Where does money come from in esports?
The main source of money in esports is big brands. Basically, these are the game publishers themselves. They organize most tournaments and contain esports teams. This helps them promote their products among ordinary gamers and retain a multi-million audience without the monthly release of new features. The most profitable cyber disciplines are Dota 2, League of Legends and Counter-Strike.
Regional qualifying stages of tournaments are held online. But the finals of international tournaments require full-time participation of players (they are called LAN finals). Teams from different hemispheres cannot fight professionally online — even a minimal delay in the signal will affect the game.
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The main world Dota 2 tournament — The International – is held by its publisher Valve. In six years, the prize fund of the tournament has grown from $1.6 million in 2011 to $20.7 million in 2016. It is characteristic that most of these funds are made by ordinary gamers, buying in-game items in Dota 2.
Since 2011, American Riot Games has been holding the largest world championship for its main product — League of Legends. During this time, his prize fund has grown from $100 thousand to $2.1 million (2015). Now that cyber tournaments are assembling stadiums, many publishers are trying to develop games with an eye on esports. But it’s not that easy.
And now a huge number of games are built according to the free-to-play model, when monetization affects the gameplay (whoever brought in more money has better equipment). This is the wrong approach to esports and we condemn such publishers who try to wrap themselves in a soft blanket of esports. Esports is not just a tournament, it is a fair competition system.”
The main cyber disciplines are characterized by popularity and entertainment.