Last weekend, Aussie teenager Anthan ‘ana’ Pham and his international eSports team OG took victory in the Dota 2 International in Shanghai. OG earned an incredible AU$22 million of the total $51 million prize pool.
The 19-year-old from Melbourne was instrumental in his team’s victory and is said to take home around 20 percent of the winnings. This is the biggest eSports prize to date, and OG is the first team to win the Dota 2 International two years running.
— OG @ #TI9 ?? (@OGesports) August 16, 2019
Engadget points out each of the five members of OG will take home more prize money than the world’s leading athletes for winning major tournaments in 2019.
An even split of prize money would see each member take home around AU$4.4 million. For comparison, Wimbledon singles champs Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep earned around AU $4.2 million each for winning the oldest tennis tournament in the world. Also, Tiger Woods raked-in around AU$3million for the 2019 Masters.
Leading athletes do make most of their money from lucrative sponsorship, but gamers are also signing endorsement deals. We expect OG earns a decent profit from its major sponsor Red Bull and recently Fortnite streamer Ninja signed an exclusivity deal with online platform Mixer worth an estimated US$100 million. That’s on top of his recent deal with adidas, and he’s just published a book.
— Natus Vincere (@natusvincere) August 25, 2019
So far, Dota 2 International is the only eSports tournament to offer prize money of this size, but maybe it’s time professional athletes are put on notice. Maybe Djokovic needs to put down the racquet and pick up a keyboard and mouse if he wants to keep earning top dollar.
The Dota 2 International took place between August 20 – 25 in Shanghai. An estimated 1.1 million Twitch viewers live streamed Anthan Pham and the OG claiming victory in the final.