat Astralis, North and Ninjas in Pyjamas all at BLAST Pro Series.

Ninjas in Pyjamas won IEM Oakland over SK Gaming and FaZe Clan. The team is coming into this event with confidence and strong form.

North has a slight advantage over OpTic for third place. North has been playing better and better. The Danish team als has home crowd advantage, just like Astralis. OpTic struggles to play as team, but still has some of the best players in Europe. Nobody should underestimate OpTic.

The weakest teams are Misfits and NRG eSports. Both played well enough to qualify for the Finals. However, they are outmatches by the strong top four teams in their group. Their upset potential looks quite weak.

ESL Pro League Finals Odense

ESL Pro League Finals odds: Insight into the favourites

SK Gaming is the team to beat right now. SK won two of their last three live events and looks to be in top shape. Especially their leader FalleN has been playing great. He finished the BLAST grand final against Astralis with a 1.63 kill/death ratio. If SK’s other stars Coldzera and Fer can find their form as well, SK Gaming would be a good bet in the ESL Pro League Finals odds.

Astralis was the big surprise at BLAST Pro Series, almost winning the event. The team has great momentum coming into the ESL Pro League Finals. Their biggest weakness is RUBINO, who is the stand-in for star player dev1ce. Astralis had little time to practise with RUBINO. The team will probably struggle in the quarterfinals.

FaZe Clan has the talent and firepower to win this tournament. However, recent events have shown that the team has been struggling to find consistency. FaZe’s teamwork also doesn’t match that of other teams. FaZe relies on its star players to carry the team with their aim heavy style. This means that the players must individually outplay their opponents. Some teams have found ways to counter this with teamwork. FaZe’s leader karrigan will need to give the roster a more tactical approach to the matches.

ESL Pro League Finals Trophy

Chances for upsets?

Ninjas in Pyjamas proved to be capable of upsetting top teams FaZe Clan and SK Gaming. The team defeated both to win IEM Oakland. Ace players f0rest and GeT_RiGhT are veterans of the game, on par with FaZe and SK’s best. Ninjas in Pyjamas could potentially win it all if the pieces fall into place.

North could also cause an upset in Denmark. The team showed promise at BLAST Pro Series. They had some encouraging results against FaZe and Astralis. North might be able to turn the home field advantage into some upsets in the group stage.

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Newbee terminate Vasilii’s contract following domestic abuse allegations

Newbee has terminated League of Legends player Li “Vasilii” Wei-Jun’s contract.

After the player was heard allegedly assaulting his girlfriend on-stream earlier.

In VODs of Wei-Jun’s stream, he can be heard leaving his computer. The sound of a woman screaming as Wei-Jun screams at her follows. The camera is not facing the two during the apparent altercation. Later in the stream, he leaves again, and was allegedly taken away by police.”We absolutely condemn this sort of behavior and we’ve terminated his contract,” a spokesperson for Newbee told the press in a statement.

Wei-Jun has made headlines before for anger-related issues. In 2016, Wei-Jun left the stage during a live LSPL match and allegedly smashed equipment on his way off. Earlier that year, images surfaced of computers Wei-Jun had allegedly smashed while playing at the Vici Gaming house.

Wei-Jun is best known for his playing in North America as the AD Carry for LMQ in the 2014 NA LCS Summer Split.

This weekend in eSports

Master Mazuma recaps this weekend in PC gaming eSports. Visit mastermazuma.com, predict next week’s results and earn some real cash.

Dota 2 ESL One

Virtus.Pro enter the Dota 2 Pro Circuit in full force. The CIS team made an incredible run at ESL One Hamburg, defeating The International 7 champion and runner up Team Liquid and Newbee. Virtus.Pro won in the grand finals with an impressive 2-0 victory over Team Secret to secure the championship. The team grabbed $500.000 and 750 qualifying points for The International 8.

Virtus.Pro Dota 2
Virtus.Pro

StarCraft 2 Global Playoffs

Koreans and Global Circuit players (non-Koreans) duked it out at the StarCraft Global Playoffs group stage. 16 players battled for 8 spots at the live finals at BlizzCon next week. Mexican Terran player SpeCial notably defeated Stats and TY, two top Korean players, to advance to the Global Finals. He meets Elazer in the quarterfinals, the other Circuit player to advance from his group. The Polish Zerg Elazer eliminated the Korean player Dark in the group stage. This marks Dark’s first official loss to a non-Korean player.

The other players to advance are all Korean: TY, SoO, Rogue, herO, INnoVation and GuMiho.

SpeCial StarCraft 2
SpeCial

League of Legends Worlds semifinals

Samsung Galaxy defeated the Chinese Team WE in the Worlds semifinals to complete the all-Korean finals versus SK Telecom T1. The Koreans managed to outplay Team WE in a 3-1 victory, even when the Chinese had supposedly won the draft. Samsung Galaxy meets SK Telecom T1 in the World Championship Finals. These Korean juggernauts also played in the finals last year. That time SK Telecom T1 emerged victorious. Samsung Galaxy fields the exact same team as last year and looks to get revenge against Faker’s squad.

Samsung Galaxy League of Legends
Samsung Galaxy

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Epicenter

Virtus.Pro managed to get out of their slump and went on a run at Epicenter. They impressively defeated Gambit, FaZe and G2 to get to the finals, where they met SK Gaming. The Brazilian team SK showed they are the best in the world. Coldzera and his squad ended Virtus.Pro’s run with a 3-2 victory to win Epicenter. The finals notably attracted 550.000 concurrent viewers.

SK Gaming Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
SK Gaming

Heroes of the Storm Global Championship Grand Finals

The group stage for the HGC Grand Finals has concluded. Favourites MVP Black, Fnatic, Dignitas and Ballistix all advanced first place in their groups. Roll20 eSports managed to upset Tempest to take second place. Tempo Storm, Team Freedom and Team Expert join them as well at BlizzCon.

Roll20 eSports Heroes of the Storm
Roll20 eSports

eSports next week

Next week will be the big conclusion of the eSports year. BlizzCon will feature the global finals in Heartstone, StarCraft 2, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm and World of Warcraft. League of Legends finishes the World Championship in Beijing. Don’t miss any of the action on mastermazuma.com.